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NRA Sues Washington State Over Unconstitutional Gun Ban

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

NRA Sues Washington State Over Unconstitutional Gun Ban

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), along with the NSSF, filed a lawsuit in Washington state on Tuesday challenging the ban on commonly owned semiautomatic firearms signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee.

“This new law is blatantly unconstitutional. The Supreme Court long-ago ruled that states cannot ban firearms that are in common use. Recently, SCOTUS bolstered that ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen. AR-15-style firearms are the most popular rifles in America. In fact, AR-15s outsell America’s most popular truck, the Ford F-150, and there are more privately owned AR-15-style firearms than subscribers to all daily newspapers nationwide, combined,” said Aoibheann Cline, Washington state director, NRA-ILA. “It’s outrageous that states continue to pass these unconstitutional bans. But rest assured, the NRA will continue to fight each one.”

Washington’s new law, HB 1240, is the worst of such schemes in the country, exceeding what California imposes on its citizens. It bans nearly every modern semiautomatic rifle, as listed in the bill. But the ban also extends to some semiautomatic handguns and shotguns. Tens of millions of Americans own these firearms and they are used in self-defense, recreational shooting and hunting everyday.

Washington is the latest in a string of states that have imposed such bans. In January, the NRA brought a similar lawsuit in Illinois challenging its semiautomatic and magazine bans. In December, a lawsuit was filed challenging Oregon’s newly passed magazine ban. In September, a lawsuit was filed challenging Delaware’s new magazine and semiautomatic bans. And just last summer, the United States Supreme Court reversed and remanded two other cases that the NRA-ILA brought challenging magazine bans in California and New Jersey.

“Instead of arresting, prosecuting and punishing criminals, Gov. Inslee is focusing on restricting the rights of law-abiding Americans who use these rifles for a variety of lawful purposes. The people of Washington deserve better,” Cline concluded.

The case is captioned Banta v. Ferguson. It was filed in the Eastern District of Washington on behalf of individual plaintiffs and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.​

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.