A second Washington city has decided to tell the state how to run its gun laws and now is in court because of the decision.
WND reported last month that Seattle was being sued for imposing a gun “safe storage” requirement on residents that goes beyond what state law allows.
Now the Second Amendment Foundation says the city of Edmonds is being sued over the same issue.
The foundation is joined by the National Rifle Association in the case over the state’s 35-year-old preemption statute establishing the state’s authority to set gun rules.
Edmonds, a suburban community north of Seattle, also is being sued by two residents, Brett Bass and Swan Seaberg.
Defendants in the case are the city, Mayor Dave Earling and Police Chief Al Compaan.
According to SAF: “Under Washington law, the state legislature has exclusive authority for all firearms regulation, including but not limited to ‘registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components.’”
But the Edmonds ordinance mandates so-called “safe storage” and sets fines for civil infractions ranging to $10,000.
“It is clear to us that a handful of cities are trying desperately to erode Washington’s long-standing preemption law,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb.
“Their goal is to discourage citizens from exercising their rights under the state and federal constitutions by financial intimidation. The city council clearly understands preemption, but went ahead with this ordinance, anyway, undoubtedly knowing it would be overturned by the court. It seems as though their ultimate goal is to convince voters that gun law uniformity is somehow a bad idea, so it should be changed.
“They would like to take Washington back decades to a time when citizens had to contend with confusing and conflicting local ordinances and regulations,” he added. “Preemption was adopted to eliminate that mess and make sure it doesn’t happen again. The law has worked for more than three decades. It doesn’t need fixing.”
In the Seattle case, Omar Abdul Alim, Michael Thyng, SAF and NRA joined to bring the lawsuit.
Defendants are Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and its policy department and police chief Carmen Best.
Gottlieb said: “When the city tried to ban guns from city parks facilities under former mayors Greg Nickels and Mike McGinn, SAF and NRA joined forces with other organizations to stop it, under the state preemption statute. We should not have to repeatedly remind Seattle that they are still part of Washington state and must obey the law.”
Seattle, he said, “seems to think it should be treated differently than any other local government when it comes to firearm regulation.”