When Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed the city’s latest gun control law last week, she probably had an inkling that it would be legally challenged. Well, Second Amendment supporters didn’t make her wait long. Within two days, the complaint was filed in Superior Court.
One of the key challenges is that the requirement for keeping all guns locked up when not in use is “legally unenforceable” in that it goes beyond Washington state’s law. Washington law expressly 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.”
The impetus behind the lawsuit is that it doesn’t do much good for someone to have a firearm for self-defense if they can’t use it during a life-threatening situation. No criminal out there is going to stand by peacefully while a law-abiding gun owner unlocks and loads his firearm. Even if a biometric safe takes only seconds to open, those scant seconds can be a matter of life or death when an armed intruder is in a home.
The NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation Inc. have signed on with the two individual gun owners who initiated the legal challenge.
“Seattle seems to think it should be treated differently than any other local government when it comes to firearm regulation,” said Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder. “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.”
Durkan, who make a big show out of signing the law—complete with a woman clad in a Moms Demand Action T-shirt standing by her side—called the ordinance, which calls for a $10,000 fine for violators, a “common-sense” measure that will save lives. What about the lives of the law-abiding citizens and their families, Mayor?