With school shootings frequently occurring, it is common to see a news headline for a child accessing a gun. Because guns can easily end up in the hands of the wrong person whether it be a child, a convicted felon, someone without a gun permit or an individual with mental health issues, the safety of the public is always a concern. With this becoming more and more common, Seattle has toughened their gun storage regulations and many local Washington cities are working to reform their own regulations.
The recently added Seattle regulations involve the penalties for gun owners being fined up to $500 for not safely storing their firearms and can face a $10,000 fine if a prohibited person, including a child harms another or commits a crime with the gun that was improperly stored. Other cities such as Edmonds are working to institute regulations that penalize gun owners for failing to report lost or stolen guns. Mukilteo recently passed a bill that supported universal background checks for all firearm sales. These new regulations are attempting to target those who are gaining access to guns unlawfully and hope to lower the number of gun related deaths.
Because Washington state law prevents individual cities from creating harsher firearm regulations than those created by state law, municipalities must be careful in which new laws they institute. Together the state and cities are working together to ensure that the public remain safe and firearms stay in the proper hands.