The Ban on High-capacity Magazines in Washington Will Stay in Place While the Court Case Goes on

The Ban on High-capacity Magazines in Washington Will Stay in Place While the Court Case Goes on

Washington state will not allow the sale of high-capacity gun mags while the court case over the ban is still going on. That’s what Washington state Supreme Court Commissioner Michael Johnston said in a ruling released Thursday.

The decision is based on a state law from 2022 that says gun magazines that hold more than 10 shots can’t be sold, brought into the state, or given away.

Lawyers for the state of Washington attacked Gator’s Custom Guns, a store in Cowlitz County, last fall for what the state calls “egregious” breaking of the law. It is said that the store kept selling high-capacity mags for more than a year after the ban was put in place.

But the gun dealer is fighting back. He says the rule is against the Constitution. This month, Judge Gary Bashor of Cowlitz County Superior Court agreed with the gun dealer and threw out the rule. In his court ruling, Judge Bashor said that the law broke both the federal and Washington constitutions.

What the owner of Gator’s, Wally Wentz, told Oregon Public Broadcasting was “mayhem” in his store because so many people rushed to buy hundreds of those magazines.

“My wife was handing out bags to people as they came in the door,” Wentz said.

It didn’t last long, though. In order to get the law back in place while it appeals, the state filed an emergency move.

A few hours after Judge Bashor’s decision, the state Supreme Court put the case on hold until the commissioner could look into it more and hear both sides’ views.

“The idea that I could lift the stay and something awful happens with [a large capacity magazine] that would not have been obtained but for that decision keeps me awake at night,” Johnston said in his decision Thursday.

The law will stay in place while the state appeals the lower court’s ruling. The case could end up in the state Supreme Court or an appeals court.

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