A federal judge has denied a request to block a recent Washington state law that prohibits the sale of specific semi-automatic rifles. This law, signed by Democratic Governor Jay Inslee in April, is part of a broader effort to address gun violence, Your Content has learned.
The legislation, which took effect immediately upon signing, bans the sale, distribution, manufacture, and importation of over 50 types of firearms, including AR- and AK-style rifles. However, it does not restrict the possession of these weapons for individuals who already own them.
The law faced swift opposition from two gun-rights advocacy groups—the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue and the Firearms Policy Coalition in Sacramento—as well as individual gun owners and a dealer.
They sought a court order to halt the law’s implementation until a trial could determine if it violated their constitutional right to bear arms.
U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan in Tacoma ruled against the plaintiffs, stating, “Considering the exceptional dangerousness of these weapons, the public interest in their regulation by the State outweighs the Plaintiffs’ desire to purchase more assault weapons.
” Judge Bryan highlighted the recent incidents of mass violence involving assault weapons and emphasized the need for governmental measures to protect the public within the boundaries of the Second Amendment.
Last year, a U.S. Supreme Court decision expanded gun rights but left judges divided and created uncertainty regarding permissible restrictions. The decision emphasized that firearm laws should align with the historical tradition of regulation.
Judge Bryan determined that Washington state’s ban aligns with the country’s longstanding history of regulating dangerous weapons, citing historical examples such as colonial-era bans on “trap guns” and restrictions on long-bladed knives and Tommy guns during the gangster era after World War I.
Governor Inslee and State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, both Democrats, advocated for the ban on semi-automatic weapons, following numerous unsuccessful attempts in previous years. Washington becomes the tenth state to enact such legislation.
The United States has witnessed a record number of mass killings this year, all involving firearms, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University.
Governor Inslee also signed two additional laws: one imposing a ten-day waiting period for firearm purchases and another allowing lawsuits against gun manufacturers or sellers under specific circumstances.
Meanwhile, a federal trial is currently underway in Oregon, challenging a voter-approved measure that requires residents to undergo safety training and background checks to obtain a gun permit.
The legislation, narrowly passed last November, also prohibits the sale, transfer, or import of gun magazines with capacities exceeding ten rounds, except for those owned by law enforcement, military personnel, or acquired prior to the law’s enactment, according to FOX13.