On July 9, 2018, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved two gun control regulations. These measures relate to the safe storage of firearms, and require residents to pay penalties if they: (1) do not safely store their firearms, or (2) fail to report lost or stolen guns. According to Mayor Durkan’s office, 150,000 adults in King County are estimated to store their firearms unlocked, and, according to the SPD, approximately 250 guns were reported stolen in 2017. The ordinances are aimed at curbing these concerning numbers; it is hoped that the ordinances will have a measurable impact in keeping people (especially children) safe from gun violence, and it is believed that that the safe storage of firearms will make a measurable impact towards keeping Seattleites more safe.
Seattle’s safe storage regulation, and the rules on reporting lost and stolen guns, are as follows: (1) Guns should be stored in a locked container, and rendered as unusable to any person other than the owner or authorized user; (2) 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; (3) Any violation of the safe-storage law, or the unauthorized access regulation could result in a fine between $500 and $1,000; (4) 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; (5) If a civil case results from prohibited access, it will be “prima facie evidence” that the gun owner was negligent.
Seattle’s new gun law will go into effect 180 days after, (1) it passes, and (2) Mayor Jenny Durkan signs it into law. Seattle previously attempted to ban guns in parks, but that law was shot down (no pun intended). Some say this new gun control law will meet the same fate because obviously it implicates – on some level – issues related to our constitutional rights to bare arms. Only time will tell if Seattle’s attempts to dictate gun control within its borders is lawful.
Whenever cited for a crime, it is a smart idea to immediately hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.