Gun rights have been a big debate in America for the past few years. Some arguments were against banning some types of weapons or some “unnecessary” attachments. This led to the ban on how many magazines a gun can carry.

However, recently, the Supreme Court in Washington removed that ban, and called the law “unconstitutional”. Let’s explore the development further.

Last Year’s Ban On Semiautomatic Weapons

Last year, there was a strong restriction on the type of guns and attachments gun enthusiasts can have on their weapons. More precisely, the law prevented the sale, import, and export of assault-style semi-automatic weapons.

Source: Shutterstock/Kiattipong

The gun control law also required all gun buyers to undergo compulsory safety training before receiving their weapons. But the most important part is that weapons could no longer have magazines that carried a lot of bullets.

Gun Enthusiasts Were Upset About The Changes

Gun enthusiasts were unhappy with the new law. Some pointed out that the research connecting homicide to high-capacity firearms was inconclusive. Others also complained that the government is infringing on their rights to bear arms with nothing but incomplete data.

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Even arms dealers were unhappy with the change. Some called it “devastating” to business and the hobby of collecting guns. So, naturally, they fought back against this “unconstitutional” law.

A Welcomed Change

Roughly a year after the ban, the Supreme Court removed the law. It claimed that the state’s ban on high-capacity magazines was unconstitutional and unnecessary. So does that mean everyone can continue with their drum mags? Not quite!

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For now, the old law is still active since the state Supreme Court issued an emergency shortly after the ruling. So, gun enthusiasts still have to wait for the green light before buying a high-capacity magazine.

The Lawsuit Against Gator’s Custom Guns

One major reason the courts reversed the law was because of the lawsuit against Gator’s Custom Guns. Basically, the state’s attorney General Bob Ferguson sued Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso for having over 11,400 high-capacity magazines for sale.

Source: X/GatorsGuns

Note that this lawsuit came almost a year later after Washington banned these high-capacity mags. The case went to court and the judge ruled in the business’s favor and said the ban violated the people’s constitutional rights.

Ferguson Disagrees With The Court’s Decision

After the Washington Supreme Court made its ruling through a press release, Ferguson gave his comments. He called the ruling “incorrect” and filed that the state temporarily pauses its ruling, which was successful.

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Essentially, Ferguson is the primary reason why gun enthusiasts can’t enjoy the new ruling now. It’s possible he’s looking for a way to reverse the decision. But why?

Ferguson Explained His Reasons

Ferguson explained why he wasn’t happy with the court’s decision. He commented in a press release: “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.” 

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He continues: “This law is constitutional. It is also essential to addressing mass shootings in our communities. This law saves lives, and I will continue to defend it.”

Arguments Supporting The Ban On High-capacity Magazines

Gun enthusiasts weren’t the only ones in this legal battle. People advocating for gun control weren’t in favor of the court’s ruling. These supporters, along with Ferguson argued that banning these magazines saves lives.

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Essentially, it reduces how much damage a mass shooter can deal since they won’t have access to more than 10 bullets in their mag. So, they would have to reload frequently, which gives the police enough time to react.

The Public Seems To Support The Ban

Public safety has been a huge issue, especially since America has some of the highest mass shootings worldwide. It only makes sense why the majority of people favored reducing the number of bullets magazines can hold.

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Around 65% of people favored controlling or banning high-capacity magazines. This was from a statewide Cascade PBS/Elway Poll in 2020. But despite this support, it took almost three years to implement the law.

More Legal Pressure Against The Magazine Ban

Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban is also facing two legal challenges in the US District Court. The first case is by Selah’s Gimme Guns and the Silent Majority Foundation, which is pending in the court’s Eastern District.

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The second one is by Auburn’s Rainier Arms, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition. It’s also pending but in the court’s western district. What’s the issue? Both cases are against the high-capacity mag ban.

The Supreme Court Has Scheduled A Hearing

The Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing on the 17th of April to discuss the Judge’s decision to lift the ban. They will use this time to analyze the research and determine if high-capacity magazines need to go or stay.

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The Attorney General also plans to file a case with the Supreme Court. He argues that the decision should be handled by the state’s highest court instead of the Court of Appeals. Why? Possibly because the case involves the Second Amendment and should be taken more seriously.

The Court Might Support The Magazine Ban

The hearing with the Supreme Court could have multiple endings. One possible outcome is that they will uphold the magazine ban. 

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The court may analyze the arguments and law and then conclude that reducing the magazine size doesn’t infringe on anyone’s constitutional right. Thai possibility is further supported by the idea that shootings could have less damage since they won’t have access to a lot of ammo.

They May Also Overturn The Ban

While there’s a chance that the ban will stay, it can also be overturned. The court may also decide that Washington’s decision to ban high-capacity magazines infringes on the rights of the people.

Source: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

In this case, the 2022 ban will be lifted, and the public can continue purchasing their desired attachment for their weapons.

The Fight Continues!

For now, the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that banning civilians from owning high-capacity magazines is unconstitutional. But on the other hand, supporters say it’s perfectly legal, and can even save lives during mass shootings.

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To settle the debate, there will be a court hearing this April. It’ll analyze the legal and social implications of the court’s decision to determine whether it’s worth keeping.