González, Durkan, Holmes say they’re working on new gun-safety laws

Two weeks ago during a “town hall” event at Chief Sealth International High School, Mayor Jenny Durkan said the city was looking at laws to help prevent violence involving guns. Today, she and two other citywide elected officials announced what they’re working on – here’s the news release:

Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, and Councilmember M. Lorena González announced that they will be developing legislation within the next month to address gun violence in Seattle. Following outreach and engagement with stakeholders including gun owners, safety advocates, community members, public health experts and others, this legislation will require safe storage of firearms and increase civil penalties and legal responsibility for not reporting lost or stolen firearms, which is required within 24 hours.

“We should not pretend for one second that the level of carnage in our country from guns is inevitable. We cannot allow it to become the new normal,” said Mayor Durkan. “Unsecured, unsafely stored firearms are more likely to be stolen, used in a suicide, accessed by children and teens and unintentionally fired.”

Across the country, nearly 1,300 children die and 5,790 are treated for gunshot wounds each year. In 2015, an estimated 150,000 adults in King County reported keeping a firearm unlocked. In Seattle, 250 stolen guns were reported from burglaries and car prowls in 2017 according to Seattle Police Department.

“We’re taking seriously the call to action from youth and their families to address gun violence in our schools, our communities, and within our own homes,” said Councilmember M. Lorena González (Citywide, Position 9). “More than 40 percent of King County adults with guns in or around their home said they left them unlocked. This legislation is about public safety. Our proposal to require gunowners to safely store their firearms will prevent children from accessing guns, and will reduce firearm injuries, accidental deaths and suicides among our youth. Simply put: this strategy will help us create a safer community.”

“Gun violence and mass shootings are a plague on our society, and for too long our federal and state governments have failed to enact common sense measures to promote gun safety. I support, and am prepared to defend, Seattle taking steps to move forward at the local level,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.

In 2015, the Seattle City Council passed legislation to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales to fund gun violence prevention research. Although the City Council continued funding gun violence prevention work at Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center, the revenue was initially blocked due to ongoing litigation. With the tax upheld by the State Supreme Court, this proposal will invest 2018 revenue and future gun and ammo tax revenues in Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center’s work to help individuals with firearm injuries.

In 2013, Seattle became the first city in the nation to conduct basic research on gun safety. The City Council-funded research led to a report from The Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center that established that “gun violence begets gun violence.” The research found that individuals hospitalized for a firearm injury were 30 times more likely to be re-hospitalized for another firearm injury than people admitted to the hospital for non-firearm related injuries.

In addition, the City of Seattle and Seattle Police Department launched a new site, seattle.gov/ERPO, to ensure all Seattle residents can easily complete an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO). An ERPO was designed to give family, household members, and law enforcement a way to petition the court to restrict the access and ability for a person with health crisis issues to purchase or possess firearms. In Seattle, 18 ERPOs have been petitioned by law enforcement with 37 weapons recovered.

“From Columbine to Newtown to Parkland, we are constantly reminded that Extreme Risk Protection Orders are more important than ever. These protection orders won’t prevent every act of gun violence, but we know they are already making a difference,” said Seattle Interim Police Chief Carmen Best.

Councilmember González, a West Seattle resident re-elected last year to a citywide council seat, chairs the committee that would consider new laws, the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans, and Education Committee.

35 Replies to "González, Durkan, Holmes say they're working on new gun-safety laws"

  • West Seattle Hipster March 21, 2018 (5:27 pm)

    Good news.  Too many unstable people have too many guns.

    • Chuck Jacobs March 21, 2018 (6:18 pm)

      “Unstable” people are already forbidden by law  from possessing guns. I haven’t heard anyone from either side of the debate propose a limit on the number of guns one may own, except for those who would prefer zero.

      • West Seattle Hipster March 21, 2018 (7:32 pm)

        Unstable people may be “forbidden” from possessing guns but they sure do end up using them quite a bit.

        i have never been in a situation where I thought “damn, I really wish I had a gun right now”.

        Time for some changes to the 2nd amendment.

        • Blinkyjoe March 21, 2018 (8:00 pm)

          You are completely at liberty to not have a gun, hipster.

          • West Seattle Hipster March 22, 2018 (7:24 am)

          • Jon March 22, 2018 (10:12 pm)

            They’ll never be satisfied until guns just magically don’t exist. So, it’s wasted breath.

            The best you can do is add to the voice of those who oppose such measures. Call your reps, the city, and any Pro-2A groups and encourage them to fight this.

        • Jim March 21, 2018 (9:03 pm)

          A gun is like a parachute, Hipster.  If you ever need one and don’t have it, you’ll never need one again.

        • Coldheart Craig March 21, 2018 (10:43 pm)

          It doesn’t even require changes to the 2nd amendment, it requires definition of ‘well regulated’ which to me means proof of safe operation and stowage, a couple of provisions that are there in just about any developed nation. When hard pressed, a lot of normal gun owners will agree that even that is sensible, it’s just the NRA pushes back hard with lobbying dollars to shut down any sensible discussion.

          • Jon March 22, 2018 (10:03 pm)

            “NRA pushes back hard with lobbying dollars to shut down any sensible discussion,” as if the NRA is an insurmountable dictator holding all of us hostage? Fake news.

            See that big Pac-Man and the blue pizza slice? That’s money spend on what we can broadly call “communications”. The NRA spends most of their money on endorsement ads for pro-2A politicians and on sending out membership initiatives to fight anti-gun legislation. Their strength is actually in being able to swing elections because many Americans who don’t live in Seattle are pro-2A. In fact, the NRA actually spends very little money “lobbying” in the traditional sense (wherein people imagine their senator having their pockets stuffed); surely, much less than Big Tech (Google, Facebook), Food and Beverage (Coca Cola, ConAgra, Monsanto), Big Pharma (Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson), Big Oil (too many to reasonably name) , et cetera.

            So, with that out of the way, let’s start over: Hello, neighbor — I’m a law-abiding gun owner and carry permit holder. I’ve gone through all of the legal hoops, never been convicted of a crime, paid my taxes and ridiculous renewing fees to be allowed in the state of Washington to protect myself, and I disagree with your definition of “sensible” and would happily fight this proposed legislation to the best of my abilities as a citizen of this country and as a resident of this city.

            Why? Because not everyone can afford an expensive safe (avg price ~$1,100); biometric safes require batteries and are a failure point (also, not very reliable); when in high-stress situations, you lose your fine motor skills; safes are often stolen and are easily broken into (had that happen, already); I want my firearm readily available to me in the event that my front door gets kicked in again while I’m sleeping (especially considering it takes about 10 seconds to reach my bedroom). These are my fair counterpoints in protest to such legislation. What say you?

            Also, I’m not sure you understand the definition of what counts as a “militia” — because it isn’t the military we have, currently (nor were all militiamen members of the Continental Army of 1775). The colloquial definition is “citizen soldiery” and is often accompanied by the phraseology “…defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government”.

            Many Constitutional Lawyers have weighed in on this and the Supreme Court agrees: individuals are protected by the Second Amendment. The Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments overrides any “progressive”, feel-good laws Mayor Jenny would love to pass and the Washington State Constitution, Article I, section 24, protects us even further by guaranteeing our rights as individuals.

            I’ve followed the laws of the land and I will not have the city government violate our federal and state Constitutional Rights so that politicians who benefit from 24/7 armed protection can exploit a tragedy to win brownie points amongst an ignorant demographic in their attempts to climb the political ladder.

            Though I’m sure we certainly disagree on many things, I would appreciate it if you could at least agree on supporting that. But it’s a free country, after all (and let’s keep it that way).

            Thanks for reading.

        • Rick March 25, 2018 (10:47 am)

          Since you’re fine with tweaking the Constitution how about we adjust the First Amendment so I don’t have to listen to you. (Just kidding. I don’t,really)

      • Swede. March 22, 2018 (5:51 am)

        The amounts doesn’t matter. Someone isn’t more or less dangerous because they have 18 guns or 1. From experience I can attest it’s pretty hard to shot more than one at any given time with any form of accuracy. 

  • The King March 21, 2018 (10:27 pm)

    It sounds like the proposal they want to float on to legislature involves keeping firearms locked when they are in your home or vehicle also. Scary ideas when they want laws to control what you do inside your own home. 

    • Jon March 22, 2018 (10:13 pm)

      100% agreed. Voice these concerns to your reps, the city, the mayor, and contact Pro-2A groups to get involved in this fight against irrational gun control.

  • John Doe March 21, 2018 (11:22 pm)

    So I own guns and I have a safe but I keep couple of them is some hidden spots, loaded and at the ready (we have no kids at home) in case of need…..so what happen?? If you suddenly need a gun, you may no have the time to open the safe…

    • Neil March 22, 2018 (9:21 am)

      That situation is ripe for an accidental discharge.  ” I was cleaning my gun and it went off”  code for,  I was playing with my gun.

      • John Doe March 22, 2018 (4:38 pm)

        No, the situation is not ripe for an accidental discharge….I never ever had one…..you cannot kepe a gun in the safe if that is the gun you use in case of self defense.

      • Jon March 22, 2018 (8:46 pm)

        Gun’s don’t discharge on their own and I’ve never met a legal gun owner, shop owner, NRA member, Law Enforcement Officer, Veteran, Active-Duty Service Member, Gunsmith, YouTube Gun Reviewer, or Gun Forum Community Member who didn’t abide by the basic safety rules and continually drill said protocols into the minds of others at every single opportunity.

        If you would spent any time around firearms, you would know this. Safety is paramount to an almost a comical degree. If you’re showing off a gun to a potential customer or student, you always “safety check” the firearm and have them perform the same courtesy. You are trained to always treat a firearm as if it were loaded. Most people triple-check unloaded guns before handling them.

        Accidents – be it firearms, kitchen knives, power tools, cars, you name it – usually happen from a lack of disciplined training with a dash of stupidity. I’ve trained many people on the safe usage of firearms and I’ve only ever had one person make what I would consider a stupid and potentially dangerous mistake; but my own over-preparedness made it so that nobody was ever in any serious danger (safety training with dummy caps, hours before anyone even gets to see the gun range — where they then don’t even get to shoot until revisiting the safety training for another hour or so). I can assure you, however, that the error was pointed out and the gravity of the situation was made abundantly clear to a borderline humiliating degree.

        As with anything that could potentially harm or kill someone (I work with wood chippers and chainsaws a lot of the time, too), safety and authoritative repetitive training is the key. And I want to make it clear: I’ve seen shop owners turn down sales if they felt an individual was too much of a goofball to safely operate a firearm. 

        In sum, firearms owners, dealers, instructors, et cetera are some of the safest people I’ve ever worked or lived with. If you have stories to the contrary, go ahead and share them.

    • nonni March 22, 2018 (1:04 pm)

      So, have you ever “suddenly needed a gun”?

      • John Doe March 22, 2018 (4:39 pm)

        Thank Goodness never, but you need to quickly access one in case of home invasion.

        • Chuck Jacobs March 22, 2018 (6:41 pm)

          I’ve never needed a fire extinguisher or a QuickClot trauma pack either, but I keep them handy just in case. There’s no worse feeling than knowing you could have saved a family member or friend… or even yourself, but for the lack of a simple tool.

          • Jon March 22, 2018 (10:15 pm)

            Well put. That is exactly the mindset of any person I’ve ever known who chooses to take on the responsibility of gun ownership (many of them women and victims of prior violent crimes).

            It’s unreal to me that there are so many Americans fighting against Liberty. I hope you’ll do your part and contact your reps in opposition. Take care.

      • Jon March 22, 2018 (8:49 pm)

        I have. Forced-entry home invasion while I was in bed. It was terrifying and I didn’t have one at the time; police response time was ~32 minutes. I’ll never make that mistake again.

        Just because you’ve been lucky – and choose not to take advantage of your 2A rights – doesn’t mean that others don’t have the right to protection or that their life-altering events didn’t take place.

        Take care.

    • Jon March 22, 2018 (8:54 pm)

      It’s completely asinine, unconstitutional, hypocritical, and it hasn’t worked in cities with similar laws. It has nothing to do with the matter of “gun violence”, but rather, looks good as a bullet point on the Mayor’s CV when she inevitably decides to run for Mayor once Gov. Inslee makes a run for the White House.

      All of those positions, by the way, come with 24/7 taxpayer-funded armed bodyguards.

      I plan to fight this to the best of my abilities and will be contacting organizations and lawyers to get involved before Seattle turns into Chicago, DC, et cetera. I expect people like you to make noise about it too, if you intend to keep your firearms for home defense. Show up to town halls, write to your representatives, call the mayor’s office — stand up for your rights.

      • Jon March 22, 2018 (9:16 pm)

        I meant when Durkan “runs for governor”. after her term as Mayor. I got distracted and missed the opportunity to fix the typo. :(

  • they March 22, 2018 (10:08 am)

    we only need one gun law that is a sticker on all guns ” use this gun in a crime and loose your freedom for life” pretty simple, and the people who argue against that are who we should be afraid of…

    • Dor March 22, 2018 (12:32 pm)

      Mass shooters don’t care about stickers or loss of freedom

    • Jon March 22, 2018 (8:57 pm)

      I don’t want ugly stickers on my guns. Pass.

      We already have laws on the books that say as much. In fact, you can’t even legally purchase one, if that’s the case. Felons are restricted. The issue – as the much-hated NRA points out – is that state agencies don’t coordinate with Federal agencies in submitting information. So the laws we have already aren’t 100% effective because of the inherit bureaucracy of government.

      The solution is not to give more unnecessary power to the government, but to ensure that the government is doing their job in the first place. 

  • KT March 22, 2018 (10:27 am)

    “…In 2015, the Seattle City Council passed legislation to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales to fund gun violence prevention research. Although the City Council continued funding gun violence prevention work at Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center, the revenue was initially blocked due to ongoing litigation. With the tax upheld by the State Supreme Court, this proposal will invest 2018 revenue and future gun and ammo tax revenues in Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center’s work to help individuals with firearm injuries…”

    Let’s be honest now, the $500,000 advertised to be raised from this tax really turns out to be $93,000 didn’t it?  What are you going to fund with that?   Why are you patting yourself on the back for that?  Trying to make it sound like you are serious about this issue when all you are making are feel good gestures (I do agree guns left unlocked in cars should under no circumstances be allowed)? I note the fact that 2018 revenue will be invested because the tax is a flop.   

    “…In 2013, Seattle became the first city in the nation to conduct basic research on gun safety. The City Council-funded research led to a report from The Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center that established that “gun violence begets gun violence.” The research found that individuals hospitalized for a firearm injury were 30 times more likely to be re-hospitalized for another firearm injury than people admitted to the hospital for non-firearm related injuries…”

    And how has that contributed to solutions?  I never see discussion of the specific individuals who suffered gun injuries in the city of Seattle and the circumstances surrounding the shooting.  Why?  Perhaps there are clues to your solution there?  “…

    “…Individuals hospitalized for a firearm injury were 30 times more likely to be re-hospitalized for another firearm injury than people admitted to the hospital for non-firearm related injuries…”

    That says something doesn’t it?    

    • Jon March 22, 2018 (9:15 pm)

      Big surprise: gangbangers shoot other gangbangers, over and over again. Wow. I wonder what causes that? Perhaps it’s partially The War On Drugs destroying families over trivial amounts of marijuana for decades? Perhaps it’s underfunded inner-city schools (why not donate that Anti-Gun March Money from Bloomberg and Hollywood to schools, instead). Perhaps it’s the fact that SPD is understaffed and doesn’t patrol or enforce serious laws? Perhaps it’s the broken Revolving Door Justice System that even Liberals in West Seattle of all places are starting to get angry about because they’re tired of being victims of property crime and auto-theft?

      Who can say?

      The so-called “Anti-Gun-Violence Tax” they passed cost more money to advertise and implement than it brought in. Seattle City Council and the Mayor’s office refused to release those details until recently for completely obvious reasons. Gun businesses left for greater King County and bailed on Seattle because – like the comical Soda Tax – the law was unreasonable and wasn’t worth anybody’s time when they could just go to a neighboring city that is more pro-business. In fact, the only business that reported as having contributed towards said tax was Outdoor Emporium in SoDo (who had to lay off employees because of the tax as well); and their contribution made up for nearly the entire amount (~$87k), so…

      This new proposal is gun-grabbing, plain and simple. And it never stops. Worst of all: it won’t actually accomplish anything besides punishing law-abiding gun owners. That’s why gun owners fight against these measures so hard: there is no good faith approach from anti-gunners. There is no consultation from 2A supporters, industry professionals, et cetera, when drafting these laws.

      Olympia already collects and stores our purchases on handguns, which is a state gun registry (all stored on insecure servers running outdated software; my biometrics were stored on a Windows XP machine where the password was “password” and it was also written on a sticky note and taped to the monitor). State government has routinely reneged on their own legal language if it means they’ll make money (look at the I-405 toll catastrophe from WSDOT).

      This is just politics as usual, without any sort of honest discourse from the thousands upon thousands of legal gun owners in Seattle. “Mayor Jenny” is trying to look good to a largely far-left (and anti-gun) voting demographic majority for when she runs to replace Inslee after he decides to run for higher office at the end of his term.

      • Tsurly March 24, 2018 (1:42 pm)

        “This new proposal is gun-grabbing, plain and simple. And it never stops. Worst of all: it won’t actually accomplish anything besides punishing law-abiding gun owners. That’s why gun owners fight against these measures so hard: there is no good faith approach from anti-gunners. There is no consultation from 2A supporters, industry professionals, et cetera, when drafting these laws.”

        There is no doubt in my mind that this will save lives. Even if it keeps one kid from finding an unsecured gun and injuring or killing themselves, it is worth the slight inconvenience. Before you start spewing the “sissy liberal snowflake” hate, know that I am a gun owner. No one is coming to grab your guns, relax.


        • Jim March 24, 2018 (3:58 pm)

          And if even one life is lost because a locked-up gun was unavailable to the victim ……?  There is a cost to every intended good deed.

          >>>No one is coming to grab your guns, relax.<<<   Maybe so, but there sure are a lot of people that want to do exactly that.  Relaxing is not an option.

          • Tsurly March 24, 2018 (6:13 pm)

            All evidence and statistics support the argument that an unsecure gun poses greater risk to your family rather than an intruder. When I had kids, locking everything up unloaded and separate from ammo was the only option IMO. If someone doesn’t have kids in the house, by all means keep whatever you want loaded next to your bed, just don’t miss that statistically unlikely bad guy coming through your door and kill your neighbor. I will take my chances with bear spray and an ice axe.

            There may be a lot of people who support “grabbing guns”, but anyone with half a brain knows that actually implementing that is logistically and fiscally impossible in this country. So again, relax.

        • Jon April 3, 2018 (9:26 pm)

          Haha, I love how “lived experiences” only matter when it’s a Liberal Concern Troll speaking for another demographic; but if it’s ever someone who disagrees with their politics, those events don’t count, even if they totally justify the position in question. So, here I am, telling you in good faith why I would never support a government mandate for gun safes. I’ve given you completely logical reasons for being against it without resorting to being mean; and you make it about “Nobody’s comin’ to git yer guns, ya dang hillbilly!”

          That’s your personal choice then, neighbor. If you’re afraid for your children, or your family, then by all means: stash your disassembled and utterly useless for home defense firearm into four different $3k safes, each in a different corner of your home. Me? I’ll trust myself, my rigid training, my family’s redundant training, and keep it holstered and nearby in the event of someone deciding to smash in my door again while we’re asleep.

          I won’t become an obituary in the newspaper because it helped you sleep better at night. And if you notice: I’m not advocating that anyone tell you how to live your life or how to protect your family. And yet, that’s all I’ve ever seen coming from anti-gunners: mandates and laws without any consideration or thought put into them.

          Interesting how that works out, isn’t it?

  • Jim March 24, 2018 (10:23 pm)

    Very condescending attitude toward people that know how to handle guns and prefer the protection they provide. 

    • Jon April 3, 2018 (9:29 pm)

      100% agreed, Jim. Far too many ignorant, fearful people who have never so much as set foot on a range; otherwise they’d know better and laugh at how common safety checks and drills truly are.

Sorry, comment time is over.