Washington State ‘High-Capacity’ Magazine Ban Briefly Overturned

The controversial Washington state ban on so-called “high-capacity” magazines was overturned briefly, and gun owners used that opportunity to rush out and replenish their supply of these firearm accessories.

A Cowlitz County judge ruled last week that the ban on these magazines violated the Second Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. This resulted in a quick appeal by Attorney General Bob Ferguson to keep the Washington anti-gun statute effective.

But there was a 90-minute window in which the magazines were rendered legal once again, and a gun shop owner reported that his business sold hundreds before the state Supreme Court granted an emergency stay.

Wally Wentz is the proprietor of Gator’s Custom Guns, located in Kelso. He is one of the plaintiffs who challenged Washington’s prohibition on these popular magazines, and he took advantage of the small window.

Despite his business being scheduled to be closed, Wentz opened his shop and welcomed customers elated over the news. What he encountered was a deluge of shoppers asking what he had in his inventory and how many they could purchase.

One questioned, “Is there a limit?” He simply replied, “What’s the limit on your gold card?”

Wentz reported that he welcomed hundreds of enthusiasts who converged on his business and sold hundreds of magazines during the 90-minute window.

The statewide ban is still in effect — as of now. A hearing is scheduled this week on the prohibition and emergency stay.

AG Ferguson issued the standard gun control mantra that magazine bans save lives and prevent mass shootings. This is widely countered by Second Amendment advocates who prefer to focus on stopping violent criminals and treating mental health disorders.

Wentz said state actions caused him to lose between 30-40% of his gun store’s business. He declared his willingness to pursue justice as high as the Supreme Court.

An appeals court setback will not be the end. “If we do lose in there, we’re going to appeal — just like we knew the state would appeal this week. If we get to those folks in black dresses, it’s going to be a dogfight.”