05-18-2024  6:30 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
AP News
Published: 11 April 2024

KELSO, Washington (AP) — A Washington state gun store owner said he sold hundreds of high-capacity ammunition magazines in the short span of time Monday between a judge ruling a ban on the sales unconstitutional and the state filing an emergency appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.

Wally Wentz, owner of Gator's Custom Guns in the small city of Kelso, opened his store Monday when he heard about the ruling, KGW-TV reported. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington. A post on the gun store's Facebook page said the store was adjusting hours to stay open longer and that it would be open daily “UNTIL WE GET TOLD WE CANT SELL MAGS AGAIN.”

Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor ruled that Washington’s ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds violates both the Washington state and U.S. constitutions. He issued an immediate injunction to stop the state from enforcing the ban, which has been in place since 2022.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson then filed an emergency appeal to the state Supreme Court seeking to keep the law in effect during the appeals process. That was granted Monday evening.

Ferguson wrote in his filing that even a temporary pause in the law’s enforcement would likely “unleash a flood” of high-capacity magazines in Washington.

Ferguson and other supporters of the ban say it saves lives and is essential to addressing mass shootings.

Wentz told KGW that he's lost up to 40% of business because of the ban and that he won't hesitate to appeal all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“If we do lose in there, we’re going to appeal — just like we knew the state would appeal this week,” he said. “If we get to those folks in black dresses, it’s going to be a dogfight.”

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