Gun-toting Edmonds councilmember proposes fines for not locking up firearms
The city of Edmonds could soon fine people who don't lock up their firearms.
The ordinance is being proposed by a gun owner.
Mike Nelson is the president of the Edmonds City Council. He has two young sons.
And he's a proud gun owner. Nelson is introducing legislation Tuesday that would require all gun owners use a trigger lock or a safe.
He said since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida this year he's received a lot of pressure to pass gun laws — especially from young people.
"They're afraid to go to school because they're afraid of getting shot. And so as a parent, that really struck a chord with me. Because I don't want my baby going and feeling that way. They should be going there to learn. They shouldn't be going there to be afraid. That's a place that should be of safety," Nelson said.
Those who do not safely store their firearms would face a civil infraction and a fine of $500. If a gun that was not correctly stored is used in a crime, the fine could jump to $10,000.
A recent University of Washington study found that 63 percent of gun-owning households in the state do not store their firearms locked and unloaded.
Nelson dismisses the criticism that it's unfair to be required to buy a lock or a safe.
“For the cost of a Happy Meal you can literally save somebody's life. A trigger lock is very, very inexpensive. We're talking $7 - $8. And if this law saves one life, I think it's a reasonable thing," he said.
The money raised by the fines would pay for trigger locks that the city would give out for free.