MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Gun shop owner sold ‘hundreds’ of these after ban was briefly lifted

Apr 10, 2024, 2:44 PM | Updated: 4:00 pm

Magazines for an AK-47, left, and an AR-15 assault rifle, right, get loaded in 2018 in Utah....

Magazines for an AK-47, left, and an AR-15 assault rifle, right, get loaded in 2018 in Utah. (Photo: George Frey, Getty Images)

(Photo: George Frey, Getty Images)

The Washington State Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments next week on the state’s ban on high-capacity gun magazines.

The case stems from the owner of Gators Custom Guns Inc. in Kelso, Wally Wentz.

State of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued Wentz for violating the law — passed in 2022 — that forbids the distribution of gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.

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“Today’s decision is incorrect and we will immediately file a motion asking the State Supreme Court to keep this public safety law in effect,” Ferguson said in a statement.  “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. This law is constitutional.”

Wentz doesn’t deny that he sold the magazines. In fact, Wentz said his store sold “hundreds” in about two hours before the attorney general requested and was granted a court order that keeps the ban in place until the Supreme Court makes a decision.

“He (the attorney general) can prove by his own words that I sold five standard-capacity magazines to one of his minions at my store—myself, personally, not a subordinate—so, yes,” he explained.

But while supporters of the law say it will help deter mass shootings, Wentz says he believes the ban is unconstitutional.

“And that was a fight worth fighting, in my opinion, so here we are,” he said.

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He won a victory in court on Monday when a Cowlitz County Superior Court judge ruled in his favor.

Wentz, who told KIRO Newsradio his store is usually closed on Monday, quickly opened the doors.

“And a lot of people opined what they thought about this whole subject with their billfolds,” he said. “They bought magazines up the kazoo, young lady.”

Heather Bosch is an award-winning anchor and reporter on KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of her stories here. Follow Heather on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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Gun shop owner sold ‘hundreds’ of these after ban was briefly lifted