Washington state's Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges Washington's gun law. The federal court challenge claims that a new gun law in Washington is unconstitutional. The law, Initiative 594, subjects gun buyers to more extensive background checks prior to the purchase of a gun.
Voters Overwhelmingly in Favor of New Law
According to Ferguson, voters were overwhelmingly in favor of the new law and his office plans to defend its constitutionality in court. He further said that opponents of the initiative have failed to show how the legislation has harmed them. Therefore, he claims that they do not have a case and their lawsuit should be dismissed.
The lawsuit was filed last December by a group of individuals seeking to prevent the enforcement of specific elements of the new gun law. Specifically, opponents contend that part of the law, which covers non-commercial transfer of firearms to private citizens, is unconstitutional. The Tacoma-based federal courthouse will issue its decision on the motion to dismiss later this month.
Challenges to New Legislation Are Common
When significant opposition exists against a new law, challenges like this are to be expected. Sometimes, opponents can make valid arguments in court -- especially when the law seems to push the boundaries of constitutionality. However, Washington state's attorney general makes a valid point in this case regarding the overwhelming support of voters for the measure. If public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of a certain piece of legislation, there is a much higher likelihood that it will withstand challenges in court. That said, if the plaintiffs can prove that the law is indeed unconstitutional, they will prevail.
Only time will tell how this gun control case will pan out, but in recent years, momentum is growing among U.S. citizens to tighten gun control laws and make it more difficult to obtain firearms.
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