Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and its partners in a federal lawsuit challenging Washington State’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” have filed a response brief in their effort to obtain a preliminary injunction. The case is known as Hartford v. Ferguson.
In their response brief, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, SAF and its partners argue the ban is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment and under Supreme Court guidelines set down in last year’s Bruen ruling.
SAF is joined by the Firearms Policy Coalition, Sporting Systems of Hazel Dell, and three private citizens, Brett Bass, Douglas Mitchell and Lawrence Hartford, for whom the case is named. They are represented by Seattle attorney Joel Ard.
Defendants are Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste, Kitsap County Sheriff John Gese and County Prosecutor Chad M. Enright; Kittitas County Sheriff Clayton Myers and County Prosecutor Greg Zempel; Clark County Sheriff John Horch and County Prosecutor Tony Golik, and Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortnoy and County Prosecutor Jason Cummings, all in their official capacities.
“Under the guidelines established by the Supreme Court,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “a state can only ban ‘dangerous and unusual weapons,’ but since modern semi-automatic rifles are in common use by millions of people, they are hardly unusual. Supporters of the ban have deliberately and falsely called these firearms ‘weapons of war,’ which they are not. The state has criminalized a common and important means of self-defense, the modern semiautomatic rifle, and has put politics ahead of constitutional rights.”
“A preliminary injunction against this law will not harm the state,” noted SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut, who is a practicing attorney. “We believe the ban is unconstitutional, and therefore enforcement by the state amounts to deprivation of rights under color of law. This causes irreparable harm. A preliminary injunction will maintain the status quo, which puts constitutional rights ahead of politics.”