The City of Seattle, Washington has had a lawsuit filed against it for the “Safe Storage” gun requirement law, naming Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, the Seattle Police Department, and Chief Carmen Best, reports Komo News. According to the National Rifle Association (NRA), who is suing alongside the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), is claiming this law violates the state’s preemption statute.
Alan Gottlieb, the SAF founder and Executive Vice President has expressed his exasperation and displeasure with the city as they once again try to pass stricter gun laws and regulations. Two Seattle gun-owning residents are also joining the NRA and SAF on the lawsuit against Seattle.
“Seattle seems to think it should be treated differently than any other local government when it comes to firearm regulation,” Gottlieb said. “We should not have to repeatedly remind Seattle that they are still part of Washington state and must obey the law.”
This new gun law — which would go into effect in January if not thwarted — will enact quite a few ordinances, one of which is a hefty fine should residents not safely store their firearms and report any misuses. Seattle’s “Safe Storage” regulations instruct gun owners that they must report to a local police station immediately upon realizing a firearm is lost, stolen, or used improperly by someone besides the gun owner. If they do not, civil penalties will take effect. These fines start at $500 USD if a firearm is not properly stored in a locked container or at least made so that the weapon is not able to be used by anyone besides the gun owner.
In the case that a minor or another person who is prohibited from using firearms uses an unsecured weapon, the fine will double to $1000 USD. What’s more, should that minor or prohibited person use the firearm to kill or injure someone else, or to commit another crime, that fine becomes a whopping $10,000 USD.
SAF spoke with the press, further attempting to drive their point home when announcing their intent to file the lawsuit against the City of Seattle.
“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.”
Their lawsuit, in claiming that the City is violating other laws by exceeding the depth of their authority, states law prohibits cities, towns and counties, or other municipalities from adopting such gun regulations as the new “Safe Storage” regulation.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is not threatened. She and the Seattle Police have reacted publicly to the suit, making their own bold statements, saying they believe the city “will prevail.”
“While they go to court – kids go to the hospital. 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.”
When the ordinance first passed, Durkan said that she and the city see this as the best way to “prevent further tragedies” and believe this regulation to be “the kind of action we need to save lives.” The ordinance was passed after a study from the University of Washington, explained Komo; a study which showed nearly two in three gun-owning households in Washington state do not safely store their firearms.