The gun safety measures passed by King County Council yesterday are drawing the ire of Washington’s gun rights yokels.
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) based in fucking Bellevue is gearing up for another lawsuit. SAF and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are currently jointly suing both Seattle and Edmonds for safe storage laws passed this summer. Those laws are nearly identical to the one passed yesterday by King County.
Dave Workman, a spokesperson for SAF and journalist for thegunmag.com, said that it’s SAF’s intention to file a lawsuit against King County. They’re still waiting to hear if the NRA will enter the ring on this case, too. Workman isn’t sure when the lawsuit will be filed but is confident that it will be soon.
“It’s illegal under the state preemption law, even Danny Westneat over at the Seattle Times made mention,” Workman said, citing what apparently was an extremely popular Danny Westneat article. Councilmember Kathy Lambert cited it yesterday in her opposition to the safe storage measure, too.
The preemption law, originally passed in 1983 and amended in 1985, made it so Washington would have uniform gun laws. Prior to preemption, different cities and counties had different laws, making up a sort of "patchwork quilt" of differing legislation. According to Workman, it was hard for people to travel from point A to point B without crossing imaginary boundaries. The preemption scenario regulated firearms from border to border.
But, Seattle, Edmonds, and now King County are breaking the mold and creating laws that are not in line with all of Washington.
That could change.
Initiative 1639 is on the ballot this November—despite a period of uncertainty—in Washington and would implement sweeping safe gun legislature statewide. It includes safe storage legislation as well as expanding background checks for semiautomatic weapons, raising the purchasing age for pistols or semiautomatic weapons to 21, and more.
“I-1639 won’t have any impact on any existing preemption statutes,” Tallman Trask, a spokesperson for the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, said. “It would change state firearm laws and have these laws across the state.”
Essentially, the preemption law wouldn’t go anywhere, but the state’s gun laws would change.
“I think it’s really great to see local and municipal officials take action to keep their communities safe from gun violence,” Trask said about the safe storage measures passing in Seattle, Edmonds, and King County. “It’s the action that the voters and the people of Washington expect and the action we don’t see enough of. We’re hoping that we can get these measures into place across the state.”