Seattle City Council Passes Safe Storage of Firearms

Posted By: Heather Pierce Seattle Laws ,

Monday, July, 9, 2018, the Seattle City Council voted to pass a new ordinance requiring the safe storage of and access to firearms. Ordinance 119267 will add to SMC 10.78 with penalties listed under 10.79. In SMC 10.78.020, an owner of a firearm must store or keep their firearm in a locked container and make certain that the weapon is inaccessible or unusable by any person other than the lawful firearm owner or authorized user. In addition to maintaining proper storage of a firearm, a firearm owner or authorized user must report a lost or stolen firearm within 24 hours per the requirements delineated in SMC 10.78.010A.

According to the Central Staff memorandum the civil penalties for firearm owners who have been found to have improperly stored their firearm include $500 for improper storage, $1,000 if it is determined that a firearm is illegally obtained by an at-risk person or prohibited person, and $10,000 if a prohibited or at risk person obtains the firearm and injures, causes the death of oneself or another, or uses the firearm in connection with a crime. In addition, Central Staff explained that a renter of a rental property unit who has been found guilty of the infractions delineated under 10.78 would result in similar provisions listed under SMC’s landlord-tenant provisions with other civil citations.