Seattle unveils gun-storage rules, claims it will save lives

Semi-automatic handgun

SEATTLE - Seattle city leaders laid out new rules for storing guns they claim will save lives on Thursday afternoon.

Under the new rules, gun owners must lock up their guns in a secure safe, with a combination lock, or face fines up to $1,000 – up to $10,000 if the gun hurts someone or if the gun is used in a crime. The new guidelines require the gun safe to made in a way that it can't be easily pried open with tools.

During the announcement at the YWCA, the Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said irresponsibly stored guns are more likely to be used robberies, shootings and fall in the hands of domestic abusers.

The National Rifle Association is suing the city to stop the law claiming it violates a state law that restricts cities from regulating guns.

But the mayor said the law is about safety, not restricting gun rights.

“We were very careful to really respect what the restrictions on cities are. We are not interfering with possession, or use or ownership,” said Mayor Durkan. “What we’re doing is saying if you leave it, lock it. If you leave it, lock it up. It’s common sense, it’s easy, it will be better for the community.”

But Breanne Chapman said responsible gun owners don’t need another law.

“I’m saying I’m a gun-owner and I don’t need this,” said Chapman. “It’s the people that are going about their weapons illegally that you need to worry about. And they’re not going to do it the legal way anyways, so making another law that they’re not going to follow isn’t going to help the situation.”

“So far this year, we have taken 995 guns off the streets of Seattle. 995 guns,” said Police Chief Carmen Best. “That’s nearly a 17 percent increase from last year. There is nothing more important the safety and health of our community.”

The mayor and Seattle police plan to take public comment and get feedback before the new law takes effect February 13, 2019.

Read the full text of the law here >>

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