SAF, NRA File Federal Lawsuit Challenging Washington’s Initiative 1639
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging gun control Initiative 1639 in Washington State, on several grounds.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. In addition to SAF and NRA, plaintiffs include gun dealers and young adults in the affected age group.
The lawsuit challenges the measure on the grounds that it violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State constitution by preventing the sale to otherwise qualified adults under age 21 of certain rifles.
“We are also considering additional legal challenges,” SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb confirmed. “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,” he stated. “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 Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “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,” concluded Cox.
“While a handful of billionaires spending millions of dollars were able to buy votes, it is our hope they can’t buy the judges,” Gottlieb said.
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.