Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Wednesday announced his office has filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Federal Way Discount Guns for allegedly selling so-called “high capacity” magazines which are prohibited by state law adopted earlier this year.
The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court. Ferguson, a Democrat and longtime gun control proponent, said in a news release, “Our sweep confirmed that the overwhelming majority of gun retailers in Washington are doing the right thing and complying with the law. In contrast, Federal Way Discount Guns chose to violate a law that makes our communities safer. We will continue to proactively enforce this law, and take action against anyone who illegally sells high-capacity magazines.”
Ferguson’s office had conducted a statewide sweep of gun stores from August to November in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Yakima, Kittitas, Benton and Spokane counties.
According to MyNorthwest.com, the sweep involved 25 firearms dealers, with undercover investigators posing as “prospective buyers.” Investigators visited the Federal Way store four times during the course of their investigation, the story said.
KATU News said store owner Mohammed Reza Baghai and the store could “face a maximum penalty of $7,500 every time the store offered a high-capacity magazine for sale and $7,500 every time it illegally sold a high-capacity magazine.”
According to a news release from Ferguson’s office, “The investigators found a wall of dozens of high-capacity magazines openly displayed for sale. During each sale made to Attorney General’s staff, the sales clerk destroyed the record of the sale or made comments to the investigator indicating they knew the sale of the magazines was unlawful.”
The investigation was launched two months after the Second Amendment Foundation and several partners filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ban, and naming Ferguson as a defendant, along with Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste, King County Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall, Kitsap County Sheriff John Gese, Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, Kitsap County Prosecutor Chad M. Enright and Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Katie Svoboda.
Joining SAF in in the lawsuit are the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., a California-based group; Rainier Arms, LLC and a private citizen, Gabriella Sullivan. They are represented by attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and William V. Bergstrom with Cooper & Kirk PLLC in Washington, D.C., Cody J. Wisniewski at the Mountain States Legal Foundation, and locally by Joel Ard at Ard Law Group. The case is known as Sullivan v. Ferguson.
Only one other gun store is alleged to have sold the prohibited magazines, Ferguson’s office said. Under the law, which took effect in July, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, sell or offer for sale magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.