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Silent Majority Foundation to argue to dissolve stay in Gators Custom Guns case

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(The Center Square) – On Wednesday afternoon, Commissioner of the Washington Supreme Court Michael Johnson will consider a temporary hold issued by him on Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor’s ruling last week saying the state’s high-capacity magazine ban was unconstitutional.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso in September, alleging the establishment offered to sell high-capacity magazines 11,408 times since July 2022 – when it became illegal under state law to manufacture, distribute, sell or offer for sale gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Bashor’s ruling blocked – for some 88 minutes before the state Supreme Court intervened – Washington authorities from enforcing the law, allowing for restoration of sales of high-capacity magazines.

Ferguson’s office argues allowing the sale of large capacity magazines puts the public in danger.

“This law is constitutional,” Ferguson said in a news release following Bashor’s ruling. “It is also essential to addressing mass shootings in our communities. This law saves lives, and I will continue to defend it.”

Pete Serrano’s Silent Majority Foundation is representing Gator’s Custom Guns owner Wally Wentz in court.

Wednesday afternoon’s arguments are before Johnson, “and the only question is whether or not the stay of the injunction should remain in place,” Serrano said.

He went on to note, “Commissioner Johnson is the one who put the emergency stay in place, and really there are two questions for him to answer: Whether or not the stay is necessitated by the facts where he said it was a public health emergency and whether or not the stay would impact downwind litigation.”

Asked if a decision on the stay is expected, Serrano replied, “He could rule from the bench, but I think that’s quite unlikely. I suspect he would take a couple of days and then knock out a more substantial ruling than what he offered last week.”

Serrano explained, “The state still has the impetus to overcome the injunction itself and the state has already filed its notice to appeal the case on the merits. Fifty-give pages of solid analysis from the judge in Cowlitz County is going to make it a very interesting case when it gets to arguing the merits before the State Supreme Court.”

The case, according to Serrano, is most likely going to bypass the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“There’s no reason to put this in federal court, aside from the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said. “We can petition directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I don’t know why they would want us to go through the 9th Circuit, so I foresee it going directly there.”

Wednesday’s hearing is set for 3:30 p.m. and can be watched here.