The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are filing a lawsuit because the City of Seattle has a new gun requirement, “Safe Storage”, which they are claim violates the state’s preemption statute. The suit also names Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, the Seattle Police Department and Chief Carmen Best.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlie,
“Seattle seems to think it should be treated differently than any other local government when it comes to firearm regulation. We should not have to repeatedly remind Seattle that they are still part of Washington state and must obey the law.
Seattle’s safe storage regulation, and the rules on reporting lost and stolen guns, state:
- Safe storage: Guns should be stored in a locked container, and rendered as unusable to any person other than the owner or authorized user.
- Unauthorized access prevention: It will be a civil infraction if a minor, at-risk, or prohibited person obtains a firearm when the owner should have reasonably known they would have access to it.
- Violation of the safe-storage law, or the unauthorized access regulation could result in a fine between $500 and $1,000.
- If a prohibited or at-risk person, or a minor obtains a firearm and uses it to commit a crime, injure or kill someone (including themselves), the gun owner could be fined up to $10,000.
- If a civil case results from prohibited access, it will be “prima facie evidence” that they are negligent. That means it is immediately a fact, unless proven otherwise.
State law prohibits cities, towns, counties or other municipalities from adopting gun regulations that exceed state 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.
Apparently The City of Seattle has been trying to erode state preemption almost from the moment it was passed back in 1985, says Alan M. Gottlieb.
“When the city tried to ban guns from city parks facilities under former mayors Greg Nickels and Mike McGinn, SAF and NRA joined forces with other organizations to stop it, under the state preemption statute”
Gun storage is a person’s own responsibility, it is unreasonable for the government to impose these laws when each individual’s situation is different. There is no consideration for personal circumstances and it invades people’s homes and forces them to render their firearms useless in a self-defense situation by locking them up.
Given the preemption statute, which has been on the books for 35 years, SAF and NRA should have no problem winning this case.