OLYMPIA – A federal judge has upheld Washington Initiative 1639 as constitutional. The judge ruled that the initiative which requires enhanced background checks and waiting periods for the purchase of semiautomatic assault rifle purchases is consistent with the Second Amendment.
Judge Ronald Leighton, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, granted Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s motion for summary judgement. Ferguson said the assault rifle rules are the same as those that have been in place in Washington for handgun purchases.
The judge made the ruling without a trial. The initiative was being challenged by the National Rifle Association and other plaintiffs. They brought suit in 2019. The initiative was passed in 2018, winning just under 60 percent of the popular vote.
Ferguson said if the plaintiffs appeal the ruling his office is ready to fight. “If they choose to appeal, we will beat them again,” he wrote.