It’s nice to see the NRA and SAF working together.

From the Second Amendment Foundation web site:


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.

I find this very interesting. I don’t think anyone has challenged it on the grounds of the initiative violating Washington state law such things as being limited to only one subject, the font was too small to read, the strikeout and other formatting of deleted versus new text was incorrect. It’s possible this was deliberate and we won’t be seeing such a lawsuit for many years and only if this lawsuit fails.

If they can defeat it in Federal court on constitutional grounds it is gone for good so we won’t have to fight it at the ballot or legislature again and it protects other states. But if it is defeated on the basis of ballot procedures and formatting then we won’t be able to fight it on a constitutional until it is passed again. The biggest downside to this is that we will have to live with it until the Federal Courts rule on it. If the district court doesn’t rule in our favor it probably will have to go all the way to SCOTUS because it is unlikely the Ninth Circuit court of appeals is going to rule in our favor on all the aspects of this law.



  1. I’ve been pondering strategy for lawsuits on this one myself. With our left-leaning state supreme court [who are likely overjoyed that I-1639 passed] I doubt that the procedural strategy of citing all the procedural errors in the process of putting this on the ballot will get much traction.

    The initiative process was clearly violated in getting this thing on the ballot. But – even if we won that case, the billionaires would just fork out more money next time to do it the “right” way – and they would probably win even bigger, because they could point at the evil gun owners and say, “Look you good people voted for sensible Ruger 10-22 control, and those evil bastards wiped out your law on a mere technicality.” Other than striking down the law itself, the only thing that winning that suit would do is make them have to get multiple, single-issue initiatives passed. One to ban sales to <21. Another to institute a waiting period. Another for safe storage. It would cost them much more, and with a menu of bad gun laws to choose from, maybe some of them wouldn't pass.

    The fight on Art. I, Sec. 24 may be more difficult, but has more teeth and staying power.

    I really would like to see a law enacted that prevents billionaires from hiring armed security – which is specifically NOT a protected act under our state Constitution.

  2. The chance they have of winning are 0%. There is also a 100% chance SCOTUS will not hear it after they lose.

    I have no faith in the courts when it comes to 2nd amendment rights. The NRA and SAF will lose. After that expect some really egregious ballots to pass.

  3. If the conspirators can work with impunity to deprive rights, and they can do it over and over again in the full light of day with impunity, and even with applause in some cases, then…(you fill in the answer).

    This is like a mad bomber with his many bomb-making associates who work tirelessly, every day, to set their ideological and legal “bombs” all around the country. We know their names and we know where they are, but we’ll sit and watch them make their “bombs”, and put them in place and arm them, and our only response is to attempt to disarm as many of their “bombs” as we can after the bombers have walked away to go and set more “bombs”.

    The bombers themselves are never jailed, never charged, never prosecuted, never indicted. Instead we file suits against the inanimate objects; the individual bombs. The bomb-makers, the bomb-making headquarters and forward operating bases, which are well known, are never raided, and instead sometimes their criminal operatives are treated as celebrities and given promotions and title. They’ve become so accustomed to their apparently magical impunity that they no longer perceive any reason to hide from justice. They know they have support from America’s enemies here, and around the world too. No one, it seems, can touch them.

    • Hmm… To put it another way. Have we have already lost civil war II (without a shot being fired) and are now in reconstruction II?

      That’s what it is starting to feel like. Mindshare seems to be on the side of the conspirators. They have already captured tech and the education system (even in red states) along with much of the judiciary effectively reinterpreting much of the ‘outdated’ bill of rights. Will SCOTUS be able to resist?

    • But do we really know where they are? If the balloon goes up and we have to see the elephant, (to use two of Colonel Cooper’s metaphors), whether we want to or not, will we know where the elected criminals are? They are faceless, nameless anonymous bureaucrats of evil, even more than Heydrich, Hoess, Eichmann and Himmler. And YES, I did compare them to Nazis, because if they get their way, the evils of Naziism will be a mere one or two bad mood-days away from happening here.

  4. This lawsuit lives or dies based on WHO HEARS IT. On whether or not the judge was appointed by Obozo or Slick Willie. If it is heard in a court run by
    a demonrat judge it is DOA. Doomed. And odds of ANY gun control law being
    heard by the SCOTUS appear pretty dismal. The last thing that court wants to
    do is make an actual ruling on the Constitutionality of gun control laws. Ruling
    in favor of said laws proves the illegitimacy of the entire federal court system.
    Ruling against said laws would be the lever needed to overturn virtually ALL of
    those laws. THAT is the last thing the court wants to do. They want to keep the
    status quo exactly where it is….. they want to pretend we have “rights” but they
    don’t want to interfere with the politicians seeking to abuse their power over us
    by ignoring our rights. It’s a delicate balance and the last thing the ultimate arbiters of “law” want is to upset that balance.

  5. Pingback: Washington State's 1639 challenged by NRA, SAF

Comments are closed.