Washington State Judge Says Lawsuit vs Edmonds ‘Safe Storage’ Law ‘Ripe for Determination’

SAF Edmonds Washington preemption lawsuit

Courtesy Second Amendment Foundation

Washington State has had a preemption law in place for 35 years which prevents local jurisdictions from enacting firearm-related regulations that are more strict than state level laws. The preemption law protects lawful gun owners who travel within the state, eliminating the need to know the individual gun laws of every county and town they may travel through.

The city of Edmonds violated the preemption law last year when the city council enacted a so-called safe storage law. That prompted a lawsuit by the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association.

The city moved to have the suit dismissed, but a county judge has ruled it can go forward. Here’s the SAF’s press release . . .

BELLEVUE, WA – A Snohomish County Superior Court judge will allow a lawsuit challenging a so-called “safe storage” ordinance in the City of Edmonds to proceed, ruling that all plaintiffs in the case have standing to challenge the ordinance as a violation of Washington State’s 35-year-old preemption law that placed sole authority for firearms regulation in the hands of the Legislature.

The case is brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association and two private citizens, Brett Bass and Swan Seaburg. Judge Anita L. Farris denied a motion by the City to dismiss the case, noting that “the Plaintiff’s claim that the ordinance is preempted by state statute is ripe for determination.”

Edmonds adopted a “safe storage” requirement last year, which violates the preemption statute. SAF and NRA promptly filed suit with the two private citizens.

Judge Farris has done what King County Superior Court Judge Barbara Linde would not do when she dismissed a similar lawsuit against the City of Seattle on technical grounds after the city argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue. SAF and NRA have appealed her ruling. Seattle has adopted a “safe storage” requirement, possibly emboldened to challenge state preemption because it also adopted a controversial “gun violence tax” in 2015 that the State Supreme Court allowed to stand.

“We’re encouraged by Judge Farris’ order,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The city knows this ordinance violates the state preemption statute, and we believe this ordinance, and the one in Seattle, were passed specifically to erode the state law.

“The cities have desperately wanted to remove the preemption law so they can establish their own, possibly contradictory gun control rules,” he continued. “Their ultimate goal is to discourage citizens from exercising their rights under the state and federal constitutions by financial intimidation through fines that could climb to $10,000 under the Edmonds ordinance. The cities want to take Washington State back in time, to an era when a patchwork quilt of confusing, conflicting gun laws existed. State Preemption did away with that, and it’s time for the courts to end this nonsense.”

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 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.


  1. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Are they freaking kidding? All we need is thousands of tiny towns implementing there own gun restrictions!! It’s bad enough with State level differences!!

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      That’s the *point* of what they are trying to do. To make it so confusing that there is no rational way a gun carrier can travel throughout the state without violating some Podunk town’s gun laws. So, to be ‘safe’, they won’t carry.

      Flat *evil* shit.

      Didn’t some southern states try similar things against Blacks after the Civil War? The entire point was to discourage Blacks from even traveling about with fear of being arrested for some bullshit ‘law’…

      1. avatar Rincoln says:

        Yup, all enacted by Democrats.

      2. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

        And now we have Jethro-Crow.

  2. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    Our Rights will die by 1,000 cuts. There are too many “people” who are devising too many ways to restrict freedom to keep track of them all. Maybe they wouldn’t be so successful without Mikey’s money, but his money is out there and people are anxious to lap it up and screw us. 😟

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      “Strict scrutiny” and a whole bunch of lawsuits to enforce it will lay these infringements to rest.

      1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        There should also be criminal penalties for the city councils and mayors that violate state law. If an ordinary citizen violates a state law there is hell to pay so why not politicians.

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        ““Strict scrutiny” and a whole bunch of lawsuits to enforce it will lay these infringements to rest.”

        I hope Thomas and Co. have some tricks up their sleeve when they hear the ‘NY Pistol’ case, and we get some form of ‘strict scrutiny’ that discourages the Leftists from pulling this kind of shit.

        Thomas has to see what they are doing with stunts like this…

  3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Good article. 1911 great pistol to headline it. However, couldn’t find one more gaudy? An actual issue 1911, or 1911A1 with a period flag would have been better. Actually, a Revolutionary War musket with period flag would have been best. Even if they were repops.

    1. avatar possum says:

      You don’t like that pistil? I’d consider iit a privilege to be shot with a pistil like that.

  4. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “The city of Edmonds violated the preemption law last year when the city council enacted a so-called safe storage law.”

    And that’s all I needed to know…

  5. avatar TFred says:

    The issue of standing is probably the biggest impediment to civil rights enforcement existing today.

  6. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I hope the Liberal cities are driven into bankruptcy. Their financial collapse is necessary to protect the civil rights of the citizens.
    Even the stupid Liberal ones who vote for these anti-civil rights politicians.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I hope the Liberal cities are driven into bankruptcy.”

      God, I hope to Hell not. But purely for selfish reasons –

      If they do, the Federal government will have to ‘bail them out’. That will give other cities the motivation to *really* rack up debt they have no possible way to pay off. And do you know where they will likely rack up the most debt?

      Cushy public worker salaries and retirement bennies…

      1. avatar retmsgt says:

        City goes bankrupt? Gee, that’s a state problem.

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        We are at war. It is past time to inflict as much pain as possible to get them to stop. City bankruptcy is a state problem. I believe California has at least three of them to deal with.

  7. avatar Keith Pallo says:

    A war is coming. It will be violent and bloody. It will be cruel due to the level of hate and vitriol being stoked by the left and the fake news people. If we as legal gun owners don’t wake up we will find ourselves becoming instant felons subject to imprisonment and heavy fines along with confiscation! If it hasn’t started before national confiscation it certainly will by then because all of us will be subject to illegal searches and seizures. If you don’t think that the Feds don’t have a shadow registry you are kidding yourself. Every background check has most likely been saved in some capacity and that is where they will start. So with that said how do we gun owners begin to prepare as a group and organize a defense?

  8. avatar possum says:

    Well if it’s ripe they better hurry, don’t wanting it getting too ripe and going bad

  9. avatar American Patriot says:

    The Nevada legislation just introduced the same thing AB 291. If you live in the state please go here: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/AppCF/Opinion/80th2019/vwComments.cfm
    and voice your opinion against this bill, it would make it a nightmare to know all the laws of each county if enacted.

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