EVERETT — As of Aug. 1, gun owners within Everett city limits who do not report lost or stolen firearms within 24 hours may incur a fine of up to $250.
Unreported stolen guns contribute to crime and make it harder to return firearms to their owners, Police Chief Dan Templeman said in a recent interview.
“I don’t see this legislation being the end of gun violence in Everett,” he said. “But I do see it as a reasonable and logical step toward reducing gun violence and trying to limit firearms getting into the hands of the wrong people.”
The City Council on July 11 voted unanimously to pass the ordinance, which was then signed by Mayor Cassie Franklin. The new offense, not reporting a lost or stolen gun, is an infraction, which is handled in municipal court, similar to the process for a parking ticket.
The council also passed a second ordinance making it a misdemeanor to aim or fire a gun in Everett. That includes pointing it at a person.
The new rules are similar to existing state law, making enforcement possible in municipal court, city officials said.
Last year, at least 140 firearms were stolen in Everett, according to the police department.
In addition, 27 recovered firearms were never reported lost or stolen.
The legislation seeks to reduce illegal gun possession among young people, in addition to gang violence. Franklin has made that issue one of her priorities since taking office in January and issuing an executive order to that effect.
Another initiative under the same order is the Lock It Everett campaign.
The police department began giving away free gun locks in June. As of July 19, 108 locks have been distributed.
Nataya Foss: firstname.lastname@example.org.