King County can't wait
It's time for common sense gun safety laws
In the absence of federal and state action on common sense gun safety laws, King County must take action to protect our residents from gun violence. Much of this work must include shedding light on how firearms affect the health and safety of King County residents, while taking steps to limit their impact. Read below to find out about the initial steps we are proposing to address gun safety in King County.
Secure storage of firearms
Require gun owners to securely store firearms and ammunition at all times, on all premises.
An estimated 34% of Washington adults (1,825,000 people) 18 years and older reported having a firearm in or around their home in 2015. Just under half of these adults (46% or 839,000 people) reported having an unlocked firearm. Access to firearms, including storage practices, are a known risk factor for firearm suicide – especially among youth. (Public Health - Seattle & King County; WA State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance, System, 2015, 2013)
Disclosure of information on health risks related to firearms
Require firearm dealers and those transferring ownership of their firearm to post warning signs disclosing the significant increase in risks to health and life from firearm ownership at the time of sale or transfer of a firearm. Signs will also include contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
At all times, operators of shooting ranges will be required to post warning signs disclosing the significant increase in risks to health and life from firearm ownership and also contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Youth informed solutions
King County will collaborate with youth and young adults to identify recommendations for reducing the gun violence that they experience. Adults have spent too much time pondering how to reduce gun violence amongst our youth. So we’re going to ask them.
Require destruction of forfeited weapons
This ordinance requires the King County Sheriff’s Office to destroy working forfeited weapons, including those that have been turned in by owners.
Developing strategies through best practices
Require that the Executive's office establish a work group that develops gun safety and gun violence prevention strategies based on proven public health models.
What we are doing next
The Gun Safety Action Plan will continue to expand and evolve to ensure that King County is doing everything in power to stop senseless gun violence and make our communities safer. We value you as a partner in this fight and hope you will share your ideas and solutions with us here.
State law restricts our ability to enact many common sense changes that would go a long way toward preventing mass shootings.
Which is why:
It's time to lead or get out of the way
The Washington State Legislature enacted a preemptive ban on local jurisdictions from making laws that might limit the sale or possession of firearms in our state.
If the state preemption law is repealed, the King County Gun Safety Action Plan will immediately:
- Ban semi-automatic, high velocity weapons: Ban the sale and possession of semi-automatic, high velocity weapons
- Ban high capacity ammunition magazines: Ban the sale and possession of high capacity ammunition magazines
- Raise the minimum age to 21: For all firearm purchases and possession laws
- Impose a waiting period: Establish a waiting period before taking possession of a firearm after purchase
- Require safety training: Require firearm safety training before taking possession of a firearm after purchase