Groups File Appeal Brief in Federal Challenge of Washington Gun Control Measure
Attorneys representing the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association, two Washington state gun retailers and three private citizens have filed an appeal brief with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in their challenge of gun control Initiative 1639, a measure adopted two years ago in the Evergreen State.
The 45-page brief asserts I-1639 “infringes the rights protected by the Second Amendment and enjoyed by law-abiding adults of all ages. The interstate sales ban violates the Interstate Commerce Clause.” A district court judge in Tacoma dismissed the case in August, and plaintiffs promptly filed notice of appeal with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court in San Francisco.
The initiative prohibits young adults ages 18-20 from purchasing and owning so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles,” which it defined as literally any self-loading rifle, regardless of caliber. Tens of millions of semiautomatic rifles are in use today by law-abiding citizens of all ages for a variety of endeavors including hunting, competition, predator and varmint control, recreational shooting and personal/home protection.
“We’re asking the Ninth Circuit to reverse a ruling by the lower federal district court, and remand this case back for further action,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens should never be subject to a popular vote, and we are hopeful the appeals court agrees.”
Plaintiffs are represented by Seattle attorney Joel B. Ard and Spokane attorney David K. DeWolf. The case is known as Mitchell v. Atkins.