Spokane’s police chief named in federal lawsuit over new gun laws

Spokane’s police chief named in federal lawsuit over new gun laws

The NRA and several other plaintiffs have filed a new claim in federal court, challenging the rules put in place by Initiative 1639. The NRA and others suggest the stricter gun laws violate the Constitution.

An earlier case listing the state of Washington and attorney general Bob Ferguson was dismissed by the plaintiffs earlier this week. The new case lists three individuals who would be charged with enforcing provisions of the law, including Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl.

The case lists Chief Meidl and Clark County Sheriff Charles Atkins as defendants. That’s because they have the authority to revoke licenses for gun dealers who violate state laws regarding firearms.

Two of the plaintiffs in the case reside in the jurisdictions those men represent, including Robin Ball, who owns Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop in Spokane.

The suit also names Teresa Berntsen, who is the director of the Washington Department of Licensing.

Initiative 1639, passed by Washington voters last November, creates some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including a provision that restricts certain gun sales to people under the age of 21.

“Plaintiffs allege that a reasonable opportunity for discovery will show that Meidl intends to enforce relevant state laws governing the sale of firearms, including revoking the licenses of dealers, including Ball, who will sell self-loading rifles in violation of I-1639,” the case claims.

The suit also says one of the other plaintiffs in the case tried to buy a self-loading rifle from Ball last week. The suit claims Ball would not sell that rifle to him because he’s only 19. The suit claims that 19-year old, Nathaniel Casey, was harmed by Washington’s law banning the sales of those rifles.

“Casey is unable to exercise his right under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution to purchase a firearm that is in common use for lawful purposes in Washington and the United States.”

It also says Ball was harmed by not being able to complete that sale because she lost the profit she would have gained from it.

The plaintiffs, which also includes the Second Amendment Foundation, say the enforcement of I-1639 will deprive them of their civil rights.

They want the law declared unconstitutional.