Washington state Supreme Court: State law preempts Edmonds’ gun storage ordinance

Washington state Supreme Court: State law preempts Edmonds' gun storage ordinance

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Editor’s note: The above video on Gov. Inslee signing law tightening guns laws originally aired March 23, 2022. The Washington state Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that a city ordinance requiring that guns be locked up and kept out of unauthorized hands is pre-empted by state law. The ruling affirmed a three-judge state of appeals ruling last year in the case sparked by a lawsuit filed by three residents against the city of Edmonds after the city approved an ordinance in July 2018 requiring residents to lock up their guns or else face fines. “Under our system of divided government, many elected bodies hold legislative power, including elected city councils. These councils, however, must legislate within constitutional constraints,” Chief Justice Steven González wrote, joined by the eight other justices on the high court. “One of those constraints is that city ordinances must not ‘conflict with general laws’ that have been enacted by the people of our state by initiative or by our state legislature.” A statewide ballot measure that passed later that same year on gun safety doesn’t mandate that a firearm be stored in a particular way or place, but it created criminal penalties for when a gun isn’t properly stored and accessed by someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm — such as a child — and used to injure or kill, displayed in public in an intimidating manner or used during a crime. In a footnote, the court noted that since […]

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