Appeals court knocks down remainder of Edmonds gun storage law

Gun News

Mayor Mike Nelson originally proposed the gun storage ordinance in 2018 while he was on the city council.

In an opinion issued Monday, the Washington State Court of Appeals ruled against the City of Edmonds and in favor of the plaintiffs in the ongoing series of challenges to Edmonds’ gun storage ordinance. Monday’s ruling built upon previous court decisions that declared the safe storage provisions of the Edmonds ordinance invalid by also striking down the unauthorized use provisions, thereby effectively negating the entire ordinance.

Proposed by then-City Council President Mike Nelson in July 2018, Ordinance 4120 was subsequently enacted by a 5-to-1 vote of the council (then-Councilmember Neil Tibbott was on vacation and unavailable by phone).

There are two functional issues addressed by the ordinance. The first mandates safe storage of firearms (section 5.26.020), and the second addresses and provides penalties for unauthorized use of firearms (section 5.26.030). The latter is intended to address such things as unsecured firearms being used by children, being stolen or being used in a crime.

Originally filed in 2018, the suit argued that Edmonds’ ordinance violates Washington State’s preemption statute (RCW 9.41.290), which grants exclusive authority for gun regulation in Washington to the state Legislature. The suit, brought by Edmonds residents Brett Bass, Curtis McCullough and Swan Seaberg, was joined by the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation.

This was followed by a flurry of legal filings on both sides. Plaintiffs continued to maintain that the Edmonds measure violates state law and should be struck down, and the City of Edmonds argued to dismiss the suit on the basis that the plaintiffs “lacked standing” — a technical argument meaning that they would suffer no harm should the ordinance move forward and hence have no stake in the outcome and cannot file suit.

In March 2019, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Anita Farris denied the city’s motion to dismiss, ruling that the plaintiffs do indeed have standing, thus allowing the suit to proceed.


In June 2019, the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation pulled out of the suit but continued to provide support to the remaining plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs appealed, and in October 2019 the court (again presided over by Judge Farris) granted a partial victory to both sides, finding that the plaintiffs’ standing applies to the safe storage but not the unauthorized use provisions of the ordinance. Accordingly, the court ruled that the State preemption law applies to the storage provisions but not the unauthorized use provisions. This said in effect that the City of Edmonds cannot tell people how to store their guns, but can levy fines against gun owners whose firearms are possessed or used by unauthorized persons.

The new Appeals Court ruling issued Monday goes beyond this, finding that the plaintiffs have standing to bring suit against both the storage and unauthorized use provisions of the Edmonds ordinance, and further finding that the state preemption statute also applies to both of these provisions.

The ruling concludes with the following language:

“We therefore conclude that RCW 9.41.290 [the Washington State Preemption Law] unambiguously preempts both ECC 5.26.020 [the safe storage provisions of Edmonds Ordinance 4120] and ECC 5.23.030 [the unauthorized use provisions of Edmonds Ordinance 4120].

“CONCLUSION  – Although the trial court erred in dismissing the Gun Owners’ challenge to ECC 5.26.030 on standing grounds, we affirm the trial court’s determination that RCW 9.41.290 unambiguously preempts ECC 5.26.020 and further conclude that ECC 5.26.030 is also preempted.”

While at this time there is no firm word from the City of Edmonds about further appeals, Edmonds mayor Mike Nelson emailed the following statement to My Edmonds News.

“In Edmonds, three years ago a 16-year-old playing Russian roulette shot and killed a 17-year-old girl.  This month, a 13-year-old boy in Auburn shot his 15-year-old sister while playing with a gun. There is no dispute that safe storage of firearms saves lives.

“We have an outstanding team of lawyers assisting us on our next steps and options. This much is clear, we are not going to stop protecting our children from gun violence until the violence stops,” Nelson said.

— By Larry Vogel

Source link

Articles You May Like

NRA sues to get Illinois semiautomatic weapons ban tossed
Can Illinois’s Assault Weapons Ban Survive Scores of Rogue Sheriffs?
Why the Warriors Spent Their White House Visit Discussing Gun Violence
Connecticut senators proposing bill to ban sale, manufacture of assault weapons nationwide
NRA Criticizes Newsom for Calling Second Amendment ‘Suicide Pact’ While Surrounded by Armed Security Guards


  1. 300794 593523Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So good to search out any person with some exclusive thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is 1 thing thats necessary on the net, someone with a bit of originality. valuable job for bringing something new to the internet! 258453

  2. 818369 557684Can I merely say exactly what a relief to get someone who actually knows what theyre dealing with on the internet. You really know how to bring a difficulty to light and make it important. The diet ought to see this and fully grasp this side on the story. I cant believe youre not a lot more common because you undoubtedly hold the gift. 327220

  3. 289393 201263Oh my goodness! an excellent post dude. Thank you However Im experiencing issue with ur rss . Do not know why Cannot register for it. Could there be any person getting identical rss difficulty? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 537270

  4. 947797 468943I must admit that this is 1 great insight. It surely gives a company the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and truly take part in creating something special and tailored to their needs. 970980

  5. 750929 797859I feel other web site owners really should take this web site as an model, extremely clean and superb user genial design and style . 980791

  6. 65050 378590Id have to speak to you here. Which isnt something Which i do! I enjoy to reading a post that need to get men and women to believe. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment! 949545

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *