Challenge to Washington|Gun Law Is a Dud

     TACOMA, Wash. (CN) – A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that challenged a Washington state law expanding criminal background checks for gun sales.
     Washington voters approved Initiative 594 in November 2014. It took effect in December, requiring criminal background checks on all purchases and transfers of guns in the state.
     Among other things, the law requires gun dealers to receive written confirmation from law enforcement that a purchaser is eligible to buy a gun.
     Five groups and six people sued the Washington attorney general on Dec. 30, claiming I-594 violated the Second Amendment. Lead plaintiff Northwest School of Safety claimed the law criminalized transfer of guns, infringing on “a host of Second Amendment rights.”
     Those infringements include “the right to share a firearm for self-defense, the right to teach and learn hands-on firearm safety, the right to the return of a loaned firearm, and the right to take possession of a firearm when already licensed to do so by the State,” the complaint said.
     U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on May 7 granted Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s motion to dismiss. Settle said the plaintiffs did not show a real threat of prosecution regarding the gun law’s transfer provision.
     “Plaintiffs do assert a brief argument that they are injured because they have to pay the transfer fee at a licensed dealer and wait a certain time period before a transfer is completed,” Settle wrote.
     “The Court, however, declines to conclude that this is sufficient injury for at least two reasons. First, the alleged injury is hypothetical because plaintiffs have failed to allege that any named plaintiff has actually paid the fee and/or has been subjected to the wait period.”
     Second, Settle wrote, the claim “that the fee is too much or that the wait period is too long is unlikely to result in a conclusion that I-594 is facially unconstitutional in all respects.”
     Plaintiff Alan Gottlieb, head of the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, said the plaintiffs are considering an appeal to the 9th Circuit.

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