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Seattle defines what ‘safe gun storage’ means under new rules

(File, Associated Press)

The Seattle City Council passed safe gun storage regulations in July, but it wasn’t entirely clear what passed for storage? A safe, a plastic food container, or gun lock?

What does ‘safe storage’ mean under Seattle’s new gun regulation?

It appears the city is finally ready to adopt rules defining what it means by “safe storage,” under Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 3.0.

(1) A safe, gun safe, gun case, gun cabinet, or lock box that is

(a) designed to fully contain firearms and prevent removal of, and access to, the enclosed
(b) Is capable of repeated use;
(c) May be opened only by a numerical combination consisting of the entry of at least three
variables entered in a specific sequence on a keypad, dial or tumbler device; key,
magnetic key, or electronic key; or by biometric identification; and
(d) Be constructed with such quality of workmanship and material that it may not be easily
pried open, removed, or otherwise defeated by the use of common tools.

Before it can adopt the rules, the city will take public comment on the issue. Residents must submit input to the Seattle Police Department by 4:30 p.m. on October 15 via mail or email. You can also call at 206-386-1320.

Seattle’s safe storage regulation

Seattle residents face penalties if they do not safely store their firearms or report lost and stolen guns.

Seattle’s safe storage regulation, and the rules on reporting lost and stolen guns, state:

  • Safe storage: Guns should be stored in a locked container, and rendered as unusable to any person other than the owner or authorized user.
  • Unauthorized access prevention: It will be a civil infraction if a minor, at-risk, or prohibited person obtains a firearm when the owner should have reasonably known they would have access to it.
  • Violation of the safe-storage law, or the unauthorized access regulation could result in a fine between $500 and $1,000.
  • If a prohibited or at-risk person, or a minor obtains a firearm and uses it to commit a crime, injure or kill someone (including themselves), the gun owner could be fined up to $10,000.
  • If a civil case results from prohibited access, it will be “prima facie evidence” that they are negligent. That means it is immediately a fact, unless proven otherwise.
  • The new gun law will go into effect in January.

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