handguns

A judge allowed a lawsuit to proceed against an ordinance passed by the city of Edmonds, Washington, requiring gun owners to have “safe storage” for weapons.

The lawsuit argues the state of Washington has a law pre-empting local restrictions that conflict with state law.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Anita L. Farris said the plaintiffs have standing to challenge the city, a requirement for a lawsuit against the municipality.

A law Washington adopted 35 years ago places sole authority for firearms regulation in the hands of state lawmakers.

The National Rifle Association and two private citizens, Brett Bass and Swan Seaburg, joined the Second Amendment Foundation, or SAF, in the claim.

Edmonds adopted its “safe storage” requirement last year.

SAF explained: “Judge Farris has done what King County Superior Court Judge Barbara Linde would not do when she dismissed a similar lawsuit against the city of Seattle on technical grounds after the city argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue. SAF and NRA have appealed her ruling. Seattle has adopted a ‘safe storage’ requirement, possibly emboldened to challenge state preemption because it also adopted a controversial ‘gun violence tax’ in 2015 that the State Supreme Court allowed to stand.”

Alan Gottlieb, founder of SAF, said he was encouraged by the order.

“The city knows this ordinance violates the state preemption statute, and we believe this ordinance, and the one in Seattle, were passed specifically to erode the state law,” he said.

“The cities have desperately wanted to remove the preemption law so they can establish their own, possibly contradictory gun control rules,” he said. “Their ultimate goal is to discourage citizens from exercising their rights under the state and federal constitutions by financial intimidation through fines that could climb to $10,000 under the Edmonds ordinance. The cities want to take Washington State back in time, to an era when a patchwork quilt of confusing, conflicting gun laws existed. State preemption did away with that, and it’s time for the courts to end this nonsense.”

WND reported in 2018 when the Edmonds case arose that the city’s demands went beyond what the state law allows.

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.

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