BELLEVUE, WA – Thursday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez which struck down California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” should have a direct impact on a similar ban in Washington, because both states are in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court, the Second Amendment Foundation says.
“If a gun ban in California is unconstitutional,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb observed, “it is just as unconstitutional in Washington. We are eager to see this case through to what may become a Supreme Court confrontation, because we are confident that we will prevail. People who support gun bans, like California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, are wrong on this important constitutional issue.”
The case is known as Miller v. Bonta, filed by SAF, the San Diego County Gun Owners Political Action Committee, California Gun Rights Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition and four private citizens, including James Miller, for whom the case is named. They are represented by attorneys George M. Lee at Seiler Epstein, LLP and John W. Dillon at the Dillon Law Group, APC.
In his 79-page ruling, Judge Benitez wrote, “While criminals already have these modern semiautomatics, the State prohibits its citizens from buying and possessing the same guns for self-defense. At the same time these firearms are commonly possessed by law-abiding gun owners elsewhere across the country. Guns for self-defense are needed a lot because crime happens a lot. A recent large-scale survey estimates that guns are needed defensively approximately 1,670,000 times a year. Another report, originally commissioned and long cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there are between 500,000 and 3,000,000 defensive gun uses in the United States each year.”
“Judge Benitez’ ruling is a stinging rebuff to the gun prohibition movement,” said SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut. “His detailed discussion of the history of firearms regulation, along with his dismantling of the state’s arguments and assertions of its experts sends a signal that the days when gun banners could simply attack the Second Amendment without challenge are finished. We will take this challenge to the Supreme Court if necessary, as part of our commitment to restore firearms freedom, one lawsuit a time.”