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HomeNewsNational NewsFederal Judge Strikes Down Bid to Block Washington Gun Restrictions

Federal Judge Strikes Down Bid to Block Washington Gun Restrictions

A federal judge in Washington state has rejected a legal challenge brought by a pro-gun rights group aimed at halting a new regulation that holds firearm manufacturers accountable for crimes committed with their products. U.S. District Court Judge Mary Dimke dismissed a lawsuit filed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) against Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, seeking to block Senate Bill 5078 from being implemented.

The bill, also known as the Firearm Industry Responsibility & Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice Act, introduces state-level legal liability on Washington’s firearm industry. It enables lawsuits to be filed on behalf of individuals harmed or killed by firearms, and it mandates firearm manufacturers and sellers to implement “reasonable controls” in the production, sale, and distribution of firearms.

The NSSF’s lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of SB 5078, arguing that it unfairly targeted gun makers and distributors, potentially leading to unconstitutional restrictions on lawful gun-related activities. They also contended that the law could circumvent the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which grants immunity to gun makers and sellers from civil suits related to crimes committed with their products.

However, Judge Dimke dismissed the lawsuit, stating that the NSSF failed to present a concrete case or controversy before the court. She dismissed the case without prejudice, leaving room for potential future legal action.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson welcomed the decision, emphasizing that the new law holds the gun industry accountable for its actions and protects Washingtonians from gun violence. Ferguson’s statement highlighted his legal team’s success against the gun lobby in court.

The NSSF did not provide a comment on the judge’s ruling.

SB 5078 is part of a broader trend, with several states including Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and California passing similar legislation. The New York law, in particular, has already withstood a federal court challenge. The NSSF is appealing that decision, with the case ongoing.

By: Montana Newsroom staff

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