Seattle Ordinance: Gun Owners Must Place Firearms in ‘Locked Container’ Inside Their Homes

In September 2016, DuWayne Gregory, a county legislator on Long Island, introduced a bill that he thought would reduce the number of gun thefts and accidental shootings in his community.
AP/Julie Jacobson

The Seattle City Council passed an ordiance proposed by Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) requiring gun owners to place their firearms in a “locked container” in their own home.

The Seattle Times reports that the ordiance makes it “a civil infraction to store a gun without the firearm being secured in a locked container.” The penalties for violating the law vary, depending on whether a gun that was improperly stored is used in a crime.

For example, the ordinance “allows fines up to $500 when a gun isn’t locked up, up to $1,000 when a prohibited person accesses a firearm and up to $10,000 when a prohibited person uses the weapon to hurt someone or commit a crime.”

Durkan released a statement on the passage of the ordinance, saying, “While we can’t prevent every gun death or injury, we can take steps to help prevent future tragedies. Requiring that gun owners responsibly store their guns can help make our communities safer places to live.”

Neither the council nor Durkan explained how the ordinance will be enforced or whether enforcement will include surprise visits from police officers who knock doors to ensure guns are in a “locked container.” In the event that a gun improperly stored is used in a mass shooting the gun’s owner will be “fined separately for each person injured or killed.”

In other words, if a criminal breaks into a gun owner’s home, steals the gun and uses it a homicide, the gun owner will be liable.

The council did not explain who will be fined if a criminal breaks into a home, steals a gun, and kills the gun’s owner with it.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at



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