LOCAL NEWS

NRA’s I-1639 lawsuit withdrawn, then refiled with new defendants

Feb 12, 2019, 1:05 PM | Updated: 5:11 pm
I-1639...
(AP)
(AP)

The NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation have withdrawn a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Washington’s voter-approved I-1639. And they have filed an entirely new one in its place.

Unaware of the new lawsuit, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility issued a statement Tuesday morning responding to the voluntary dismissal by the gun rights groups. Renee Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility said:

We have always been confident that Initiative 1639 would withstand this challenge. While this is not exactly the path we expected, the outcome is the same: Initiative 1639 remains the law of the land in Washington. A number of law enforcement officials have come forward recently claiming they will not enforce the initiative while this challenge makes its way through the courts. Now that there is no longer a pending lawsuit, we expect these sheriffs will stop playing politics with the safety of their communities and resume doing their job by enforcing the laws of our state and respecting the will of Washingtonians.

Tallman Trask the Alliance for Gun Responsibility said the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation had withdrawn the previous lawsuit without giving a reason. Though pleased, he acknowledged that the legal battle was not over.

RELATED: Lynnwood gun store owner thinks she already has a 1639 loophole
RELATED: Second Amendment Foundation says there are problems with 1639

“The Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association and those folks always signaled that they had a multiple lawsuits planned that they built out; that they were going to be working and trying to challenge this in the courts more than once,” Trask said, suggesting that’s what was happening here.

While the new lawsuit was filed last week, attorneys say they had not been able to serve the defendants yet because snow had shut down the court clerk’s office. So the Alliance was unaware of its details when it released the statement.

Washington voters approved I-1639 by 59 percent.

A new I-1639 lawsuit

This latest lawsuit names the Department of Licensing, the Spokane police chief, and Clark County sheriff as defendants. This is because they are entities responsible for issuing and revoking licenses for firearms dealers — in this case, if someone were to violate the selling of a semi-automatic rifle to someone under 21. The plaintiffs are from those two counties, that’s why those particular law enforcement agencies are named.

Trask said it wasn’t the first time the gun rights groups had filed a lawsuit, but delayed serving it. Alan Gottlieb with the Second Amendment Foundation said the Alliance jumped the gun with its statement.

“I don’t know why the Alliance put a release out, it’s sloppy on their part,” Gottlieb said.

As far as what has changed in the new lawsuit, it’s the defendants.

“The Attorney General has been dropped as a defendant because he says he shouldn’t be a defendant in the case and defend the law. So we named a police chief and a sheriff instead,” Gottlieb said.

Ferguson’s office responded to that claim.

“We pointed out that they could not sue the Attorney General for some of their claims, but did not ask to remove the Attorney General as a defendant,” said Brionna Aho, Communications Director for the state Attorney General’s office.

Gottlieb says the actual legal argument challenging the new gun laws remains the same, as do the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit contends I-1639, “drastically rewrites statutes governing purchase, sale, and ownership of firearms in common use in the state of Washington. It thereby infringes the Plaintiffs’ right under the Commerce Clause … and the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.”

I-1639 raised the age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21. It also established a requirement for more background checks and training, as well as a safe storage component that could lead to criminal charges and several other new laws.

The age requirement is the only part of the law that has taken effect so far, the remainder takes effect later this year.

More than a dozen sheriff’s and police chiefs in the state have opted not to enforce the new laws until the legal battle plays out.

Local News

(KIRO 7)...
KIRO 7 News Staff

35 Marysville teachers receive layoff notices after voters reject levy extensions

Thirty-five teachers in the Marysville School District received layoff notices last week, after voters rejected levy measures that would have funded 14-18% of the district’s overall budget.
22 hours ago
...
Gwen Baumgardner

Car thefts are on the rise in the region

In Seattle, there have been 2,075 vehicle thefts already this year. Seattle police reported that approximately 86% of stolen cars are recovered.
2 days ago
Kirkland, WA (Getty Images)...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Tax hikes to join booming property values in East King County

Property values in select cities in East King County have skyrocketed, leading King County Assessor John Wilson to warn homeowners about noticeable increases in property taxes.
2 days ago
Pike Place...
MyNorthwest Staff

Enraged Pike Place motorist pleads not guilty to assault with a motor vehicle charges

A man arrested for an assault stemming from a Pike Place incident pleads not guilty in King County Superior Court.
3 days ago
tukwila...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Prolific Seattle-area smash-and-grab ATM thieves formerly arrested for murder

60 robberies involving trucks driving into local stores to steal ATMs and cash registers may be solved with the arrest of two men at a Tukwila motel Friday morning.
3 days ago
schools...
Dalton Day

Rival to First Student exposes Seattle Schools’ fumbled bidding war

First Student's competition has accused Seattle Public Schools of “arbitrarily and improperly” awarding a district contract to First Student.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
NRA’s I-1639 lawsuit withdrawn, then refiled with new defendants