SAF, NRA SUE CITY OF EDMONDS OVER WASH. STATE PREEMPTION VIOLATION

BELLEVUE, WA – Another Washington state city is now being sued by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifled Association for violating the state’s 35-year-old preemption statute by adopting a local gun control ordinance. They filed a similar lawsuit against the City of Seattle last month.

Today’s lawsuit is against the City of Edmonds, a suburban community north of Seattle. Joining in the legal action are two Edmonds residents, Brett Bass and Swan Seaberg. Named as defendants are the City of Edmonds, Mayor Dave Earling and Police Chief Al Compaan. Plaintiffs are represented by Seattle attorney Steven Fogg, at Corr Cronin LLP.

Under Washington law, the State Legislature has exclusive authority for all firearms regulation, including but not limited to “registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components.” The Edmonds ordinance mandates so-called “safe storage” and sets fines for civil infractions ranging to $10,000.

“It is clear to us that a handful of cities are trying desperately to erode Washington’s long-standing preemption law,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Their goal is to discourage citizens from exercising their rights under the state and federal constitutions by financial intimidation. The city council clearly understands preemption, but went ahead with this ordinance, anyway, undoubtedly knowing it would be overturned by the court. It seems as though their ultimate goal is to convince voters that gun law uniformity is somehow a bad idea, so it should be changed.

“They would like to take Washington back decades to a time when citizens had to contend with confusing and conflicting local ordinances and regulations,” he added. “Preemption was adopted to eliminate that mess and make sure it doesn’t happen again. The law has worked for more than three decades. It doesn’t need fixing.

“This is a legal action that should have been undertaken by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson,” Gottlieb added. “Unfortunately, he is more interested his political agenda and attacking people on his political enemies list, so the constitutional rights of Washington citizens come last.”


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