WA Judge: Come Back When You’ve Been Arrested

posted on May 9, 2015

A federal judge has dismissed a suit against Washington’s Initiative 594, which imposes background checks on every gun transfer, because plaintiffs hadn’t yet been prosecuted for violating the law. I-594 supporters cited the ruling as proof that gun owners should give up and go home.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle wrote, “Plaintiffs explicitly concede that they have no intention of violating I-594, plaintiffs have failed to allege any specific warning or threat to initiate a prosecution, and plaintiffs have failed to allege any history of past prosecution or enforcement of I-594. Therefore … the court concludes that plaintiffs have failed to show a genuine or imminent threat of prosecution …”

Because those lawful gun owners won’t even break a bad law, they will have to wait until arrested for an unwitting violation—and their lives devastatingly impacted—before they can assert their rights.

An appeal is expected.

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