Pro-Second Amendment Injunction Lasts All of 88 Minutes in Washington State

Pro-Second Amendment Injunction Lasts All of 88 Minutes in Washington State

By Steve Pomper 

Woman target shooting with AR-15 “America’s Rifle” (Photo: Simonov, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0)

According to David Gutman at The Seattle Times, about the court case, State of Washington v Gator’s Custom Guns Inc., brought by the Silent Majority Foundation, “A Cowlitz County judge ruled Washington’s ban on high-capacity magazines unconstitutional Monday, but just minutes later the state Supreme Court issued an emergency order keeping the law on the books while the state appeals the decision.

“Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor ruled that Washington’s ban on the magazines, which hold more than 10 rounds and have been banned since 2022, violated both the Washington state and U.S. constitutions.”

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It’s not surprising that Washington State’s anti-constitution, anti-self-defense state officials were miffed at a county judge striking down their unconstitutional, so-called “large capacity magazine” law. It’s also unsurprising that the state AG filed an immediate emergency appeal.

What was surprising was the hair-on-fire speed with which state officials thwarted the release of the people’s infringed/impaired right to self-defense that those officials have, once again, taken hostage.

Washington’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms is as clear or even more so than the pretty damned clear Second Amendment (2A): “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Washington Constitution, Article 1, Section 24 reads, “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired… (a second clause addresses a separate issue).”

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As you’ll see in an informational video at Washington Gun Law (WGL) TV, Judge Bashor cites “The Washington Supreme Court found that Art. 1, Sec. 24 is ‘absolute’ outside of its two textual exceptions,” which are not relevant here.

WGL President William Kirk says it took only “88 minutes” from the judge’s injunction going into effect to the Washington State Supreme Court’s (unelected) commissioner Michael Johnston granting the Washington attorney general’s request for an emergency appeal, to once more re-infringe/re-impair the people’s natural rights to self-defense.

The AG said he’s supporting the ban to “address mass shootings.” Even if this were true, isn’t it immoral to make self-defense more difficult for people who are vulnerable to the type of crimes he cites?

And as explained in the amicus brief filed with the United States Supreme Court by the National Police Association, these unconstitutional anti-2A rulings place police officers in civil and physical harm’s way.

Kirk explains Judge Bashor’s ruling was a “very very well-drafted [55-page] opinion….” He continues. “Johnston has already stayed this injunction. Now, if you take a look at the turnaround time from when this order dropped to when the stay was issued… commissioner Johnston, you know this to be true; you did not read any portion of the Court’s opinion. There is no way on God’s green earth that you read this opinion….”

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You might ask, did Johnston perform his due diligence? As a “gatekeeper” for the Supremes, isn’t that a part of his job? Since the elected justices serve the people of Washington, isn’t it Johnston’s duty to err on the side of preserving Washingtonian’s natural rights and to protect the integrity of the Court? Or, is this just pseudo-legal strategy wrapped in a radical ideology?

In a sane world, whenever someone challenges the people’s fundamental rights in court, of which those included in Bill of Rights qualify, or when the people challenge a blatantly unconstitutional law, shouldn’t the right remain in effect rather than be infringed, impaired, or suspended as court cases progress?

Shouldn’t the benefit of the doubt defer to people retaining these precious rights? Otherwise, as keeps happening in Washington and other states, despite even U.S. Supreme Court rulings upholding the 2A’s plain language (most recently, Bruen), self-defense opponents simply rearrange a few exhausted, hollow words and phrases and then cavalierly continue to pass blatantly unconstitutional laws. And, as the cycle continues, the radicals effectively, virtually perpetually eviscerate the people’s fundamental rights.

Commissioner 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.” Oh, stop it! Those “issues” are illusions. What’s “debatable” about a right even the court he works for has ruled is “absolute?”

Johnston’s statement reflects his and the state’s highest court’s radical anti-gun ideology that they employ against peaceful gun owners. Where are the objective facts? Just take the term “large capacity magazine.” He uses it as if the phrase represents a fact that exists by legal definition.

It does not, which Stephen P. Halbrook brilliantly explains in his book, AMERICA’S RIFLE: THE CASE FOR THE AR-15, which is a great resource. LCM is a description, but it’s an arbitrary, vague, and imprecise one.

The fake terms “assault rifle/weapon” and “large capacity magazines” (LCM) are intended as pejoratives intended to provoke the passions of people who don’t know much about guns and either don’t like and/or fear the idea of them. And who decides what are large capacities compared to standard capacity magazines? Radicals simply declaring it doesn’t make it so.

When talking legalities, these terms need consistent definitions that accurately describe the word(s) used. How did the magic number “10” become this mythical minimum “standard capacity” for the maximum number of rounds any person might need in any situation? Well, as with other anti-gun myths, they made it up.

Police officers’ armed self-defense situations are no different than for civilians. Those situations may be more likely for cops but not less dangerous for citizens. Yet, to show that the broken clock theory has merit, in the Cowlitz County Court injunction, Judge Bashor cites, “The state’s expert witness, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, posits why his own officers carry LCMs: “SPD patrol officers routinely carry 17-round magazines because they need to be prepared for every scenario they might encounter.”

That “need to be prepared” is no different for ordinary citizens.

Glock 17 and “large capacity magazines” currently banned in Washington State (Photo: Rhk111, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0)

As a result of passing these unconstitutional laws, though “temporary,” the radicals succeed. When the law is inevitably overturned, they just pass another flawed law, and the diabolical cycle starts again, and the people’s rights stop again.

The radicals’ psychological warfare/lawfare is working, too. According to another story by The Times’ Gutman, “Gun sales in Washington have fallen dramatically this year, according to federal background check data, as a suite of new state gun regulations took effect.”

Law-abiding people are the only ones affected by these abuses; criminals, by definition, don’t follow laws so aren’t affected. So, gun owners either choose to comply, or they may simply be afraid to break an ever-changing law accidentally. For others, like me, it rips at our souls to be oppressed by our federal and state governments in any way. But violating fundamental, God-given rights is especially egregious.

State political leaders know that the federal and state constitutions protect the people’s self-defense right to keep and bear arms. And they know it goes against nature to infringe or impair a God-given right. But they don’t like the right, so it’s all okay. After all, they mean well. It’s for your own good.

About the threatened new federal anti-2A laws being proposed, just because the man in the White House claims, “None of this violates the Second Amendment or vilifies responsible gun owners,” does not make it even close to true. In fact, it’s a lie.

U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Second Amendment

They don’t care about the “rules” they swore solemn oaths to follow. The framers established ways to amend the Constitution, which officials are supposed to use, rather than using unethical, immoral treachery.

In the video (link above), Kirk comments on second-class citizenship from an empty Securité Gun Club that should have been crowded with law-abiding gun owners reclaiming their constitutional rights and purchasing “many metric tons of mega-monster-magazines.”

He said, “I thought there was going to be an injunction today. We were going to stop Washington’s magazine ban, and we were going to live free like Americans again.”

He’s right. Free Americans who understand what liberty means and cherish it feel it viscerally when the government rips their fundamental freedoms from them.

My heart sinks when I think about going to my gun shop/range knowing I (a retired cop) can’t purchase products that other free Americans can buy, keep, and bear in their states. That’s not how the Bill of Rights is supposed to work. The framers added the first ten amendments because some feared government leaders might violate the people’s fundamental rights if they didn’t specifically enumerate them.

They nailed that one—Big Time! It’s this bad with the Bill of Rights; imagine things without one.

Bottom line, peaceful gun owners are a threat only to the violent criminals.

You know, come to think of it, maybe that’s what has the radicals so worried.