Well, you cannot win them all, even if the judge is someone appointed by a Republican. In 2018, Washington state, a deep blue bastion, passed laws that raised the age to purchase all firearms to 21 and enacted a universal background check law. It’s been challenged. Local sheriffs vowed not to enforce it over its constitutionality. But on September 1, a decision was handed down. For now, all of these initiatives will stay (via Seattle Times):
Initiative 1639, among other things, raised the legal purchase age of a semiautomatic rifle to 21 and put in place enhanced background checks for their purchase. It also barred the sale of such rifles to out-of-state residents.
While voters passed the measure with nearly 60% support, gun-rights advocates have fiercely opposed it. At the same time, some sheriffs in Washington counties have said they wouldn’t enforce the law because they believed it was unconstitutional.
But U.S. District Court of Western Washington Judge Ronald Leighton cited current federal law banning the sale of handguns to people under 21, as well as state laws going back to the 19th century that have imposed age restrictions on purchases.
“These authorities demonstrate that reasonable age restrictions on the sale, possession, or use of firearms have an established history in this country,” Leighton wrote in the order. “The extension of Washington’s age restrictions” for semiautomatic rifles “is ultimately a distinction without a difference.”
After some sheriffs said they would not enforce the law, Attorney General Bob Ferguson wrote an open letter, saying they could be held liable for refusing to conduct the checks if someone not allowed to buy a gun was able to purchase one and use it for a crime.
In a statement Monday, Ferguson said he was “confident that Washington law enforcement officials will carefully review this ruling from a Bush-appointed federal judge upholding the constitutionality of I-1639.”
This setback showcases that the fight for our Second Amendment rights will never end as long as there are people who are lusting to shred the Bill of Rights. Right now, the Democratic Party is full of them. You probably already know this, but being reminded is never a bad thing. State laws like this are now precedent with this ruling. The fight for gun rights goes hand-in-hand with the war over the judiciary. And as we’ve seen with Chief Justice Roberts on the Supreme Court, while Dubya may have picked some good judges—they’re not all reliable. President Trump will have to finish that task, and he’s already done a solid job with judicial appointments.
The fight isn’t over. We can’t win them all. But onward we go.