Federal Way Discount Guns will face penalties, pay state’s costs and fees
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that a King County judge found Federal Way Discount Guns and its owner, Mohammed Reza Baghai, violated state law when they sold 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.
King County Superior Court Judge Wyman Yip granted Ferguson’s motion for partial summary judgment, agreeing that Federal Way Discount Guns and Baghai each violated Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. Federal Way Discount Guns and Baghai did not contest that they sold at least 2,600 high-capacity magazines in the months before Ferguson filed suit. The exact number of violations and total penalties will be determined later.
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. Judge Yip also ordered Federal Way Discount Guns to pay the state’s costs for bringing the lawsuit.
“Federal Way Discount Guns chose to violate a law that makes our communities safer,” Ferguson said. “Today’s ruling is an important step toward holding them accountable.”
Federal Way Discount Guns are still in contempt of court for intentionally violating the court’s preliminary injunction to store its remaining high-capacity magazines and provide the Attorney General’s Office with an inventory of those magazines. 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. As a result, Judge Yip found the store in contempt, and ordered a forensic audit. That audit is still ongoing.
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.
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.email@example.com
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