The Seattle City Council unanimously approved legislation this week that forces gun owners to store their firearms in a particular manner. Failure to comply may result in a civil infraction and a fine of up to $10,000.
The bill also requires gun owners to report any lost or stolen firearm to authorities within 24 hours. Failure to do so may result in a civil infraction and a fine of up to $1,000.
Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan applauded the action as a way to “save lives.”
“This is the kind of action we need to save lives. While we can’t prevent every gun death or injury, we can take steps to help prevent future tragedies,” said Mayor Durkan in a press release.
“We know that unsecured, unsafely stored guns help fuel this crisis of violence because they are more likely to cause accidents, fall into the wrong hands, or be used in suicides. Requiring that gun owners responsibly store their guns can help make our communities safer places to live. In the coming weeks, I will sign this legislation into law– and we will keep acting to prevent tragedies,” she continued.
Under the impending law, gun owners must secure all firearms in locked containers when they are not under their control or carried on their person.
“Safe storage is a core element of responsible gun ownership,” said City Attorney Pete Holmes. “It’s been an honor to work with Mayor Durkan and the City Council to develop this common-sense gun safety legislation meant to save lives. The status quo clearly hasn’t kept guns out of the hands of children or other unauthorized users.”
The law will take effect 180 days after Mayor Durkan signs it. But maybe not. Gun-rights activists are currently making moves to upend this misguided storage mandate.