October 20, 2020

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association are cheering the unanimous ruling by a Washington State Court of Appeals panel that reversed and remanded back to a lower court their legal challenge of a City of Seattle “safe storage” gun control mandate that violates Washington’s long-standing preemption law.

The city adopted its storage requirement more than two years ago and was quickly challenged by SAF, NRA and two private citizens. That action was dismissed by a King County Superior Court judge who said the plaintiffs lacked standing, so they appealed. A three-judge panel led by Acting Chief Judge Beth Andrus ruled for the plaintiffs and sent the case back to King County Superior Court “for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.” Andrus wrote the opinion.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb called the decision “a great victory for the Second Amendment Foundation and our case against Seattle.” Plaintiffs were represented by Seattle attorneys Eric Lindberg and Steve Fogg at Corr, Cronin LLP.

“Now we will have a trial on the merits of the case, which I believe we will win eventually,” he said. “A lot of our cases in Washington state have been stalled and have taken a long time to actually get resolved, and it’s because they really don’t want to rule in our favor but they know eventually they’re going to have to.”

SAF and NRA won a similar lawsuit against the City of Edmonds. Gottlieb noted this new ruling reinforces the state’s 35-year-old state preemption statute, which has been a model for similar laws in other states.

“Rogue city governments, especially ones that let rioters seize neighborhoods and destroy public and private property, cannot be allowed to skate around state firearms laws,” Gottlieb observed. “Seattle is not a special fiefdom inside Washington State, where officials can make up their own rules, especially when they directly affect the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.

“We’re challenging the city’s cavalier behavior because they are not above the law,” he stated. “We adopted state preemption decades ago because it brought uniformity to Washington’s gun laws. Thanks to the Appeals Court, we can now move forward, and I’m convinced we’re going to prevail.”

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