In just the past few days we’ve seen the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rule against the ATF’s bump stock ban and a federal judge in Illinois grant an injunction against the state’s prohibition on “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines, so it’s odd (to say the least) timing for the Washington Post to run a big article predicated on the idea that blue state attorneys general are racking up win after win in the courts when it comes to defending gun control laws.
Despite the Post‘s boasting in its Sunday edition that “Democratic AGs are using the courts to win on gun control, abortion“, the paper’s reporters cite zero court cases to back up their claims. Instead, a more accurate headline would be “Democrat AGs lobby Democrat lawmakers for more gun control”, since that’s what the paper actually describes.
For Bob Ferguson, the Democratic attorney general of Washington state, the seventh time proved to be the charm.
For six years, Ferguson pushed a ban on assault-style weapons in Washington’s legislature. Each year, the proposal failed to make it out of committee — until this one. In April, the legislature passed the bill and Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed it into law.
Ferguson said the “tragic drumbeat” of mass shootings played a role in boosting public support for the measure. And the Democratic base has become younger and more liberal since he first proposed the ban, he said.
“The political aspect of it has been turned on its head,” Ferguson said. “The voters in Washington now want to ban assault weapons, they want to ban high-capacity magazines. That change definitely occurred.”
Ferguson is one of several Democratic attorneys general moving aggressively on key social policy issues to blunt Republican initiatives across the country designed to loosen gun restrictions, outlaw abortion and curtail the rights of transgender residents.
Ferguson hasn’t won a damn thing in court when it comes to the state’s new gun ban, even though that’s the thrust of the WaPo headline. The paper’s anti-gun bias is even more apparent when reporter Scott Wilson turned his attention to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
In Oregon, Rosenblum is addressing gun control, abortion guarantees and transgender rights, the three most pressing national social policy issues.
Now in her third term, Rosenblum is lobbying hard for a package of gun-control measures in the legislature that would ban “ghost guns,” firearms without serial numbers that are extremely difficult to trace, and raise the age limit for possessing a gun from 18 to 21 years old.
Again the paper points to an AGs lobbying efforts instead of any actual court decisions; an even more egregious error (or outright bias) given that Rosenblum has been turned away by both a county judge and the Oregon Supreme Court in her attempt to allow the state’s Measure 114 to be fully enforced while litigation continues.
Wilson could have pointed to U.S. District Judge Karen Immergut’s bizarrely-reasoned decision to allow the state’s ban on “large capacity” magazines to remain in effect, but if he did that he’d also have to acknowledge the contradictory opinions by a Harney County judge as well as the decision by the state Supreme Court to allow that judge’s injunction to remain in place. Rather than report what’s actually happening in courtrooms around the country, the paper spun a fantastical headline of imagined legal victories for anti-gun AGs.
That falsehood may be reassuring to many of their readers, but it bears little resemblance to realities of the post-Bruen legal environment. Gun owners and Second Amendment groups aren’t winning every challenge they’re bringing forward, but we’re winning far more than we’re losing at the moment, and the bans that Ferguson and Rosenblum have lobbied for in the past are on thin legal ice going forward.
That’s the real story when it comes to Democrat attorneys general and their efforts to keep infringements on the books, but you’d never know it if you get your “news” from the pages of the Washington Post and its anti-2A editors who are willing to substitute fiction for facts in their coverage of the fight over the future of our right to keep and bear arms.