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Seattle considers leading the way on reforming state firearms law

The Seattle City Council’s public safety committee Wednesday will discuss a new plan to harness the state initiative system to create “reasonable gun regulations” in Washington’s largest cities:

This Initiative, if passed, would allow Seattle to enact laws that would increase public safety in our neighborhoods, schools and businesses by 1) requiring mandatory gun safety training for concealed carry license permits, 2) requiring handgun trigger locks, 3) requiring gun safes, and 4) requiring gun data collection. Data shows a direct, negative correlation between the rate of gun deaths and states that ban assault weapons and require handgun trigger locks and safes.

Current state law restricts Seattle from regulating firearms “in any meaningful way,” according to the statement on the proposed initiative from committee chair Bruce Harrell.

The move comes in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting tragedy as the debate over firearm regulation in the nation has taken an even more serious turn and efforts to place new limits on guns are being considered at local, state and federal levels.

The Seattle-led effort would include “regional and statewide leaders, community leaders, attorneys, prosecutors, police officers, State Board of Health, King County Board of Health, youth organizations, universities and colleges, parent and education groups, and organizations like Washington CeaseFire,” according to Harrell’s statement.

Organizers would need to gather more than 240,000 signatures for the initiative to appear on a 2013 ballot.

In 1997, the NRA poured $3.5 million in advertising into the state to defeat an initiative that would have required safety tests for gun owners and trigger locks for handguns.

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13 thoughts on “Seattle considers leading the way on reforming state firearms law

  1. Why do people need to carry be guns anyways? because its a “right” or its “fun to should, or for the rarest case of “protection?…I cant remember why guns are considered fun and exceptable…especially military firearms. We have evolved enough as a people that guns cause nothing but death and “death to targets,animal, and people.” You feel you need to have one cause other people are allowed to have them, which creates a false sense of protection. its stupid. I have never felt the need to carry a gun. guns are meant t kill things, and are used to cause destruction and war….nothing else…sounds idiotic. Plenty of countries ban guns and the worst thing that happens is someone gets beat up….not killed in the process. Wake up…this is an old law when we were fighting civil wars…we have grown. People need to go through tons of training to get a car license, but cars are not meant to kill things, that happens accidentally and is also necessary for transportation. But guns… you can walk right into the store to buy and they are actually meant to kill things……that is ludicrous.

  2. it’s too easy to just go outside of Seattle. Your concealed permit is valid in the entire state. What you’ll end up doing is having folks use an address outside of Seattle just like they did when the monorail tax was added to license tabs.

    I like the idea, but they need to think bigger if they want to push this through.

  3. … the NRA.

    “Data show…” (citation needed)

    “Gun data collection… ” The data is already collected. For any given modern legally owned firearm, the ownership chain can be determined. If that legal transfer chain is broken, and the arm illegally transfered and illegally used, the last legal owner is already determinable, and the last legal owner is already in legal trouble. Being a “straw buyer” is also already illegal. (And if you say “gun show loophole”, your ignorance is showing. There is no such thing. ALL sellers are already required to record the transfer or to know their buyer.

    Since law enforcement can already always, for any given gun they have confiscated, determine who the last legal owner is, there must be some other reason for wanting a centralized database. Do any of the readers here of this blog have the balls and the honest to say what that reason is?

    “mandatory gun safety training. Who’s syllabus? Who will teach the class?

    And bluntly, would any of these rules have stopped the events last week? No, they wouldn’t have.

  4. Don’t be a tool of the oligarchs!

    Of course existing gun control laws failed — the laws were watered down due to lobbying of our parliament of whores by the NRA. Then they point and say, “see, your laws do not improve the situation.”

    It needs to be as difficult to maintain ownership of a firearm as it is a motorcycle endorsement on a drivers license.

    People power can easily fix this.

  5. It seems like all these mass murders are committed by 20 something males. Aside from banning semi automatic weapons maybe we need an age limit? Of course not much would have stopped what happened last week from happening considering the guns all belonged to mommy.

  6. Marriage equality, the beginning of the end of the useless “war on drugs,” and now sane regulation of deadly weapons? What’s next? Universal healthcare?

    If we keep this up, we won’t have to secede from the Union – it’ll kick us out. No, not to worry… That would require holding real estate developers responsible for… Oh, never mind. Let’s be cheerful today.

    The last thing I expected when I moved to the Land Where Style Goes to Die was to become trendsetter. Who knew?

  7. Ok, I’ll bite…

    Since law enforcement can already always, for any given gun they have confiscated, determine who the last legal owner is, there must be some other reason for wanting a centralized database. Do any of the readers here of this blog have the balls and the honest to say what that reason is?

    What are you referring to?

  8. The feds have failed on gun control. States need to do it apparently. I think it will pass if put on the ballot. The argument should be framed as a states’ rights issue. Even far-right-wingers believe states have rights as granted in the Constitution under Amendment Ten.

  9. Well said, and I agree completely. Although I know it’s not going to happen, I would like the 2nd Amendment repealed. This would be a “two-fer”…much less gun violence over time, and stopping the slaughter of wild animals at the same time.

  10. As you probably know…or should know…the “gun show loophole” refers to the fact that background checks are not required at such shows, and because of this something like 40% of guns purchased in the USA are done so without a background check. This is a very serious problem and it contributes to gun violence. The loophole must be closed….soon!

  11. I experienced a home invasion when I first moved to Seattle. I woke up at 4am to see a stranger going through my closet and dresser. I was able to scare him off with my baseball bat, but I’ve had a handgun in my nightstand ever since. I’d want to know more about what they mean by requiring a “gun safe” and “handgun trigger locks.” You don’t have time to unlock your safe and remove a trigger lock when someone is suddenly in your bedroom. I’m all for people having safety tests however. If you own a gun, it’s your responsibility to know how to use one.