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Washington Gun Shop Sells Out Amid Legal Battle

Holland McKinnie
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In a display of dedication to the Constitution and rapid response, a Washington State gun shop sold hundreds of high-capacity magazines within a mere 90 minutes — a short window between a local judge’s overturning of a ban and the state Supreme Court’s reinstatement of it. This legal seesaw occurred last Monday and involved Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, managed by owner Wally Wentz.

Wentz, who has been actively following the state’s 2022 high-capacity magazine ban, moved quickly to act following the order issued by Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor. The judge’s ruling found the ban unconstitutional under state and federal law and issued an immediate injunction against its enforcement. Wentz opened his store on an off day and humorously branded it “magazine day,” as he announced on his store’s Facebook page and to local news outlets.

Customers rushed in, greeted by the opportunity to purchase the magazines they had been denied under the ban. Wentz told KGW-TV, “A flow of constant ‘thank yous,’ ‘Do you have this?’ ‘Do you have that?’” were some of the questions he fielded. 

When one customer asked, “How many can I have?” Wents responded, “What’s your limit on your gold card?”

Despite this burst of activity, the window was brief. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson swiftly responded with an emergency appeal to the Washington Supreme Court, which paused the judge’s order. This reinstated the ban, closing the short-lived opportunity for buyers and sellers of these magazines.

Reflecting on the economic impact of the ban, Wentz estimated a significant loss in business, a downturn of about 40%. His readiness to escalate the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary signifies the stakes involved and the broader national implications of his case. “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,” Wentz said.

The flash sale illustrates the practical challenges of enforcing such bans and the strong public response to perceived government overreach. The claims about the alleged effectiveness of magazine capacity limits on reducing gun violence are not supported by the evidence. Furthermore, these types of laws restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens in direct violation of the Second Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen.


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