SAF & NRA Sue Seattle Over Mandatory Storage Ordinance Carrying $10,000 Fine for Noncompliance

(Photo: NRA-ILA)

The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation are suing Seattle over a new ordinance that requires gun owners to secure their firearms in a certain matter or else face fines of up to $10,000.

Unanimously approved by the Seattle City Council earlier this month, the legislation 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.

SAF and NRA are suing on the grounds that it violates the state’s preemption law which gives the legislature the exclusive authority to regulate firearms.  In other words, towns, cities and other municipalities are expressly forbidden from adopting new laws that deal with the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge and transportation of firearms.

“The City of Seattle has been trying to erode state preemption almost from the moment it was passed back in 1985,” recalled SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb in a press release.

“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,” Gottlieb added. “We should not have to repeatedly remind Seattle that they are still part of Washington State and must obey the law.”

Defendants in the suit include Mayor Jenny Durkan, the Seattle Police Department and Chief Carmen Best.

SEE ALSO: Failure to Secure Guns May Lead to $10,000 Fine Under New Seattle Law

Joining SAF and NRA in the lawsuit are two Seattle residents, Omar Abdul Alim and Michael Thyng. Both own firearms.

“Seattle seems to think it should be treated differently than any other local government when it comes to firearm regulation,” Gottlieb observed. “State preemption was adopted more than three decades ago to assure uniformity of gun laws from Ilwaco to the Idaho border. Seattle simply can’t break the law to adopt an ordinance as a political statement.

“We’re delighted to once again be working with the NRA to protect Washington state law and the rights of gun owners who live in the state’s largest city,” Gottlieb concluded.

What’s really troubling about the new ordinance is that gun owners are on the hook even if their secured guns are stolen or obtained illegally.

From the NRA-ILA:

This legislation will restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents by making it illegal for firearms to be kept in a private residence unless the firearms are kept in a “locked container” at all times when not being carried by the owner or other “lawfully authorized user”.  Additionally, it will create a separate offense for an individual that has their firearms stolen or accessed by a minor or prohibited person, even if the firearms were stored in a locked container or obtained through illegal means such as burglary or theft.   A violation of this ordinance can result in up to a $10,000 fine, and would be considered “per se evidence” of negligence in a civil action, even if the firearms were stolen or obtained through other illegal action.

Given the preemption statute, which has been on the books for 35 years, SAF and NRA should have no problem prevailing in this case.  We’ll keep you posted.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • lone gunman July 27, 2018, 9:46 pm

    I would also like to know where was the NRA when they took our right to private sale of firearms a few years back. I use to be an NRA member but dropped them because they only seem to fight for what they believe in and not all my 2nd amendment rights.

    I will be retiring next year and moving to the free state of Idaho. I was born and raised in Washington state but back in the 70’s and then again in the 80’s and again now the commie A-holes from down south are moving here in droves. my only worry is Idaho is next because my brother in law tells me they are now moving there too.

  • Robert Smith July 21, 2018, 9:01 pm

    I am curious as to why the NRA based their suit on the state pre-emption issue rather than 2’nd Amendment. Mandatory gun storage requirements was one of the things the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in the Heller decision.

    • John Bibb July 27, 2018, 12:33 pm

      HI RS–Because the Seattle law is clearly in direct violation of an existing WA state law. This is the fastest way to shut er down.
      John Bibb

  • Jaque July 20, 2018, 10:00 pm

    What the hell is the States AG and Governor doing. Sleeping. We need to fight the communist bastards until the last man standing.

    And this will no doubt encourage other communist mayors to try the same. South Florida is a Communist stronghold and if a Communist is elected as Florida’s next Governor their KGB as in the Florida Sheriffs Association will get their way. Florida will be the next California.

    So prepare accordingly.

  • Bobs your uncle July 20, 2018, 4:02 pm

    How about a $10’000 fine for stealing a firearm? or 10k for criminal misuse? organize crime or gang use? no, they wouldn’t go after them ,they’er dangerous. Those people are just lucky they don’t get as much government as they pay for.

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