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New Seattle Law Requires Gun Owners to Lock Up Firearms or Face Fines

July 11, 2018

The Stranger,

Heidi Groover,

July 9, 2018-

Seattle gun owners could soon face fines or community service for failing to safely store their firearms. The Seattle City Council passed a bill Monday to mandate safe gun storage and create new civil infractions for those who fail to comply. The new law will allow fines of up to $500 for people who fail to safely store their guns. Penalties could escalate from there.

The bill creates civil infractions for both failing to safely store a gun and failing to safely store a gun when the owner “knows or reasonably should know” that the gun could be accessed by a minor, a person who’s legally not allowed to possess guns, or someone who is “at risk.” (“At-risk” is defined as someone who has “made statements or exhibited behavior that indicates to a reasonable person there is a likelihood that the person is at risk of attempting suicide or causing physical harm to oneself or others.”)

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