A semiautomatic handgun with a safety cable lock that prevents loading ammunition. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

A semiautomatic handgun with a safety cable lock that prevents loading ammunition. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

NRA pulls out of lawsuit against Edmonds’ new gun storage law

But the NRA and a Bellevue gun rights group will fund the legal fight on behalf of 3 plaintiffs.

EDMONDS — The National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation are no longer plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the city of Edmonds’ new rules governing firearm storage.

The two gun rights groups pulled out earlier this month, leaving residents Brett Bass, Curtis McCullough and Swan Seaberg as the remaining plaintiffs. But the organizations will continue to conduct and fund the legal fight on behalf of the trio.

“We’re definitely not giving up and we plan to win it,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation.

Gottlieb and attorneys representing the individual plaintiffs characterized their withdrawal as a strategic decision aimed at speeding up the case. They said lawyers for the city sought a slew of their records related to responsible firearms storage and they didn’t want to spend the time and money gathering them.

“Once it became clear that the City’s attorneys would use the participation of the organizations to slow down and delay the case, the NRA and SAF elected to withdraw and allow the three individual plaintiffs to press their claims,” attorneys said in a statement. “With the organizations out of the case, the individual plaintiffs plan to move for summary judgment to invalidate the ordinance as soon as possible.”

Eric Tirschwell, managing director of Everytown Law, said the move wasn’t surprising. The firm is leading the litigation on the city’s behalf.

“The NRA and Second Amendment Foundation claim to support responsible storage of firearms, as Edmonds now requires,” he said in a statement. “We are not surprised that, when pressed to explain their position, these organizations decided to drop out. We look forward to making our arguments to the court as to why the individual plaintiffs’ preemption claims are meritless as well.”

The Edmonds law requires gun owners to keep their firearms locked up and inaccessible to others, especially children. Approved last July, the city delayed enforcement until March 21, 2019. Thus far no citations have been issued.

In August 2018, the NRA and SAF, along with the residents, sued to block the ordinance, arguing it violates a state law intended to preempt local governments from enacting their own regulations related to the possession of firearms.

On March 19, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Anita Farris denied the city’s motion to dismiss the Edmonds suit, ruling the preemption argument was ripe for determination.

No hearing date has been set.

Under the Edmonds ordinance, if someone such as a child or a thief gets unauthorized 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.

Those provisions aren’t applied to someone legally carrying a weapon on their person.

The Edmonds law is similar to a Seattle ordinance that was challenged by the NRA. A King County judge tossed out that case and the NRA has appealed.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos,

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Photos by Olivia Vanni / The Herald
Gabby Bullock sits on her bed in a room she shares with another housemate on June 14 in Everett.
‘We don’t have openings’: SnoCo recovery houses struggle with demand

Advocates say the homes are critical for addiction recovery. But home prices make starting a sober living house difficult.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Food safety team defends its work: it’s a ‘high pressure, thankless’ job

Management tried to set the record straight about long permit delays in Snohomish County.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Global tech outage leaves a mark on Snohomish County

The CrowdStrike software update hit some systems at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and briefly disrupted 911 operations.

Performers joust during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at Sky Meadows Park in Snohomish, Washington, on Sunday, Aug. 06, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Royalty and revelry: The spirit of the Renaissance comes to Monroe

The annual Renaissance fair will open its doors every weekend from July 20 to Aug. 18

Trees and foliage grow at the Rockport State Park on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 in Rockport, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
When you get lost in WA, what’s the cost to get rescued? Surprisingly little

Washington’s volunteer search and rescue teams save lives without costly bills.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.