Rep. Jim Walsh issues statement on lawsuit filed by attorney general against Kelso gun dealer

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office has filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Gator’s Custom Guns for the sale of high-capacity magazines. The case alleges that the owner of the shop sold high-capacity magazines after a statewide ban went into effect in July 2022.

The recently enacted high-capacity magazine ban is currently being challenged on constitutional grounds in federal court. Senate Bill 5078 prohibits the sale of certain standard-issue pieces of hardware sold with various rifles and pistols that are popular in the United States.

Nineteenth Legislative District Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, issued the following statement regarding the lawsuit:

“The attorney general’s lawsuit against Gator’s Custom Guns is full of overwrought rhetoric and has weaponized a constitutionally dubious state law. The first sentence of the document reads: ‘This lawsuit arises from Gator’s brazen, defiant, and egregious violation of laws designed to safeguard our communities from gun violence.’ It continues, with the unusual step of citing the controversial bill by number: ‘In March 2022, with the passage of SB 5078, the Washington State Legislature banned the distribution, sale, importation, and manufacture of large capacity firearm magazines (LCMs), effective July 1, 2022. RCW 9.41.370 and .375. LCMs are ammunition-feeding devices with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition. RCW 9.41.010(25).’

“Of course, Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution states: ‘The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired….’

“The current state attorney general may have stumbled into a trap by pursuing this action against Gator’s Custom Guns. It’s widely known in Kelso, Longview, Cowlitz County, and other parts of southwest Washington that the owner of Gator’s Guns is a pro-constitution, pro-gun rights activist who would be happy to trigger a legal action that might result in a federal court decisively repealing the law created by the controversial SB 5078. In that context, the attorney general may have done Washington state gun-rights defenders a favor by citing that bill specifically in this lawsuit.”


Washington State House Republican Communications