Thursday, January 01, 2015

SAF Lawsuit Challenges Parts of I-594 in WA State

After the sweeping gun control, labeled as "gun safety" and a "background check" initiative passed in Washington state, many speculated that it would quickly be challenged in the courts.  They were right.  The Second Amendment Foundation has picked up the ball and is running with it.  Lawsuits against infringements of the second amendment have become something of a specialty of theirs, and they have had many notable successes.  They supported the Heller case, and were instrumental in McDonald, and Palmer, among others.  Here the SAF press release:
 BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Tacoma, seeking a permanent injunction against enforcement of portions of Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure that took effect Dec. 4, alleging that “portions of I-594…are so vague that a person of ordinary intelligence cannot understand their scope,” and that other parts violate the Second Amendment outright.

Joining SAF in this action are the Northwest School of Safety, Puget Sound Security, Inc., the Pacific Northwest Association of Investors, the Firearms Academy of Seattle, six individual citizens including SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb and the Gottlieb Family Trust. They are represented by Seattle attorneys Steven Fogg and David Edwards, and Bellevue attorney Miko Tempski.

Named as defendants are Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, in their official capacities.

“We took this action due to the confusing and arbitrary language and nature of I-594,” Gottlieb explained.

“Three of our plaintiffs, including my son, are residents of other states and cannot legally borrow handguns for personal protection while traveling in Washington. Under I-594, all transfers must be done through federally-licensed firearms dealers, but under federal law, dealers cannot legally transfer handguns to residents of other states. I-594 also essentially prohibits our non-resident plaintiffs from storing their own firearms here.

“This measure effectively infringes upon, if not outright prohibits, the exercise of their constitutionally-protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment,” he added.

Gottlieb pointed to a recent directive from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to its volunteer hunter education instructors regarding firearms transfers in class that amount to “straw-man transfers.” The lawsuit also notes that the State Patrol said it could not prove that a change of possession not covered by an I-594 exemption was a “transfer,” making enforcement of the new law “difficult if not impossible.”

“We’re not trying to stop background checks,” Gottlieb said. “We’re taking action against a poorly-written and unconstitutionally vague measure that criminalizes activities that are perfectly legal anywhere else in the country, thus striking at the very heart of a constitutionally-protected, fundamental civil right.”
 SAF has a reputation for winning lawsuits.  Many have complained about the unworkable language in I-594.  The plaintiffs in this suit may well prevail.

  ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


oatka said...

And in the meantime, the NRA is silent.

IMO, all the other alphabet pro-gun organizations should be sending a message by supporting SAF to the hilt - monetarily or by political pressure.

The pity of it is, even if successful, background checks will still be in effect, joined at the hip with Federal Form 4473 and assisting in building a gun registration list.

Pro-gun outfits should push for non-4473 background checks to head the antis off at the pass. If they don’t, every state in the Union will have one, along with shadow registration - the real intent behind these laws.

Backwoods Engineer said...

Stuff like this leads me to not trust Gottlieb:

"We’re not trying to stop background checks..."

And WHY NOT, Gottlieb? Are you complicit now? Toadying up to the gun prohibitionists? I believe so.

Background checks for gun sales to the public are unconstitutional infringements of the right to keep and bear arms. By the 5th Amendment, a felon cannot fill out Form 4473 anyway. (Check and you will see I'm right.)

Look, if a person has committed a violent felony, and the court believes they cannot live in decent society, then KEEP THEM INCARCERATED or end their life. But if you give them their freedom, then they have the right to keep and bear arms. GCA 68 and all the bilge that has come after (Brady etc) is unconstitutional on its face.

Any "background check" is just an incremental step to registration, confiscation, and elimination of "undesirable" population by a totalitarian government.