Lawyers 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 answer brief, filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, SAF and its partners argue that the ban is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment and under the Supreme Court guidelines set forth in the ruling. Bruen from last year.
SAF joins 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.
The defendants are Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste, Kitsap County Sheriff John Gese and County Attorney Chad M. Enright; Kittitas County Sheriff Clayton Myers and County Attorney Greg Zempel; Clark County Sheriff John Horch and County Attorney Tony Golik and Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortnoy and County Attorney Jason Cummings all in their official capacities.
“Under guidelines set forth 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 for millions of people, they are not 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 semi-automatic rifle, and has put politics ahead of constitutional rights.”
“A preliminary injunction against this law will not harm the state,” said SAF executive director Adam Kraut, who is a practicing attorney. “We believe that the ban is unconstitutional and therefore the application by the state amounts to deprivation of rights under the color of the law. This causes irreparable damage. A preliminary injunction will maintain the status quo, which puts constitutional rights before politics.”