Following the passage of some of the strictest gun-control legislation in the country, the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation are suing Washing state.
The lawsuit challenges ballot initiative 1639 on several grounds. Other plaintiffs joining the suit include gun vendors and adults targeted by the new laws.
The initiative classifies many guns, even simple .22 rifles, as restricted “assault weapons.” It also forbids the sale of guns to adults under the age of 21.
“We are also considering additional legal challenges,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “We are disappointed that too many Evergreen State voters were fooled into supporting this 30-page gun control scheme, despite overwhelming law enforcement opposition. This initiative is an affront to the constitutional rights enshrined in the Second Amendment and the Washington state constitution, especially for young adults.”
“We’re determined to fight this egregious measure because constitutionally-protected rights should never be subject to a popularity vote,” said Gottlieb. “The wealthy elitists behind I-1639 want to turn a right into a regulated privilege. This measure was only designed to have a chilling effect on the exercise of a constitutional right by honest citizens while having no impact at all on criminals, and we cannot let it go unchallenged.”
“The NRA is committed to restoring the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding Washingtonian,” said NRA-ILA executive director Chris W. Cox. “I-1639 violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts people at risk. This lawsuit is the first step in the fight to ensure that Washingtonians are free to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense.”
“The NRA will fight to overturn this unconstitutional initiative. We will not sit idly by while elitist anti-gun activists attempt to deny everyday Americans their fundamental right to self-defense,” said Cox.
“We are disappointed that too many voters were fooled into supporting this 30-page gun control scheme, despite overwhelming law enforcement opposition,” added Gottlieb.
Previous attempts to block the 30-page measure before the mid-terms were overruled. The Second Amendment Foundation argued, successfully at first, that the measure was not printed in accordance with the law and that alternate wording and summaries were used to lead voters to vote for a bill they might not have otherwise supported.
“I don’t understand how, one, they plan they’re planning to enforce it, and number two, how they’re defining what an assault weapon is,” said NRA President U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North. “It’s nuts to me — I just quite frankly don’t understand it.”
“There are those of us who believe that law-abiding citizens who have firearms ought not to be punished,” said North. “That’s the whole essence of what the Second Amendment is about.”