Seattle Takes Action on Gun Safety

Mayor Jenny Durkan Addresses Gun Safety in Seattle

Following outreach and engagement with stakeholders including gun owners, safety advocates, community members, public health experts and others, this legislation will require safe storage of firearms and increase civil penalties and legal responsibility for not reporting lost or stolen firearms, which is required within 24 hours.

Safe Storage

Across the country, nearly 1,300 children die and 5,790 are treated for gunshot wounds each year. In 2015, an estimated 150,000 adults in King County reported keeping a firearm unlocked. In Seattle, 250 stolen guns were reported from burglaries and car prowls in 2017 according to Seattle Police Department.

Read a message by Dr. Fred Rivara, MD, MPH, Professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine on how Safe Storage Saves Lives.

Gun Violence Tax

In 2013, Seattle became the first city in the nation to conduct basic research on gun safety. The City Council-funded research led to a report from The Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center that established that “gun violence begets gun violence.” The research found that individuals hospitalized for a firearm injury were 30 times more likely to be re-hospitalized for another firearm injury than people admitted to the hospital for non-injury reasons.

In 2015, the Seattle City Council passed legislation to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales to fund gun violence prevention research. Although the City Council continued funding gun violence prevention work at Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center, the revenue was initially blocked due to ongoing litigation. With the tax upheld by the State Supreme Court, this proposal will invest 2018 revenue and future gun and ammo tax revenues in Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center’s work to help individuals with firearm injuries.

To support gun violence survivors, Mayor Jenny Durkan is investing revenue from our City’s guns and ammunition tax into the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center’s Injury Prevention and Research Center. Harborview has led the nation in research to understand the cycle of gun violence from a public health perspective. By investing in their studies testing community-based intervention strategies, Seattle is supporting the health, wellbeing, and recovery of gunshot wound victims.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) empower family, household members and law enforcement to petition the courts to prohibit a person experiencing a mental health crisis from purchasing or possessing firearms. Each ERPO petition is reviewed by a court to determine whether the subject of the petition has expressed violent behavior or threats to harm themselves or others.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders are available statewide and are not limited to Seattle.

What can an Extreme Risk Protection Order do?

An Extreme Risk Protection Order directs a person to surrender their firearms. It would be illegal to purchase or have control of firearms. It restrains the person from obtaining a concealed pistol license and orders them to surrender a license if they already have one.

Who is it filed against?

A person who poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to self or others in the near future by having firearms. Factors that demonstrate such a risk can include violent behavior, threats of self-harm, dangerous mental health crisis, and abuse of drugs or alcohol.

Find out more about Extreme Risk Protection Orders or download the forms for an extreme risk protection order.

Obtenga más información en español aqui.

Gun Safety in the Media