Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Washington State’s I-594 On Vagueness Grounds

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit in Federal court against portions of Washington State’s Initiative 594. The suit charges that the new law infringes on the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution as well as on portions of the Washington State Constitution.

They also allege that the new law is so vague that, “a person of ordinary intelligence cannot understand its scope, which renders it subject to arbitrary enforcement.” They go on to add, “The agencies of the State of Washington have so far either disclaimed the responsibility to interpret I-594 or provided interpretations that are so far removed from the language as to be useless.”

The business plaintiffs include the Northwest School of Safety, Puget Sound Security, Inc., Pacific Northwest Association of Investors, and the Firearms Academy of Seattle. The individual plaintiffs include SAF’s Alan Gottlieb, CalGun’s Gene Hoffman, the Gottlieb Revocable Family Living Trust, Andrew Gottlieb, Daryl Lee, CCRKBA’s legislative director Joe Waldron, and Xee Del Real. SAF is also a party to the suit.

The suit names Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the Attorney General’s Office, and the head of the Washington State Patrol as the defendants. The suit seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction against the enforcement of I-594’s amendments to RCW 9.41 as it relates to:

non-commercial transfers of firearms to private citizens who are otherwise qualified
to possess firearms, or otherwise enforcing any policies, rules, or procedures prohibiting or
otherwise restricting the non-commercial transfer of firearms to private citizens who are
otherwise qualified to possess firearms.

 The suit entitled Northwest School of Security el al v Ferguson et al is being brought in US District Court for the Western District of Washington. A copy of the complaint can be found here.

The release from SAF is below:

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Tacoma, seeking a permanent injunction against enforcement of portions of Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure that took effect Dec. 4, alleging that “portions of I-594…are so vague that a person of ordinary intelligence cannot understand their scope,” and that other parts violate the Second Amendment outright.

Joining SAF in this action are the Northwest School of Safety, Puget Sound Security, Inc., the Pacific Northwest Association of Investors, the Firearms Academy of Seattle, six individual citizens including SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb and the Gottlieb Family Trust. They are represented by Seattle attorneys Steven Fogg and David Edwards, and Bellevue attorney Miko Tempski.

Named as defendants are Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, in their official capacities.

“We took this action due to the confusing and arbitrary language and nature of I-594,” Gottlieb explained. “Three of our plaintiffs, including my son, are residents of other states and cannot legally borrow handguns for personal protection while traveling in Washington. Under I-594, all transfers must be done through federally-licensed firearms dealers, but under federal law, dealers cannot legally transfer handguns to residents of other states. I-594 also essentially prohibits our non-resident plaintiffs from storing their own firearms here.

“This measure effectively infringes upon, if not outright prohibits, the exercise of their constitutionally-protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment,” he added.

Gottlieb pointed to a recent directive from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to its volunteer hunter education instructors regarding firearms transfers in class that amount to “straw-man transfers.” The lawsuit also notes that the State Patrol said it could not prove that a change of possession not covered by an I-594 exemption was a “transfer,” making enforcement of the new law “difficult if not impossible.”

“We’re not trying to stop background checks,” Gottlieb said. “We’re taking action against a poorly-written and unconstitutionally vague measure that criminalizes activities that are perfectly legal anywhere else in the country, thus striking at the very heart of a constitutionally-protected, fundamental civil right.”

I Don’t Think ABC’s David Muir Will Be Visiting These Folks In Georgia

ABC News’ anchor David Muir has been in charge of a series called “Made in America”. I’m guessing it has run for at least the last couple of years. I will give credit where credit is due – it has focused attention on the plight of US manufacturing and especially the small manufacturer. For example, after they pointed out the US Olympic Team that was outfitted with clothing made in China, the embarrassment brought some changes.

In the search for stuff that is still “Made in America”, I’ve always thought that they should do a story on that quintessential product that is still made on our shores – the firearm. However on second thought, given it is David Muir, perhaps we can skip that.

I came across a video this morning from a Georgia company called Armageddon Gear. They manufacture everything from slings to rifle cases to chest rigs for the AK. The promo video discusses how they make their products and then how they take the time to make sure their employees understand how the gear is used.

I just don’t see the well-coifed David Muir in his skinny jeans going down to Buena Vista, Georgia to go shooting with this group of bad-ass grannys.


There is a new Twitter hashtag that is gaining currency thanks to the thin skins of the gun prohibitionists. It is #ImBlockedByShannonWatts. It got started after Shannon Watts tweeted that she was blocked by the National Rifle Association. You can see one of the many retweets of it below.

It turns out that Shannon Watts and her fellow gun prohibitionists are not so pristine when it comes to blocking opponents. Over the past few years, I found myself blocked first by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) and then by Sarah Brady as you can see below.

I had been following Shannon Watts for a number of months now. It helps to keep an eye on the opposition and she (or some minion) seems to be quite active on Twitter. After seeing the #ImBlockedByShannonWatts hashtag on a tweet by Bob Owens of Bearing Arms, I got curious. Lo and behold I have made the esteemed company of those blocked by Shannon Watts! As a mere blogger I find this extremely gratifying.

Not only has Shannon blocked me but so has Moms Demand Action.

The background for the Moms Demand Action Twitter page happens to be from their little (and I do mean little) gathering in Indianapolis during the NRA Annual Meeting. That is when she refused to talk with Dana Loesch about derogatory remarks made against Dana by her. This is when she was also seen with “men in black” hired guns provided by Bloomberg.

I’m also blocked by Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors.

Not wanting to feel left out, the Brady Campaign has also blocked me.

About the only other major, and I use that term loosely, gun prohibitionist organization that hasn’t blocked me is the Violence Policy Center. Not that I’ll ever agree with them but at least they have the courage of their convictions and don’t block their opponents.

I think the NRA made a mistake by blocking Shannon Watts. The move reinforces her aura of being “just a stay-at-home mom” working for “gun safety”. She is neither just a stay-at-home mom nor working for gun safety. She is the corporate shill for a meddling billionaire politician who wants to abrogate our constitutional rights.

I would encourage any gun rights activist who is active on Twitter to check to see if he or she is blocked by Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) or any of the gun prohibitionists organizations. If so, let the world know it by using the hashtag above. What Watts will call “bullying”, I would call the truth.

It Feels Right

Chris Muir at Day by Day Cartoon, as per usual, nails it. He calls out lefty filmmaker (and gun law violator) Rajina Sincic and Americans for Responsible Solutions as well as those SJW* who continue to perpetuate the U.Va. rape hoax story.

Courtesy of Chris Muir

After reading this cartoon, I have this running through my head! Listen at your own risk.

*SJW = Social Justice Warrior – I had to look up this acronym a few weeks ago after seeing it used frequently on Facebook. Those darn kids and their newfangled acronyms!

Panteao Productions Added As New Sponsor

When I first started this blog in 2010, I was very reluctant to add any advertising. Over time my thinking changed. I saw that by adding selected sponsors I could raise money for pro-Second Amendment groups. I started with Lucky Gunner and have since added When the Balloon Goes Up and Amazon. While the money raised hasn’t been overwhelming, it has resulted in significant donations towards pro-Second Amendment work.

Today I am adding Panteao Productions. They produce some of the best firearms training DVDs around. I have bought several of their Make Ready with the Experts DVDs over the last few years. Recently, they have added a subscription service to streaming videos as well as have expanded to Make Ready to Survive which emphasizes preparedness.

You can see the link below the Blog Archive.

Remember, it costs you nothing extra to purchase a Panteao DVD or subscription through this blog. However, each time you do purchase something, that means a not insignificant portion of your dollar goes to supporting the Second Amendment.

Panteao is currently offering many of their Make Ready with Experts DVDS at 30-50% off. Moreover, they are discounting their annual subscriptions by 25%. This gives you access to ALL of their videos.

What Would Milo Think?

My best friend was a Cuban-American.

I first met Emilio Rodriguez in grad school at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1979. We were both students in the political science doctoral program. He in International Relations and me in Public Administration and Public Policy. He went on to get his PhD from Carolina while I got a wife and no degree. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to my late first wife Rosanne.

Milo went on to teach at the University of South Alabama, the American College of Switzerland, and finally at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland where he made an indelible mark on his students. He was leading a semester trip abroad in 2008 to Ireland  when he passed away from complications related to his kidney and pancreas transplant. Even now as I write this I am getting a lump in my throat and my eyes are moist.

Milo with his wife Amy, son John, and daughter in law Michelle.

While Milo was born in New Orleans to a Cuban dad and American mom, he spent much of his youth before the Cuban Revolution living in Havana. He had no love for Castro and the Communists.

Photo by Burt Glinn, Magnum Photos

I will always remember the stories Milo told about what it was like when the Communists came to power. The story that always resonated with me was about how they took his toy trains when he was an eight year old. They took them because Milo’s family wasn’t part of the proletariat.

What kind of people take a kid’s toy trains in the name of La Revolución.

Now that Barack Obama has unilaterally re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba, I wonder what Milo would think. Milo was a pro-military, pro-gun kinda-liberal college professor who grew up in Miami and Madrid. He enjoyed Duke basketball, good cigars, good Scotch and cognac, military re-enacting, and girl watching. He may have said it was time or he may have said, “hell, no!”. And frankly, I’ll never know. As for me, I’m trending towards the “hell, no!” response so long as any Castro is alive and in power.

I’ll See Your Murthy And Raise You A McSally

The various gun prohibitionist groups were quick to claim victory over the confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy as the Surgeon General of the United States.

Mark Kelly (aka Mr. Gabby Giffords) said of the confirmation of Murthy that:

Tonight, the United States Senate did the responsible thing: It stood up to the gun lobby, stood up for common sense, and voted to ensure that the United States has a qualified medical professional as its top doctor.

Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign, was even more bombastic in his proclamations about Murthy’s confirmation:

“This is a huge victory for Brady and for the public health and safety of our nation. Now we have a Surgeon General who recognizes that gun violence is a serious public health issue that America urgently needs to address,” said Dan Gross, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “This victory represents a major triumph over the corporate gun lobby ‘lap dogs’ in the Senate who fought to defeat Dr. Murthy’s confirmation on behalf of their billion-dollar benefactors…

Gross adds, “Dr. Murthy’s confirmation is part of an exciting, growing trend of victories for the American public over the interests and influence of the corporate gun lobby. In the recent elections, the voters of Washington state demonstrated where the American public stands on this issue by overwhelmingly passing expanded background checks. The American people know that gun violence is a public health issue and they support sensible measures to reduce gun deaths and injuries.”

PR professional mom Shannon Watts was not to be denied either. While Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors had nothing on their official web page, they did say this on their Facebook page:

Yesterday the Senate stood up to the gun lobby and confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General.

The NRA strongly opposed Dr. Murthy because he dared to acknowledged that gun violence is a public health threat.Yesterday the Senate stood up to the gun lobby and confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General.

The gun lobby has spent decades trying to quash research into the causes and cures for gun violence–because the less we know about gun violence, the more the gun lobby can dictate public health policy.

Even the lesser lights of the gun prohibitionist groups had to put in their two cents. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) called it a “historic rebuke to the NRA”. Meanwhile, the Violence Policy Center’s Kristen Rand said “we applaud every senator who stood up to the gun lobby.”

Murthy was going to be Surgeon General even if the lame ducks hadn’t turned their back on their constituents and voted to confirm him. I have no doubt that Murthy would have been an another of President Obama’s recess appointments.

While the gun prohibitionists have been exceedingly vocal over Murthy’s confirmation, they have been equally as quiet over an event that happened yesterday. With the recount having been concluded in Arizona’s Second Congressional District, Col. Martha McSally (USAF-Ret) was declared the winner by 167 votes over Democrat incumbent Ron Barber. She actually picked up six votes in the recount.

Lest anyone forget, McSally now represents Gabby Giffords’ former congressional district. She ran on a pro-gun, balance the budget, and secure the borders platform. She was rated AQ and endorsed by the NRA-PVF.

Americans for Responsible Solutions waged a vicious campaign against McSally and still lost. They spent $2,007,611.68 in ads and mailings opposing McSally. This amount is just a little less than what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent attacking McSally. ARS spent an additional $238,584 in support of Barber. This was a personal battle for Giffords and Kelly and they lost.

By contrast, “the corporate gun lobby” in the form of the NRA-Political Victory Fund spent the magnificent sum of $14,068.79 in support of McSally.

According to the Arizona Republic, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly did respond to McSally’s electoral victory.

Giffords’ group was criticized for running an ad that implied McSally didn’t support gun background checks that might have prevented a woman from being murdered by a stalker. The group pulled the ad off the air after McSally said she had been a victim of stalking and supported banning stalkers from buying guns.

Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, said after McSally’s victory was announced that they were glad the campaign included a debate over guns.

“We commend her for defying the corporate gun lobby on this important public-safety issue, and look forward to working with her to craft and help pass this badly needed legislation,” Giffords and Kelly said in a written statement.

The National Rifle Association cast McSally’s win as a rebuke to gun-control groups like Giffords’.

“Martha stood on principle and supported our constitutional freedoms, despite being relentlessly attacked by the gun-control movement,” NRA Political Victory Fund Chairman Chris W. Cox said in a statement. 

The response of Giffords and Kelly is not on the Americans for Responsible Solutions website and was probably the bare minimum they could do without looking like sore losers. As to the rest of the gun prohibitionists, no comment. I have checked all the usual suspects – their own websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter – and can’t find a thing.

Rep.-elect McSally, a former A-10 Warthog pilot with combat hours, has been appointed to serve on the House Armed Services and House Homeland Security committees.

Comparing the appointment of Murthy with the election of McSally, I submit that McSally can make more of a difference. Murthy’s position is primarily symbolic. The office of the Surgeon General no longer holds the power that it once had. To expect Murthy to make any pronouncement on any subject including guns without first checking with the White House is unrealistic. Moreover, his actual experience as a practicing physician is virtually nil. He is more of a politician and manager.

By contrast, McSally, while one of 435, does have a vote, can craft and submit legislation, and is under no obligation to coordinate with Speaker John Boehner on anything. Moreover, by virtue of her 26 years as a serving officer in the Air Force and her committee memberships, she should have an impact on both defense issues and border security.

While I could be wrong about the relative impacts of Murthy and McSally, I don’t think so. If you think I’m wrong in my assessment, let me know in the comments.

Christmas Comes Early In California

Christmas came early for the CalGuns Foundation and its attorneys. Late yesterday, US District Court Judge Anthony Ishii awarded them attorney’s fees and court costs in Sylvester v. Harris. This is the case that challenged California’s 10-day waiting period as applied to certain classes of individuals. Judge Ishii had earlier found that the waiting period was unconstitutional as applied to those who possess California carry permits or own one firearm and have a “Certificate of Eligibility”.

In determining the amount due for attorneys’ fee, Judge Ishii considered the motions from both the plaintiffs and the defendants. For the senior attorneys, he ordered an hourly amount that was lower than requested but higher than what the California Department of Justice thought proper. As to the junior attorneys, he actually raised the hourly rate above what was requested by the plaintiffs.

The only unfortunate thing about this award of attorneys’ fees is that it won’t come out of Kamala Harris’ personal bank account. It will be paid by the taxpayers of California. But hey, if you continue to elect people like Harris and the rest of her ilk, that is what you can expect.

Kudos To Ronnie Barrett And His Company

I came across this little tidbit today courtesy of Hershel at The Captain’s Journal.

Barrett Firearms has signed a contract to export rifles to the Ukrainian state-run defense company Ukroboronprom.

From SputnikNews:

KIEV, December 12 (Sputnik) – The Ukrainian state-run defense concern Ukroboronprom said Friday its subsidiary Ukrinmash had signed a deal on small arms delivery with US Barrett Firearms.

“The representatives of company Ukrinmash – the leading exporter of the Ukroboronprom state concern – signed a contract with Barrett Firearms. Weapons will be delivered for the needs of Ukraine’s Security Service and National Guard,” Ukroboronprom said on its website.

Earlier, Ukrinmash has struck deals with another US company ATN, manufacturer of night vision optics and thermal imaging, and Thales Group, a French space, defense and security firm.

Barrett Firearms specializes in designing and manufacturing large-caliber rifles for the US military, law enforcement agencies, and civilian sport shooters in the United States and more than 73 other countries.

I’m glad to see Barrett, ATN, and the Thales Group are helping Ukraine stand up to Russian hegemony. I wish the US government had as much backbone as Ronnie Barrett.