The city of Seattle, yet again, is charged with violating state law by announcing its own gun restrictions and threatening to enforce them.
The current fight is about the city’s “safe storage” requirements.
The lawsuit is by Omar Abdul Alim, Michael Thyng, the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association.
Defendants are Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan, its policy department and police chief Carmen Best.
“State law prohibits cities, towns and counties or other municipalities from adopting gun regulations that exceed state authority,” the Second Amendment Foundation said.
“The state legislature has sole authority to adopt gun laws including, but not limited to, registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge and transportation of firearms.”
SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb said the city of Seattle has been “trying to erode state preemption almost from the moment it was passed back in 1985.”
“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,” he said. “We should not have to repeatedly remind Seattle that they are still part of Washington state and must obey the law.”
Gottlieb said Seattle “seems to think it should be treated differently than any other local government when it comes to firearm regulation.”
“State preemption was adopted more than three decades ago to assure uniformity of gun laws from Ilwaco to the Idaho border. Seattle simply can’t break the law to adopt an ordinance as a political statement.”
The complaint, filed in Superior Court of Washington for King County, simply asks that Seattle “follow the law.”
It “states in no uncertain terms that the authority to regulate firearms rests exclusively with the state.”
In fact, the law states, the state of Washington “hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms.”
But the city just this month adopted Council Bill 119266, which purports to establish requirements for gun owners to store their guns the way the city wants.
“The ordinance makes a violation of these provisions a civil infraction subject to a penalty of up to $10,000,” the complaint states.
The suit seeks a declaratory judgment that the city rules are not valid.