State Supreme Court rules against Edmonds gun storage ordinance

State Supreme Court rules against Edmonds gun storage ordinance

EDMONDS, Wash., April 27, 2022 – The Supreme Court of Washington unanimously affirmed a state Court of Appeals decision on Thursday, April 21, that a City of Edmonds ordinance regarding gun storage is pre-empted by state law. After a robust debate following a mass shooting at nearby Marysville Pilchuck High School, the Edmonds City Council, led by then Council President now Mayor Mike Nelson, adopted an ordinance on July 24, 2018, requiring gun owners to secure firearms with a locking device when not in use. Violations of ordinance 4120 (codified as Edmonds City Code chapter 5.26), would range from $500 if a minor, at-risk person, or a prohibited person gained access to the firearm, to a fine of $10,000 if the firearm is used to commit a crime, injure or cause death to themselves or others. At around the same time Washington voters enacted Initiative 1639 which, among other things, criminalizes unsafe storage of firearms but in more limited circumstances than Edmonds’ ordinance, specifically not mandating how or where a firearm must be stored. Shortly after, Edmonds resident Brett Bass, Program Manager of Forefront Suicide Prevention, Bellevue Gun Club instructor and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was approached by Alan Gotlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), about serving as plaintiff in a lawsuit against the city . “The city knew it was illegal. The city did not have the authority to make the rule. They even said it would not stand up to a lawsuit,” Bass told the […]

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