Federal Way Discount Guns violated court order to inventory its high-capacity magazines
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that a King County judge found Federal Way Discount Guns and its owner in contempt of court in Ferguson’s ongoing lawsuit over the retailer unlawfully selling high-capacity magazines. Ferguson filed an enforcement action against Federal Way Discount Guns in December 2022 and the next month the court issued a preliminary injunction blocking the store from selling high-capacity magazines.
The court determined that Federal Way Discount Guns intentionally violated the court’s preliminary injunction granted two months ago.
The preliminary injunction required Federal Way Discount Guns to securely store their remaining high-capacity magazines and provide the Attorney General’s Office with an inventory of those high-capacity magazines. The store violated the court order by failing to give the Attorney General notice of its actions and then refusing to produce an inventory. Instead, contrary to the court’s clear directive, the store claimed that it returned all of its remaining high-capacity magazines to distributors without providing any notice or documentation to the Attorney General’s Office.
The inventory will be relevant to the penalty phase of the Attorney General’s lawsuit. Washington recently adopted high-capacity magazine restrictions prohibiting selling and offering high-capacity magazines for sale. Attorney General Ferguson proposed this law along with Sen. Marko Liias, D-Everett, and others. The law defines high-capacity magazines as magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
“Federal Way Discount Guns defied the terms of a court order, and now will face the consequences of its actions,” Ferguson said.
King County Superior Court Judge Wyman Yip found the store and its owner, Mohammed Reza Baghai, intentionally violated the preliminary injunction the court ordered on Jan. 6 and held Federal Way Discount Guns and Baghai in contempt of court.
Judge Yip ordered the defendants to:
- Provide a list with the name of each distributor and the number of all high-capacity magazines they returned in January, as well as any others they may have returned or destroyed;
- Allow a forensic audit by an independent entity approved by the Attorney General’s Office to review Federal Way Discount Guns’ business records from July 1, 2022 through January; and
- Pay for the independent forensic audit.
If Federal Way Discount Guns violates the terms of the court’s new order, it must pay the Attorney General’s Office $2,000 for each day it fails to comply.
Anyone who suspects a store is selling high-capacity magazines can file a complaint at www.atg.wa.gov/file-complaint.
Ferguson filed a lawsuit in December against Baghai and his store for illegally selling high-capacity magazines despite the ban on such products in our state. The defendants face a maximum penalty of $7,500 every time the store offered a high-capacity magazine for sale and $7,500 every time it illegally sold a high-capacity magazine.
This is Ferguson’s first litigation to enforce the high-capacity magazine sales ban. A second investigation resulted in Lakewood-based WGS Guns paying penalties.
Attorney General’s investigators visited a variety of gun retailers in counties across the state: King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Yakima, Kittitas, Benton and Spokane.
From August to November of this year, investigators visited Federal Way Discount Guns four separate times to purchase high-capacity magazines. The investigators found a wall openly displaying dozens of high-capacity magazines for sale. During each sale made to Attorney General staff, the sales clerk destroyed the record of the sale or made comments to the investigator indicating they knew the sale of the magazines was unlawful.
In one instance, a sales clerk told an investigator that “it’s the nature of the beast” but that he couldn’t provide a receipt because the magazines held “more than 10 rounds.” The sales clerk then crumpled up the sales receipt that was automatically generated from the cash register and threw it in the garbage.
During another visit, the store’s owner, Baghai, personally sold a 30-round magazine for an AR-15 style rifle and a 33-round magazine for a Glock 17 pistol to the investigator and threw the store copy of the receipt into the garbage.
Investigators were able to purchase nine high-capacity magazines from the store over the course of these visits:
- A 50-round drum magazine
- two 30-round magazines for an AR-15 style rifle
- a 33-round magazine for a Glock 17 pistol
- a 22-round Glock pistol magazine
- a 19-round magazine for a Glock 19 pistol
- a 17-round magazine for a Glock 17 pistol
- a 17-round magazine for a Glock 19 pistol
- a 17-round magazine for a Sig Sauer P229 pistol
As of July 2022, it is illegal under Washington state law to manufacture, distribute, sell or offer for sale magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Any violation of the high-capacity magazine ban also constitutes a violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
Washington’s Attorney General serves the people and the state of Washington. As the state’s largest law firm, the Attorney General’s Office provides legal representation to every state agency, board, and commission in Washington. Additionally, the Office serves the people directly by enforcing consumer protection, civil rights, and environmental protection laws. The Office also prosecutes elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and handles sexually violent predator cases in 38 of Washington’s 39 counties. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.firstname.lastname@example.org
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