While gun owners have scored major victories this year in state capitols across the country, anti-gun activists have managed to eke out a few successes of their own, and one of the most significant gun control bills to win approval this year is Washington State’s ban on ammunition magazines that can accept more than ten rounds.
Once that law takes effect, it will be illegal to buy or sell “high capacity” magazines in the state, and the Second Amendment Foundation has already signaled it will be challenging the law in court as soon as they can.
Now online retailer Brownells has announced its plans to support that lawsuit through its “Mag Dump for Washington” campaign.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb expressed gratitude to Brownells, noting, “We’re overwhelmed by this generous effort. Heading into what promises to be a daunting legal battle, it’s both reassuring and humbling to know we’ve got support from Brownells.”
Gov. Jay Inslee has previously signaled he would sign the legislation. Passage of the bill has already set off a scramble in the state to purchase standard capacity magazines.
Through the Mag Dump project, Brownells will donate $2 to SAF for every aluminum Brownells AR-15 magazine sold between now and June 24.
According to Brownells, the effort has two main goals:
- The first is to help Washington state gun owners procure reliable, proven, standard-capacity magazines for their AR-15 style firearms – before the ban goes into effect – to help guarantee their ability to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights and freedoms, the company explained.
- The second goal, Brownells said, is to supply cash to the Second Amendment Foundation that will be earmarked to help fund a lawsuit to be filed against the ban on all magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
“Brownells provides the products Americans need to exercise their Second Amendment rights and freedoms,” said Brownells Chairman of the Board Pete Brownell. “We’re proud to partner with groups like the Second Amendment Foundation to help fight for those rights and freedoms.”
The ban applies to both rifle and pistol magazines. Pushed through the Democrat-controlled legislature at the behest of anti-gun Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the law will allow owners of standard-capacity magazines purchased prior to the July 1 effective date to keep them. However, after the law takes effect, magazines holding more than ten cartridges may not be bought, sold or manufactured in the state, and none may be imported into the state.
Now, in full disclosure, I’m an unpaid board member of SAF’s sister organization the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, but even if I wasn’t I’d be fully on board with this. It’s great to see companies like Brownells step up to help in the legal fight to come, as well as to help prove the utter idiocy of the state’s impending mag ban.
The magazines that will be banned under Washington’s new law are clearly in common use, and for a variety of lawful purposes, which means that under the Supreme Court’s precedent in Heller, they’re protected by the Second Amendment. Even a three judge panel on the Ninth Circuit agreed with that argument when it declared California’s magazine ban unconstitutional; a decision that was unfortunately overturned by an banc review of the Ninth Circuit last fall, which ruled that even though the ban intrudes on the right to keep and bear arms, it’s perfectly allowable because of the state’s desire for public safety.
It was a terrible decision, and hopefully the Supreme Court will grant cert and overturn what the Ninth Circuit had to say, but there’s no guarantee that will happen and we can’t wait for SCOTUS to act before trying to stop Washington State’s ban from being enforced. Brownell’s new initiative will help to ensure a well-funded fight for firearms freedom, not only in the Pacific Northwest or the territory covered by the Ninth Circuit, but for all of us who believe our Second Amendment rights are worth protecting.