King County unveils new 'gun safety action plan'
SEATTLE - King County officials are set to unveil a new "gun safety action plan" that would require all gun owners in the county to securely store firearms, among other measures.
The county is forging ahead with the plan even though the NRA and Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation recently filed suit against the city of Seattle over a similar measure. The suit claims that only the state Legislature has the authority to adopt gun laws.
County officials say the new law is needed on safe gun storage because studies show that many of the 34 percent of Washington residents who own guns report having an unlocked firearm.
The measure, if passed, also would also require warning signs at stories that sell guns and establish a task force on firearm safety.
King County Council Chair Joe McDermott and other county officials say they need to take common sense actions - since there aren't any state or federal laws in place on gun safety.
A draft of the plan describes four different measures that need approval by the full King County Council and a fifth measure needing an OK from the King County Board of Health.
The Board of Health measure would require signs warning of the health risk of firearms to be posted in a number of different languages at gun stores and ranges and online.
The other four measures to be considered by the full council:
- All gun owners would be required to securely store their firearms and ammunition at all times on all premises.
- The King County Sheriff's Office would be directed to destroy all weapons confiscated from crimes.
- A task force would be established to develop gun safety strategies.
- King County would also collaborate with youth and young adults to identify recommendations for reducing gun violence that they experience.
The cities of Seattle and Everett recently passed similar laws.
- In Seattle a law goes into effect in January requiring gun owners to lock up their firearms or face fines up to $10,000. This is the measure being challenged by the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation.
- In Everett, gun owners who fail to report their firearm missing or stolen face a $250 fine.
More information about King County's gun safety action plan proposal can be found here ...