Who needs the rule of law when you have good intentions, right? For decades, Washington State’s preemption law has blocked cities from enacting their own gun control regimes. In spite of that, Seattle’s brave social justice warrior mayor just signed a firearms “safe storage” ordinance. Because, well, guns. Those icky guns.
Not long ago, the Seattle City Council approved the local ordinance. Earlier this week, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed it into law. With her police chief Carmen Best at her side, Herhonner claimed the new law will save lives. Additionally, she claimed, it will keep children from living in fear waiting for the next spree killing.
Here in the real world, we know her claims are utterly baseless. Obviously, no violent criminal will care about a $500 fine. On the other hand, the new law will hamper the self-defense rights of the law-abiding in King County’s biggest city.
On occasion, it might even leave residents or visitors sleepless in Seattle, worried about crime. The NRA has the facts:
…The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as well as punish victims of theft by requiring them to report a lost or stolen firearm within 24 hours or face increased fines.
For some reason, Mayor Durkan made no mention of flouting the rule of law when it comes to local gun ordinances during her signing ceremony.
Assuming the act takes effect next February as scheduled, it will impose civil, not criminal, penalties for violations. From the Mayor’s website:
Penalties for failing to safely store or for not reporting lost or stolen firearms within 24 hours after the loss or theft is discovered:
Basic requirement to store: Up to $500 fine (or community service) for failure by any person to store or keep any firearm in any premises in a locked container.
Accessed by prohibited person: Up to $1,000 fine (or community service) if the firearm is obtained by youth, prohibited purchaser or an “at-risk person” (expressing suicidal or harmful ideation).
Harm done by prohibited person: Up to $10,000 fine per victim if prohibited person uses the firearm to injure, kill, or commit a crime.
The fine folks at the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), based in neighboring Bellevue, Washington don’t think much of this new ordinance. Hence, SAF head honcho Alan Gottlieb promises a court challenge. A wise and prudent man wouldn’t bet against Mr. Gottlieb when it comes to legal challenges.
As for Mayor Durkan, perhaps she has more pressing issues for the City of Seattle besides picking a fight with gun owners. She has her work cut out for her with plenty of big city problems, everything from police reform to a growing homeless population in her deep blue city. Instead, she’s keeping busy by conspicuously virtue signaling, signing a blatantly illegal local gun control ordinance into law. Good luck, Seattleites.