Court Sides with 2A Groups on Mandatory Gun Lock Suit
A unanimous panel of the Washington State Court of Appeals this week sided with gun rights organizations in a lawsuit challenging Seattle's mandatory gun lock ordinance.
The three-judge panel reversed a ruling by a lower court that dismissed the case against the City, brought by two gun owners along with their member organizations, the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation. The pro-gun groups had argued that Seattle's mandate, which allowed for up to a $10,000 fine for unsecured firearms in some cases, violated Washington's preemption law against local gun regulations.
The City argued the gun owners didn't have the standing to sue over the gun lock mandate as they have not personally been fined for violations of the ordinance. The Appeals Court held such logic didn't hold water, with Acting Chief Judge Beth Andrus saying they saw no basis, "to require a person to confess to a violation of an ordinance and risk exposure to significant civil infractions before being able to challenge the validity of that ordinance under state law."
With that, the court remanded the case back to the lower courts “for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."
The SAF deemed the ruling this week as a win, setting the stage for the gun owners to get their day in court.
"Now we will have a trial on the merits of the case, which I believe we will win eventually,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. "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."
Last year, the pro-gun groups won a similar case against the City of Edmonds, with a court scrapping the city's mandatory gun lock law.