SMF Response to the Motion to Transfer Venue in HB1705
Hello SMF family! We have several litigation updates for you this week that we will break down case-by-case. We’re talking about 3 separate lawsuits where we’ve challenged the constitutionality of actions taken by the state of Washington: Jay Inslee’s use of emergency powers (SMF v. Inslee, which is on Appeal), HB1705 (John Does v. Washington) and HB1240 (Guardian Arms v. Washington). HB1705 and HB 1240 each restrict gun owner rights. SMF v. Inslee was originally flied in Thurston County, but HB1705 and SHB 1240 were filed in Stevens and Grant County, respectively, but the State has sought to move each case to Thurston County. Our response to the State’s motion change venue in HB 1705 was filed yesterday and is attached below.
Background of HB1705
In March 2022, with the passage of ESHB 1705, the Washington State legislature banned the manufacture, assembly, sale, offer to sell, transfer, or purchase of untraceable firearms (“ghost guns”) after June 30, 2022; the knowing or reckless possession, transportation, or receipt of a ghost gun after March 10, 2023; the sale, offer to sell, transfer, or purchase of an unfinished frame or receiver (non-firearm object, or “NFO”) after June 30, 2022; and the knowing or reckless possession, transportation, or receipt of an NFO after March 10, 2023.
On March 8th, 2023 Silent Majority Foundation filed a petition for a temporary restraining order and injunctive and declaratory relief with this Court. While the TRO was not granted, we did have a win when our request for pseudonymity (the concealing of a plaintiff’s identity) was granted for 3 of our 5 plaintiffs. Subsequently, the State has filed for a change of venue. In a nutshell, we have several issues with the motion for a change of venue.
Our Petitioners are located in Steven’s County, making venue in Steven’s County proper under Washington state law.
The venue is proper under the Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act (a request that the court declare a law invalid).
The State seeks costs for its unwarranted request for change of venue.
Attached below is the entire response for the motion to transfer venue.
We have a hearing on this motion Friday, so be ready for an update no later than this weekend.
Thank you for your continued support!!!!
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