Washington Appeals Court Rules Edmonds Safe Storage Mandate Violates State Preemption Law

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Dan Z. for TTAG

From the Second Amendment Foundation . . .

A Washington State Appeals Court panel has unanimously held that a so-called “safe storage” ordinance adopted by the City of Edmonds and challenged by the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association and three private citizens violates the state’s 36-year-old model preemption law.

The ruling is a “significant victory for Evergreen State gun and privacy rights,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. The case is known as Bass v. City of Edmonds.

“Washington lawmakers wisely adopted state preemption more than 35 years ago, Gottlieb observed. “The language is clear and unambiguous. Local governments cannot adopt or enforce their own firearms regulations that are more restrictive than state statute. The City of Edmonds knew this when the council adopted the storage requirement.”

The unanimous ruling was written by Acting Chief Judge Beth Andrus, with Judges Bill Bowman and Lori Kay Smith concurring. Writing for the court, Judge Andrus explained, “We…conclude that the legislature’s express preemption of ‘the entire field of firearms regulation’ is unambiguous and necessarily extends to regulations of the storage of firearms.”

“Let’s be clear about something,” Gottlieb emphasized. “Edmonds didn’t adopt this safe storage mandate in the interest of safety, but rather to challenge and erode, if not irreparably dismantle the state preemption law. The city has no business dictating to citizens how they should store firearms in their own homes.

“State preemption is the most common sense approach to firearms regulation there is,” he added. “It provides uniformity on gun laws from one state border to the other. Whether you live in Edmonds or Ephrata, the gun laws are the same.”

SAF and NRA are currently challenging a nearly identical storage ordinance adopted by the City of Seattle prior to time Edmonds adopted its illegal ordinance. The same appellate court last year ruled the Seattle lawsuit can continue.


The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 700,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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  1. …will the city of Edmonds (and the individuals involved) be liable for any fines since they broke state law?

  2. So there going to let us keep our no bullet gunms unlocked and take away hi capacity magazines .
    The Law says the law is the law.

    • “The Law says the law is the law.”

      California has paved the way forward in making their people believe that it’s the citizen’s right, if not their mandatory *duty* as a citizen to ignore laws they feel are immoral or simply wrong.

      Use the California model to dismantle ‘gun control’…

  3. Too bad no such court was around following the after midnight POTUS vote counting in certain democRat strongholds. Vote counting that conveniently did not extend to watchers or state legislators like it was supposed to.

    • would hope all this would be investigated before the next election….but don’t hold your breath….

  4. Meanwhile here in Oregon the legislature will be passing a law that eliminates the previous state preemption laws as they pertain to firearms and concealed carry. The democrat’s have a super majority and are fast tracking the law so it becomes effective in 90 days. Every city or county will be able to have their own rules so that will be fun. They’re also doubling the cost of a concealed carry permit.


    • The progressive poisoning of Oregon is exhibit A in why you never vote for Democrats. Never. NEVER. The difference between now and when I lived there 20 years ago is night and day.

      Washington is better off than Oregon because…for now…it has a larger conservative counterweight east of the Cascades. The Democratic party needs to die, and the faster the better. Yesterday would be great.

      • Oregon is a part of the Caloreton super state. Soon to be named “The People’s Socialist Democratic Republic of…”

        • Kinda funny how any government that calls itself the “people’s democratic” version of anything is always none of those things. Well, except maybe socialist.

          But really, even that, they miss, if you’re expecting socialism to be the perfect thing Marx wrote about (which that horrific abortion of a philosophy never has been and never will be).

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    • …while the citizens foot the bill on both sides. SAF, NRA, etc. use our donations to fund their lawsuits, and the gov’t uses our tax dollars to defend against the lawsuits. Man, we’re screwed.

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