WA Congresswoman Wants Federal ‘Safe Gun Storage’ Requirement

Democrat U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) has introduced legislation with Rep. Eliot Engel of New York that would make a “safe storage” requirement in two cities in her district a federal mandate. (Screen snip, YouTube, PBS)

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- A Washington State congresswoman has joined forces with a New York congressman to introduce federal legislation that would mandate so-called “safe storage” of firearms, a bill that underscores what Northwest Second Amendment activists have been warning about: The Evergreen State is a test tube for gun control legislation because Seattle and nearby Edmonds have adopted such a requirement.

Democrat U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), whose district covers Edmonds and Seattle, announced the proposed Safe Gun Storage Act with Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel (NY-16). If passed, it would “direct the Consumer Protection Safety Commission to establish safety standards for firearm safes and firearm locks,” according to a joint news release.

When Seattle and Edmonds adopted the safe storage requirements, they were quickly sued by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, and residents of both communities. Lawsuits against both cities allege the requirements violate the state’s 35-year-old preemption law, which a King County court rejected in the Seattle action but a court in neighboring Snohomish County, where Edmonds is located, last week said the Edmonds regulation does violate the state law. That case is undoubtedly headed for the appeals court.

Local municipalities have been trying to nullify or repeal state preemption for more than three decades. Under Washington’s model law, the Legislature has sole authority to regulate firearms within the state border. Here’s what the preemption 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, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.”

Some Evergreen State rights activists also contend the safe storage requirements might run afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the high court said this (Page 58):

“We must also address the District’s requirement (as applied to respondent’s handgun) that firearms in the home be rendered and kept inoperable at all times. This makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. The District argues that we should interpret this element of the statute to contain an exception for self-defense…But we think that is precluded by the unequivocal text, and by the presence of certain other enumerated exceptions: “Except for law enforcement personnel . . ., each registrant shall keep any firearm in his possession unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device unless such firearm is kept at his place of business, or while being used for lawful recreational purposes within the District of Columbia.” D. C. Code §7–2507.02. The nonexistence of a self-defense exception is also suggested by the D. C. Court of Appeals’ statement that the statute forbids residents to use firearms to stop intruders, see McIntosh v. Washington, 395 A. 2d 744, 755–756 (1978).”

Whether those activists are correct is a matter of speculation at this point. The storage requirement has not been challenged in federal court on constitutional grounds.

A report at MyNorthwest.com noted, “Seattle’s storage law states that firearms should be stored in a locked container and rendered unusable by any person other than the authorized user. It is a civil infraction if a minor or unauthorized person accesses a gun. Fines are imposed between $500 and $1,000 on the owner. If someone commits a crime with the owner’s gun, fines go up to $10,000 and the owner will be considered negligent.”

The Jayapal-Engel news release stated, “According to a 2018 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey, 54% of gun owners report not storing their firearms safely, and 34% of these homes had children 18 years or younger in the home. 18% of all gun injuries in our nation occur because of improperly stored firearms in homes.”

It is not clear how Johns Hopkins Bloomberg defined “safe storage” that is apparently not being practiced by the 54 percent of survey participants cited.

Both lawmakers are promoting their bill as a preventive measure to reduce suicides and accidents involving youngsters. However, Northwest rights activists contend this is just one more manifestation of gun control, with different packaging.

MyNorthwest.com said Engel’s office asserted, “studies have shown that a 10 percent increase in households with guns equates to a 25 percent increase in suicides by firearms. Also, in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 60 percent of all firearm deaths were from suicides; in 2017, 43 percent of all youth suicides involved guns…Seattle passed a safe gun storage law in 2018. When it was proposed, city officials cited similar issues with gun storage — that 150,000 adults in King County were estimated to store their guns unlocked. Also, about 250 guns were reported as stolen in 2017.”

Washington’s King County is the center of the Northwest gun control universe. It encompasses Seattle. Yet, the state Department of Licensing reported more than 100,200 active concealed pistol licenses in that county at the end of September. It’s the highest number of any county in the state, which has more than 631,000 active CPLs at last report.

RELATED:

Proposed Oregon Mandatory Gun Lock Measure Gets Ballot Title


About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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ExGob
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ExGob

What’s this beast’s problem? Who the hell needs a locked up gun?

loveaduck
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loveaduck

The greater Seattle area is full of these dolts.

james
Member
james

East meets West and more laws that criminals will IGNORE.

Hankus
Member
Hankus

…says the byatch from a state where illegals, drug addicts, and Antifa are welcomed with arms wide open.

Firewagon
Member
Firewagon

“….demands multiple days of instruction, requires hundreds of dollars in fees and costs, and imposes months of delay….” That’s from another article you could not comment on, and had to do with acquiring a CCW license. This is much the same process, however. One more roadblock to foment frustration with owning or ‘bearing’ a firearm. What part of ‘INFRINGING,’ especially by ALL government entities, do these whacks NOT understand when adding to or detracting from that “single sentence” 2nd Amendment ‘right?’ In its latest faux pax dealing with our “right to bear ARMS,” our ‘vaunted’ (NOT) SCOTUS would add a… Read more »

Tionico
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Tionico

This name is rather familiar. Wasn’t she one of those nasty Seattle citty Council critters who helped turn that place into the socialist cesspit it is today? She should be reading current events accounts in her home country, where thousands of “certain classes of people” are being tormented, beaten, chased/burned out of their homes, because they are not of the “proper” group in the area. The People of India were better off under the Brits when they held the place as a colony. Private citizens in India cannot be armed for their own protection. They have to rely upon (and… Read more »

freewill
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freewill

how many intruders will let the home owner unlock their guns i wonder

Grim
Member
Grim

Time to have a recall petition for Ms. Jayapal who is a closet Marxist/Leninist!!! Go back to India where socialism/communism works so well!

tetejaun
Member
tetejaun

The United States is 3rd throughout
the world in murders.

If you take out:
#1 Chicago
#2 Detroit
#3 Washington, DC
#4 St. Loius
#5 New Orleans

The United States then moves to 189th
out of the 193 countries in the world.

Those 5 cities all have
strict gun control laws.

freewill
Member
freewill

the website worldlifeexpectancy ranks the U.S 88th in death by violence and 47th in suicides

Truth
Member
Truth

And all run by democrat/communists

tetejaun
Member
tetejaun

BINGO!

freewill
Member
freewill

87 country’s have a higher murder rate than the U.S, and all have strict gun controls! They simply find other ways to kill!…46 country’s have a higher suicide rate than the U.S!, people simply find other ways to kill themselves, If anti’s in the U.S were so concerned about violence, they would go after the gangs in Chicago, Baltimore, Oakland and all the other Democrat city’s, the worst 50 city’s with the highest crime rates have strict gun controls and controlled by democrats!

VernonD
Member
VernonD

They should focus more on addressing the case and possible intervention to prevent those youngsters to commit suicide.

MICHAEL J
Member
MICHAEL J

Let’s lock up these stupid democrats, my firearms are already in safe hands.

StWayne
Member
StWayne

These socialist hacks are unsafe no matter how stored! As long as they remain in office, they are a threat to all civilized life everywhere. Like a weed, they won’t go away unless you make them. Smart money says that if you checked her shoe size, she’d be the one tromping all throughout the woods of the Pacific Northwest. Surely it’s true that her pretentious mouth matches her troglodyte ways?

tetejaun
Member
tetejaun

They “…won’t go away..” because of cowardice & apathy on the part of the American People. Heck, you can’t even get conservatives to vote!
In 2016, only 43% of conservatives voted. What? 57% of conservatives were all too busy to vote for FREEDOM???
Just look in a mirror to see the problem; too many American conservatives just will not ‘GET OUT THE VOTE’. Knock on doors, canvass votes, explain conservatism and the Constitution to people and children.
The country you save, might be your own.

StWayne
Member
StWayne

Hear! Hear!

tomcat
Member
tomcat

Just another implant come here to teach we Americans how we should live. If things were so great where she originated from she should have stayed there. We sure don’t need her here.

VernonD
Member
VernonD

Every home situation differs indeed. “Safe storage” might delay the gun access in times of emergency.

TEEBONE
Member
TEEBONE

“Held:

“3) …the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.” – D.C. v. Heller (2008)

Dicta:

“[A] statute which, under the pretense of regulating, amounts to a destruction of the right, or which requires arms to be so borne as to render them wholly useless for the purpose of defense [is] clearly unconstitutional.”

mlhtd51
Member
mlhtd51

“Safe Storage” for my firearm is anywhere it’s within my Arms Reach. “Period”

joefoam
Member
joefoam

Isn’t this the same woman who Tom Homan made a fool of in her committee?

Patriot-556
Member
Patriot-556

Yes indeed. The very same, nut-job, commie democrat…

PAF145
Member
PAF145

I think we will see the beginning of the next civil war in the northwest

Firewagon
Member
Firewagon

Not so sure. They tend to ‘legalize’ about anything up there, and are discovering that being ‘stoned’ is just as deadly as being drunk!

Miket
Member
Miket

I always ask if they lock up their fire extinguisher.

Jonesy
Member
Jonesy

How about Axes also ?

option31
Member
option31

Proving firearms is just the tool they are using to take all of our rights. To effectively enforce this it will require LEO or other govt agents to be able to come into your house any time day or night to inspect, and that includes those that do not have firearms as they have no list of owners. So everybody is subject to this 4th amendment violation. We must start pointing this out so we get the none firearm people on our side

joefoam
Member
joefoam

And just how will this make us safer? Is theft and use of firearms a big problem in WA?

Ryben Flynn
Member
Ryben Flynn

The Police can do that in Australia. No notice storage inspections.

Greg K
Member
Greg K

Here in WA they created a hand gun sales registry via the Dept. of Licensing. There is a database created with a rider sewn into a “Car tab Reduction” bill…It was about 1998 If memory serves.

loveaduck
Member
loveaduck

Ah, no list of owners! That’s where forced registration comes in.

jack mac
Member
jack mac

The enforcers will act as if everyone is armed and dangerous. Everybody not an enforcer should be made aware of this.

Rock
Member
Rock

Another leftist import, representing the Dem/lib trashed state of Washington telling law abiding U.S. citizens what to do in this country…

joefoam
Member
joefoam

All of the liberals fled the madness that is CA and ruined WA & OR. This is just a demonstration of that.

63Sunset
Member
63Sunset

Let’s just put politicians who don’t uphold the US Constitution in storage.

tetejaun
Member
tetejaun

Americans have that Right. Because in a Republic, the PEOPLE are the boss.
Remember that Second Amendment? There is no ‘secure, free state’ when the Constitution is relegated to the waste bin, illegals flow freely into the U.S. and communists are in government.
But cowardice and apathy have condemned the U.S. to eventual communist rule.

Firewagon
Member
Firewagon

Far too sad TRUE! There are over 120 million gun owners, how many VOTE? Worse, how many of them ‘think(?)’ these anti-gun laws, background checks, “Red Flag” laws, et al., ad infinitum, should be laws? Americans have been dumbed down to the point of no return……

“I once said, ‘We will bury you,’ and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you.”

Nikita Khrushchev

mattdt
Member
mattdt

Right out of the tyrant playbook. 100% Anti-Liberty. 100% hypocritical. As stated by Dave Workman here, within her own district the City of Edmonds just slapped down that city’s lock-up law under violation of State Preemption law, not to mention the decision by SCOTUS in the Heller decision.