The Horror: Bruen is Coming for Washington’s New Gun Control Laws


When a Cowlitz County judge ruled last week that Washington’s ban on high- capacity magazines is unconstitutional, he added one line, on Page 43 of his 55-page opinion, that could just be a little-noticed throwaway, or could prove shockingly prescient.

There are, Judge Gary Bashor wrote, “few, if any, historical analogue laws by which a state can justify a modern firearms regulation.”

The high-capacity magazine ban, Bashor wrote, pointing to U.S. Supreme Court precedent, fails because there are no “relevantly similar” laws from around 1791, when the Second Amendment was adopted.

Bashor’s ruling was immediately placed on hold, and the state’s ban on high-capacity magazines remains in effect, while the state Supreme Court considers the issue.

But it raises a question: Washington has passed a suite of new gun laws in the last decade. If each new law needs a “historical analogue” from 1791-era America, could many more gun laws be at risk?

There were no magazines in 1791, much less high-capacity magazines. So there were no bans on high-capacity magazines.

Washington, last year, banned AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles. Such weapons did not exist in 1791 and so, obviously, weren’t banned.

Washington, this year, banned the carrying of guns in zoos, aquariums and public transit facilities. There were no zoos or buses in 1791 America, so there weren’t bans on carrying guns in those places.

At least a half-dozen lawsuits are pending in Washington, challenging the constitutionality of the state’s gun laws.

— David Gutman in WA has passed lots of new gun laws. Could they be in legal trouble?

5 Responses

    1. -Continued-

      “Unlike its contemporary, muzzle-loading muskets, which required the rifleman to stand up to reload with powder and ball, the shooter could reload a ball from the magazine by pulling a transverse chamber bar out of the breech which allowed a ball to be supplied to it and which then rebounded back to its original position with the aid of a spring, all while lying down.”

      “The air reservoir was in the club-shaped stock. With a full air reservoir, the Girardoni air rifle had the capacity to shoot 30 shots at useful pressure. These balls were effective to approximately 125 yd (114 m) on a full air reservoir. The power declined as the air reservoir was emptied.[12] The air reservoir was similar to the disposable carbon dioxide cartridges used on some modern air guns.”

      Sure sounds like ‘assault to me’…

  1. “There were no magazines in 1791, much less high-capacity magazines. So there were no bans on high-capacity magazines.”

    Actually there were “magazines in 1791” and in a context of greater than 10 ’rounds’ there were ‘high-capacity magazines.’

    It was common for a person to have a supply ‘to carry’ an amount of power, and musket balls (’rounds’) of greater than 10, in a ‘container’ that was sometimes referred to as a ‘magazine’. There were also ‘repeating’ rifles that had a built in magazine, for example, the Girandoni had a built in 20 round magazine (sometimes it was referred to as a ‘hopper’) and a full magazine could be fired in less than 30 seconds.

    “Assault Weapons” Before the Second Amendment – There were a lot more than muskets before the Second Amendment – one firearm even had 30 round magazines >


    A close look at even more high capacity repeating arms from before the Second Amendment was written >

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