SAF Founder Chides Washington AG Over Mag Ban 'Falsehoods'

Townhall Media

Washington State's ban on "large capacity" magazines is still in effect despite a circuit judge's ruling that the law violates both the federal and state constitutions, thanks to an administrative stay granted approximately 90 minutes after the ruling took effect. Still, gun owners across the state took advantage of that brief window of opportunity to stock up on the prohibited magazines, with retailers like Wally Wentz selling hundreds of magazines in the hour-and-a-half they were able to do so. 


Wentz, owner of Gator's Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as "magazine day" at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington's high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation

When a Cowlitz County judge ruled in his favor Monday, Wentz opened his store on an off day, put out a blast on Facebook, and sold as many magazines as he could.

"A flow of constant thank yous, 'Do you have this,' 'Do you have that,' 'How many can I have?'" Wentz said, referring to the customers who came by. "'Is there a limit?' I said, 'What's your limit on your gold card?'"

Wentz was sued by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson for selling magazines in violation of the state ban last year, but he responded by challenging the law in Cowlitz County Circuit Court, where Judge Gary B. Bashor ruled in Wentz's favor. Shortly thereafter, Ferguson issued a statement blasting the judge's decision, claiming, "every court in Washington and across the country to consider challenges to a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines under the U.S. or Washington Constitution has either rejected that challenge or been overruled."

On today's Bearing Arms Cam & Co, Second Amendment Foundation founder and executive vice president Alan Gottlieb squarely rejected Ferguson's assertion, noting that courts in both California and Oregon have found similar bans unconstitutional. While those cases are on appeal, they have yet to be overturned. 

Gottlieb says it's bad enough that Ferguson is substituting falsehood for facts, but what really bothers him is that not a single media outlet in the state bothered to fact-check the AG. 


"They don't fact-check it because it doesn't meet their agenda. They want to push for gun control, and as a result they'll take all those statements as fact because they want them to be fact, even when they're not." 

That goes for Ferguson's claim that bans on "large capacity" magazines are vital to public safety. As Gottlieb notes, Washington State has adopted numerous gun control measures over the past decade, including "universal" background checks, a ban on so-called assault weapons, a 10-day waiting period, and a "red flag" law, but violent crime has continued trending steadily upward in the state. 

“The most recent report from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs shows the number of murders statewide went up in 2022, the year the ban law was signed, by 16.6 percent. There were 394 murders in the state that year, while 2021 saw 338 homicides," Gottlieb shared. 

In fact, Gottlieb says murders have doubled in Washington State since 2014, when the steady stream of Second Amendment-infringing laws started to be put in place. Once again, Gottlieb says the media should be calling the AG out on his fictions instead of amplifying them. 

Gottlieb is confident that, despite the administrative stay, Washington's mag ban isn't long for this world. In fact, if the state Supreme Court grants Ferguson's request to bypass the state appellate courts and hear the case now, the losing party could appeal the state Supreme Court's decision directly to the U.S Supreme Court. I doubt Ferguson would be eager to do so if the state Supreme Court agrees the ban is unconstitutional, but if the judges side with the state the plaintiffs would have a clear path to Supreme Court review... at least if there are four justices willing to grant cert. 


Check out the entire conversation with SAF's Alan Gottlieb in the video window below, and stay tuned. The next hearing in the lawsuit is set for one week from today, when the commissioner of the Washington Supreme Court will decide if the emergency stay remains in place. The state Supreme Court is set to consider Ferguson's motion to bypass the appeals court on April 23rd, so by the end of the month we should have a much better sense of how soon SCOTUS will have the opportunity to weigh in on the challenge to Washington State's ban on commonly owned magazines that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. 

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