The City of Seattle’s new “safe storage” gun requirement has prompted the Second Amendment Foundation and NRA to file a lawsuit that claims it violates the state's pre-emption statute, KOMO-TV reported.
Why was it filed?
Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and executive vice president, said in the report that it appears Seattle is once again trying to pass its own gun laws.
“Seattle seems to think it should be treated differently than any other local government when it comes to firearm regulation,” Gottlieb told the news outlet. "We should not have to repeatedly remind Seattle that they are still part of Washington state and must obey the law.”
Two Seattle residents, both gun owners, are supporting the lawsuit, according to the report.
The lawsuit names Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, the Seattle Police Department and Police Chief Carmen Best.
“While they go to court, kids go to the hospital,” Durkan said. “We can’t prevent every gun death or injury. We can take steps to help prevent tragedies. I am grateful that legal experts who share our commitment to reducing gun violence are standing with us and standing up for safer communities.”
"We will prevail and will continue to push for more protection for our children," Durkan added.
The mayor also wrote on Twitter that the lawsuit will not cause her to be intimidated.
The @NRA decided to sue me and @carmenbest in addition to @CityofSeattle. If they think we are intimidated, they ar… https://t.co/LK33MAIgH2— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@Mayor Jenny Durkan)1532135306.0
The gun storage requirement was passed earlier this year and is set to go into effect in January. It carries fines of up to $10,000 or more if gun owners fail to meet safe storage requirements. The biggest fine is linked to a minor using an unsecured firearm to commit a crime.
What has changed?
The report outlines some of the changes:
- A gun owner must file a police report quickly if a firearm is lost, stolen or used improperly by someone else. Failure to report a gun theft, loss or misuse could result in civil penalties.
- Gun owners could be fined up to $500 for failing to store a firearm in a locked container or to render it unusable to anyone but the owner.
- The fine increases to $1,000 if a minor or prohibited person gets their hands on an unsecured weapon.
- The fine increases to up to $10,000 if a minor or prohibited person uses an unsecured firearm to cause injury, death or commit a crime.
The lawsuit maintains that state law bars cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities from approving gun regulations that exceed the state’s authority.
"The state legislature has sole authority to adopt gun laws including, but not limited to, registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge and transportation of firearms," the SAF stated in a press release announcing the suit.
Seattle’s ordinance came in response to a University of Washington study that claimed nearly 2-in-3 gun-owning households in the state do not safely store their firearms, according to the report.