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

More in Local News

Norton Playfield, a three-acre play field owned by Housing Hope on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Vote nears on Housing Hope’s Everett playfield project

The Everett City Council will deliberate Wednesday on the multi-family, supportive housing proposal.

The USS Michael Monsoor has been a recent frequent visitor at Naval Station Everett. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
New Navy ship visits Everett base while training near Canada

The USS Michael Monsoor may visit a few more times before it leaves at the end of October.

Driver hits, critically injures pedestrian in Everett

A driver hit a male who ran across the road Saturday night but stayed there and spoke with police.

Pedestrian seriously injured in hit-and-run in Everett

He was expected to survive. A 31-year-old woman was later booked into jail as a suspect.

Everett man who fled scene of hit-and-run fatality sentenced

“I just panicked is all,” said Thomas Rock, who was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months in prison.

Marysville School Districts' McKinney-Vento & Foster Care Liaison Deanna Bashour (left to right) Andrea Wyatt, Larisa Koenig and Rosemary Peterson on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A new haven of help for homeless students in Marysville

“You name it, if they need it, we’ve got it,” says the Connections Center’s foster care liaison.

Kush Mart on Evergreen Way on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 in Everett, Wash.A public hearing and vote to increase the city-imposed cap to eight stores (five are allowed and open now) is scheduled for the City Council on March 18. The state allows up to 10 in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
City council votes to allow more marijuana shops in Everett

Allowing three more stores, for total of eight, will promote healthy competition, city council members said.

Ian Terry / The Herald

An abandoned car sits on flooded Mann Road in Sultan on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015.

Photo taken on 11132015
County considers raising roads to skirt flooding near Sultan

Ben Howard Road and Mann Road are in line for culverts and elevation gains.

Most Read