Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association sue Edmonds over gun storage rule

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    Edmonds City Council President Mike Nelson announcing his proposal to submit city legislation that would mandate safe storage of firearms. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association on Tuesday sued the City of Edmonds for its adoption of a firearms storage law.

    The two organizations say that the measure, approved July 24, violates the state’s 35-year-old preemption statute. The groups filed a similar lawsuit against the City of Seattle last month.

    Joining in the legal action are two Edmonds residents, Brett Bass and Swan Seaberg. Named as defendants are the City of Edmonds, Mayor Dave Earling and Police Chief Al Compaan. Plaintiffs are represented by Seattle attorney Steven Fogg, at Corr Cronin LLP.

    Under the newly-passed ordinance, which had been proposed by Council President Mike Nelson, those failing to secure their firearms could face a civil infraction of up to $500. If a child or other prohibited person gains access to a firearm that should have been secured, the violator can be fined up to $1,000. If someone is hurt as a result of that person gaining access, the fine increases to up to $10,000.

    According to a news release announcing the lawsuit, under Washington law, the State Legislature has exclusive authority for all firearms regulation, including “registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components.”

    “It is clear to us that a handful of cities are trying desperately to erode Washington’s long-standing preemption law,” said Second Amendment Foundation Founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Their goal is to discourage citizens from exercising their rights under the state and federal constitutions by financial intimidation. The city council clearly understands preemption, but went ahead with this ordinance, anyway, undoubtedly knowing it would be overturned by the court. It seems as though their ultimate goal is to convince voters that gun law uniformity is somehow a bad idea, so it should be changed.

    Gottlieb said such a legal action should have been undertaken by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “Unfortunately, he is more interested his political agenda and attacking people on his political enemies list, so the constitutional rights of Washington citizens come last,” he said.

    52 Replies to “Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association sue Edmonds over gun storage rule”

    1. How many lawsuits that Edmonds loses will there be? All of this at tax payer expense. frankly I’m sick of it.

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      1. Fools and their money, are soon parted.
        But hey, it’s not their money, so they can be as irresponsible and arrogant as they see fit.

        Vote these clowns out of office.

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        1. First, hats off to our City Council for taking this stance!
          Second, I do have to wonder how much of the influence money given by the Russians to the NRA it’s going to take to fight off little ol’ Edmonds. Sad……

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          1. Your comment is beyond crazy. Please explain why the Russians are paying the NRA? Total fake news!
            Oh hey, I heard there was a Bigfoot spotted in Yost park.

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          2. Mr. Paul, We have no doubt that you will reject every document presented to you that does not comport with your vision of reality (we can hear your fake news mantra going off already) but, nevertheless, let’s investigate your claim of “beyond crazy.”
            Here are a number of actual news reports regarding the fact that Russia has been funneling rubles to the NRA. I know, it’s not Foxy Neuz but just for a reminder – It is illegal for foreign funds to be spent to influence U.S. elections.
            If you, unlike the current president, reads, here’s your starter kit. SAD!
            https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a21273701/russia-nra-trump-brexit-farage/
            https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article214075459.html#storylink=cpy
            https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/11/nra-russia-money-guns-516804
            https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/16/russian-agent-conspiracy-guns-724470
            https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-16/russian-gun-rights-advocate-arrested-by-u-s-for-conspiracy

            “Only the best people” will never cease to be hilarious!

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          3. I normally stay out of these back and forth exchanges but I would like to challenge all commenters on this site -regardless of political leanings – to address their concerns about other people’s news sources without using the term fake news. Include links to other sources you think are more credible if you want, but a blanket condemnation of everything as fake news — unless you agree with the source –is getting just a bit tiresome. I think eliminating that term from our respective vocabularies would go along way toward healing the divisiveness that I am starting to see with alarming frequency here.

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      2. The Edmonds City Attorney must sign all Ordinances, and in so doing, he is stating that the”Ordinance” complies and conforms to Washington State Law.
        The Edmonds City Attorney can not knowingly, permit a fraudulent, falsified or “illegal” document(s) to be passed by the City Council. There are Two separate RCW’s such actions violate, both are criminal in nature, not withstanding his contract with the City of Edmonds (the Tax Payers), and his Oath to the Washington State Bar. Everyone should File a formal written complaint with the Washington State Bar against City Attorney- Jeff Taraday, his failure to follow the law, will cost Edmonds Tax Payers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

        Edmonds has become a Scoff-Law town, “officials” do as they wish, illegal or not.

        Most of the City Council, and Mayor Dave Earling have let there little bit of “power”, go to their heads.
        Dave Earling, as the “Mayor”, where is your outrage at this financial loss? Obviously– you do not care about the Tax Payers in Edmonds, or, how much taxpayer money you and City Hall waste. Earling’s actions and his arrogance, display that despite his perpetual “smiles” while walking around with his coffee, and his professed affection for the town of Edmonds, it’s all, nothing but a smoke screen. As Mayor Earling will do what he wants, whenever he wants, even going so far as too ignore State Law, regardless of the financial costs and loss directly placed onto the Tax Payers of Edmonds. This financial loss falls directly on the desk of the person in charge….Mayor Dave Earling.

        Mayor Earling, in the past has referred to the “City” as a Corporation. As “a Corporate entity”, it is. But this Corporation, known as the City of Edmonds, is owned by the Edmonds Tax Payers. When a “Corporations” CEO can no longer effectively lead, can not follow basic law, and becomes a financial liability to the share holders (“the Tax Payers”), the CEO is removed from the “Corporation”.

        Illegal actions from elected “Civil Servants” is not leadership……. it is apogee of incompetence, and a display of total arrogance.

        Dave Earling, you need to resign from the City of Edmonds…you have become an embarrassment to the City of Edmonds.

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      1. Yep this ought to be interesting for sure! I’m also a bit anxious to find out about the “Welcome to Edmomds” sign change dilemma as well!

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    2. I don’t care if it was a good idea or not. Passing a rule that you knew was going to be overturned in court is wrong! You don’t have the right to through away our tax dollars to make a statement. Next time you do this, I might have to think about filing my own lawsuit against the city. Wasteful use of tax dollars in an attempt to make a political statement.

      How about next time you want to try this kind of thin, you put it to the voters FIRST! See if the majority wants to waste those dollars defending legally questionable rules.

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        1. Until Dave Earling is removed from Office, this is what Edmonds will get. Illegal act after illegal act.

          A poor administration, from unqualified people.

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          1. The city council makes the policy decisions and the mayor’s job is to implement them. The council must take 100% of the responsibility for this dumb move. Did the city attorney advise them not to proceed?

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          2. The Mayor has Veto power on any Ordinance the Council passes, so his personal actions are 100% at fault.

            Basic Law: If the subject matter of any contract, or Ordinance, is illegal, then the contract or Ordinance is illegal. What the City Council has done is to facilitate their own personal dislike for the NRA, and gun owners, and passed an illegal Ordinance, knowing full well that they will loose in Court.
            What this did was place the financial loss on the backs of the taxpayers in Edmonds, but they do not care, it promotes their own personal social agendas.

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        2. Posted by David Clem on My Edmonds News:
          Believe it or not, I actually got a response from Adrienne Monillas. Apparently, this makes it all okay.
          Mr. Clem,
          I see you have a concern with cost of our defense. No worries, our attorneys charge a flat rate per year.
          Adrienne Fraley-Monillas
          Sent from my iPad

          Obviously, just like Mayor Earling’s pay, the City Council is way over paid. Lets get some people with some intellect to represent the taxpayers.

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      1. Jeff, I agree with you 100%. Why would you feel so confident as to knowingly spend OUR money on a case you will lose?

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      2. I agree with all these comments – will city council members pay for their ignorance? Of course not. Edmonds taxpayers will. They need to THINK and do some research before passing regulations. DUMB!

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        1. Ignorance or arrogance! Regardless, I am incensed that the taxpayers will be assessed for the lawsuit. Personally I think each and every member the City Council should have to pay, not the taxpayers!

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    3. I remember when the NRA was all for gun safety and sportsmanship. They wanted to keep firearms out of the hands of children and others who could mishandle them. But that all changed when the firearms industry took over in 1977. I miss the old NRA.

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        1. With all due respect Joy, I find it hard to believe that an organization that mocks survivors of a school shooting is “good”.

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    4. I am proud of our City Council for saying NOPE to gun violence —- in our schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, churches, and just about every public gathering place you can imagine. And NOPE to the oppressive electoral influence of the NRA. Even if the Council’s vote was symbolic, change has to start somewhere. Keep calm, Edmonds City Council, and carry on.

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    5. I love being able to tell government-types “I told you so”.

      Once again, I call for those council-members who voted for this to pay OUR legal costs out of their own pocket. Either that, or resign immediately. Either one works for me.

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        1. Really, the way I read the RCW, the city can make all the laws they want, as they are preempted by the state automatically. Nothing puts prior restraint on the City Council.
          Someone in the city would have to enforce the preempted and repealed law in order for there to be standing. I’ve admitted to not having a gun in a safe, openly, and have not been fined. I’ll call the PD this week to admit breaking the law, just to triple follow through.

          The best we could hope for is for Mike Nelson to step down should this go to court and if the city lost. I gotta hand it to him for falling on the partisan sword. Is this the council Edmonds wants?

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      1. David, can the City Officials be held personally liable? It would be interesting if a lawyer could let us know if there is a mens rea component to this, if there is a malpractice type liability to civil damages that the council knowing exposed the taxpayer to. What is the impeachment process for a Council Member?
        That said, the way I read the RCW, the City can make all the gun laws they want, but the RCW automatically “preempts and repeals” them. Can automatically repealed laws remain codified and enforced, or does it require litigation and a judge to implicitly repeal a law? I still think one would need to be coerced into paying a fine against a law that is automatically repealed, so that there is standing to sue. I am not a lawyer. If my interpretation is correct, then the activists on the council may as well have banned guns altogether, or AR-15’s. They consider themselves heroes, “saving lives”, so why not go big?

        https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.290

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    6. A foolish law, but it does clearly express the thoughts of many who would like to see more rational gun control and wish the NRA would get behind such laws rather than blocking every initiative. The day may be coming when so many will be so fed up with the carnage that really draconian laws might be enacted, no matter what the relatively small (but well-funded) gun lobby would wish – and no one would win. Just as no one wins with this law and the lawsuits challenging it.

      And no, I’m neither afraid of guns as such, nor own one (I don’t see the need), and I’m a former NRA member, former US Biathlon Team ember, etc.

      If only the gun lobby would do something visible and positive and proactive rather than fan fears and support more and more guns, and more and more deadly guns.

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    7. I volunteered to be fined by the City thinking I needed standing to sue the City, but this is all the better. The City Council and the Mayor have been preoccupied with national and divisive politics. They are hoping for higher office via vacancy appointments, trying to make a name for themselves. I feel bad for them

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    8. Brian Paul – Accusations of “fake news” are often simply a way of discrediting something before it is even considered – sort of poisoning the well in advance. It’s much easier than actually refuting a claim, and often the sign of a weak argument.

      https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/16/russian-agent-conspiracy-guns-724470
      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/06/the-nra-spent-dollar30-million-to-elect-trump-was-it-russian-money
      https://www.npr.org/2018/03/01/590076949/depth-of-russian-politicians-cultivation-of-nra-ties-revealed
      https://newrepublic.com/minutes/148961/evidence-emerges-nras-russia-connection

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      1. Nathaniel. I read the npr article. That is fake news, very Alex Jones. The article alleges that Russia is pro-constitutional rights as a way to sow discord in America? The evidence is networking at conventions and tweets? If Russians wanted to destabilize the US, a better strategy would be to kick off a civil war by supporting democrats’ efforts to ban guns. Maybe Russians are actually supporting open borders to Mexicans so that Russian spies can more easily cross. All Id have to do is find a few tweets and convention photos to support that claim, then call it news. Raise the standards of objectivity.

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      2. Here’s real news story, Mueller and Comey are morons.
        https://www.ocregister.com/2017/05/21/comey-mueller-bungled-big-anthrax-case-together/

        I severed 6 years in the AF, deployed three times, but I refused to take the anthrax vaccine. I lived in NJ at the time, and my upstairs neighbor contracted anthrax at the Mt. Hamilton Post Office. I lawyer-ed up, got a great attorney, but was facing court martial. I followed Comey and Mueller’s investigation closely, just to learn that bad actors in our own government attacked us with anthrax letters, while bad actors from Saudi Arabia (not much unlike those colluding with the Clinton Foundation) attacked us in NYC.

        More real news:
        https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/us/politics/hillary-clinton-presidential-campaign-charity.html

        McCabe and Comey stalled Wiener’s pedophilia investigation because Hillary Clinton State Department emails were found on a computer confiscated while looking for child pornography. This is what real collusion looks like.

        https://www.dailywire.com/news/26556/whacked-weiner-mccabe-under-investigation-stalling-emily-zanotti

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    9. Vanity Fair, NPR, New Republic, and Politico, are the very essence of leftist “Fake News”. No one wants to see “carnage” in our schools or anywhere else. The “gun” does not do the shooting; the “bad person” does the shooting. We should get rid of “bad people”. We are not taking actions to rid this country of “bad people”. You may not take my gun or tell me that it cannot be in my home at the ready because, you do not want to take the decisive action to get rid of these “bad people”. There are facts of past troubles, on watch list, and information that almost each and every “bad person” who were school shooters, that were ignored. The correlation between “progressive/leftist” ideology and the US cities that represent this ideology, i.e., Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Oakland, Stockton, proves that these crumbling, crime-ridden, cities are being destroyed by this failing ideology. This ideology bans straws; they do not go after people who have a history of violent crime. They tout (Seattle) that their juvenile detention numbers are falling, because they do not hold them, but set them free. London is beginning to ban knives! The “lockup of guns” illegally voted on, and passed in Edmonds is just the beginning. No, we do not want this ideology in Edmonds.

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      1. ‘Brent Malgarin
        August 9, 2018 at 10:51 am

        The Mayor has Veto power on any Ordinance the Council passes, so his personal actions are 100% at fault. ”

        Only one council member (Johnson) voted against the council’s action. Therefore a superior majority existed to override any veto by the majority. The mayor is not going to veto something that he knows cannot succeed.

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    10. If our city council felt motivated, they could have operated within state law and worked with other cities to change public sentiment statewide. This could have resulted in a change to state law. Instead, our council chose the lazy route of putting all of us at financial risk. Our system isn’t always expedient but it’s there for a reason. One day your rights might be protected instead of someone you oppose.

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    11. Believe it or not, I actually got a response from Adrienne Monillas. Apparently, this makes it all okay.

      Mr. Clem,

      I see you have a concern with cost of our defense. No worries, our attorneys charge a flat rate per year.

      Adrienne Fraley-Monillas
      Sent from my iPad

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    12. Too bad that is of no help when Edmond’s has to pay the plaintiff’s legal costs.

      The City Council is too dim to be believed.

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      1. Attorney flat fees are usually for simple cases such as an uncontested divorce. I worked with attorneys for many years as a public official and this would be a truly amazing agreement. I will call the City Attorney on Monday for clarification since this case will likely go to the state supreme court and possibly the US Supreme Court. I am not commenting on the merits of the case but rather the casual dismissal of potential legal fees to the City of Edmonds when the city could have waited until the Seattle case is resolved.
        Dave Gow

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        1. Bet this case goes above and beyond what is standard and customary…hence, additional attorney fees

          But who cares, it’s only money…the taxpayers money!

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    13. Nike Nelson’s emails to Seattle: “Hey, why no love?”. No love for Mike? Did they break your heart Mike? Hadn’t you gone over the edge to prove your were a good little agenda drive politician, doing exactly as the party would want you to do. You got your name in the Papers. And no respect from the big boys in Seattle….. let’s all cry for Mike. Nelson, you need to resign.
      To quote a former acquaintance: “What a joke”.
      Again— Proof that Edmonds “leaders” are out of control.
      They will tell you what you can do with the trees on your property.
      Commercial businesses, they tell you what type of shrubs you can plant.
      Now, they are intruding into your home, attempting to tell you how you should live, and not to worry, they will keep you safe. Lock your guns away.
      So, whats next? Once in your home….. there will be more intrusive regulations to come. Live by our rules inside of YOUR home, or pay a fine.

      Send financial donations to fight the City of Edmonds illegal actions, to the following law firm:

      Corr Cronin, LLP
      Attn: Mr. Steven Fogg
      Safeco Plaza
      1001 4th Ave. # 3900
      Seattle, WA 98154

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      1. Take it easy Brent. Lol. Mike is likely a nice person, maybe just got carried away too. Everyone just wants the City Council to pump the brakes, focus on inclusive Edmonds. How do we get there from here? Could a lawsuit be avoided if the council met, fixed their mistake?

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