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State Appeals After Judge Rejects Ban of High-Capacity Magazines

In a decision that deferred to the nation's founders and their lack of "appetite" for gun control, a judge in Washington state ruled Monday that the state’s 2022 ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines is unconstitutional — but the law will remain in effect while the state appeals the decision, the Associated Press reports. Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor ruled that Washington’s ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds violates both the Washington state and U.S. constitutions and issued an immediate injunction to stop the state from enforcing the ban. But on Monday evening, the state Supreme Court granted an emergency appeal from state attorney general Bob Ferguson, allowing the law to remain in effect during the appeals process. In granting the emergency appeal, Washington State Supreme Court commissioner Michael Johnston wrote that he considered “the debatable nature of the factual and legal issues raised in this case, and the public-safety issues concerning the proliferation of large capacity magazines.”

Bashor in his ruling referred to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in which gun regulations must be “consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” The state failed to show a historical law, from around the time of the Second Amendment’s adoption, that justifies its current regulation, he said. “There was no appetite to limit gun rights by the Founders," Bashor wrote. "Though the specific technology available today may not have been envisioned, the Founders expected technological advancements. The result is few, if any, historical analogue laws by which a state can justify a modern firearms regulation.”


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