Trial date set for late 2023 over large capacity magazine ban in Washington state

Gun Rights

Gun safety advocates rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court before during oral arguments in the Second Amendment case NY State Rifle & Pistol v. City of New York, NY on December 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. Several gun owners and the NRA’s New York affiliate challenged New York City laws concerning handgun ownership and and they contend the city’s gun license laws are overly restrictive and potentially unconstitutional. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A federal judge in Seattle has scheduled a trial in the legal challenge to Washington State’s new ban on high-capacity magazines for late 2023.

The Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation sued the state over the ban on the selling, manufacturing, or importing magazines that hold more than ten rounds. The ban took effect in July 2022.

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The lawsuit cites 2nd and 14th amendment violations in its claim that the ban is unconstitutional and questions what the plaintiffs contend is an arbitrary number of ten rounds.

“Many of the most popular handguns and modern semiautomatic rifles come standard with magazines that hold more than ten rounds,” Second Amendment Foundation Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb told’s Dave Workman when the lawsuit was filed. “Such firearms are legally owned by Washington residents. As we note in the lawsuit, there is no reliable proof that restrictions on new manufacturing or sales of such magazines will reduce violent crime. This law unfairly and arbitrarily penalizes honest citizens for crimes they didn’t commit, in the hopes of preventing crimes they wouldn’t dream of committing.”

However, Democratic State Senator Marko Llias, who sponsored the bill behind the ban, told KIRO Newsradio’s Hanna Scott the standard magazine argument falls flat. Llias now contends that many gun and magazine manufacturers have altered the size of their new standard magazines due to similar laws passed in other states.

Gun safety advocates praised the new law, claiming such magazines are often used in mass shootings and are only intended to kill as many people as possible.

Chief District Judge David G. Estudillao has scheduled the trial to start over a year from now in December 2023. However, there is a chance Washington’s new law could be nullified. The 9th Circuit could find a similar California law unconstitutional in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year that stated more “means-end scrutiny” could not be applied to Second Amendment cases.

That decision opened the door for reexaminating cases that previously failed in lower federal courts, including the California law.

Follow Hanna Scott on Twitter or email her here

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