Judge considering fate of new firearm storage law in Edmonds

An NRA lawsuit says the city cannot regulate guns. Edmonds lawyers say the challenge is premature.

EDMONDS — A judge plans to issue a written ruling on whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Edmonds’ new safe storage gun ordinance.

Judge Anita Farris on Tuesday heard arguments in Snohomish County Superior Court in a case brought by two Edmonds residents, the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation against the City of Edmonds.

They’re hoping Farris will throw out the law passed by the City Council and signed by the mayor in July. The new law won’t be enforced until March of 2019.

The Edmonds law requires gun owners to keep their firearms locked up and inaccessible to others, especially children. It is similar to a Seattle law also enacted in July and challenged by the NRA. Earlier this month, a King County judge tossed out that case.

The judge concluded that because gun owners challenging the Seattle law did not plan to violate it, there was no actual dispute to decide at that moment.

Ordinances enacted in Seattle and Edmonds require firearms to be safely secured and “rendered unusable” to anyone other than the owner, or those the owner has authorized to use it. They do not apply to firearms carried by or under the control of owners. They do apply to weapons kept at home and in vehicles.

If anyone not permitted to use the gun, such as a child or a thief, gets access to the weapon, the gun owner could be held civilly liable and fined up to $1,000. If an unauthorized person uses the firearm to commit a crime or injure themselves or others, the gun owner could be fined again, up to $10,000.

The NRA and other plaintiffs have argued in court papers the mandates within the Edmonds ordinance are “illegal and legally unenforceable.” They also say authority to regulate firearms rests with the state of Washington, not cities such as Edmonds.

Lawyers representing the city said the lawsuit was not ripe for the legal challenge.

Farris listened to the arguments Tuesday before telling lawyers from both sides that she will take their arguments under advisement and will send them her ruling in writing.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist identified in fatal crash near Lake Stevens

Anthony Palko, 33, died Monday night after colliding with a passenger car. The juveniles in the car were taken to the hospital.

Marysville
Police: Marysville man shot sword-wielding roommate in self-defense

The roommates were arguing over eBay sales, according to police. Then one of them allegedly brandished a two-foot sword.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Everett boy, 12, identified as Davies Beach drowning victim

Malachi Bell was one of three swimmers in distress Sunday in Lake Stevens. He did not survive.

Everett
Port of Everett hosting annual open house after pandemic hiatus

Also, Rustic Cork Wine Bar plans to open a second shop at Fisherman’s Harbor — the latest addition to the port’s “wine walk.”

Mike Kersey with Aiya Moore, daughter of Christina Anderson, right, talk about the condition of Nick’s Place in Everett, Washington on June 17, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘We’re all good people when we get clean and sober’

Who has fentanyl taken from us? A messenger who saved lives. A “street mom.” A grandpa who loved his grandkids “999 trillion times.”

Snohomish County Superior Courthouse in Everett, Washington on February 8, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Bailiff’s comments leads to appeal of child rape conviction

Joseph Hall, of Snohomish, was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison. Now he faces another trial.

Jeffrey Vaughan
In unexpected move, Vaughan resigns from Marysville council

He got re-elected in November. But he and his wife moved to Texas when she received a job promotion.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How to answer Snohomish County’s basic crime questions? ‘Transparent data’

An initiative funded in part by Microsoft could reveal racial disparities, while creating an “apples to apples” database.

Chris Rutland and son Julian buy fireworks from the Big House of Boom stall at Boom City on Thursday, June 30, 2022 in Tulalip, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At Tulalip’s Boom City, fireworks are a family tradition

Generations have grown up at the Fourth of July institution. “Some people make good money, some are just out here for the pastime.”

Most Read