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Seattle’s Responsible Storage Law

Multiethnic family playing with happy baby son at home. Parent and children relaxing together on the sofa at home in the living room. Little girl sitting on leg of dad looking her new cute brother.

Seattle’s new Responsible Storage Law requires gun owners to keep their guns in a locked container when not being carried by them or under their control, and impose fines for crimes committed with an improperly stored gun. The law goes into effect on February 13, 2019.

Why is responsible storage important?

Research and common sense tell us that securing firearms:

  • Prevents unintentional shooting deaths by toddlers and youth.
  • Reduces the likelihood of suicide by gun, especially among youth and young adults.
  • Keeps stolen guns out of the hands of criminals and other high-risk individuals.

What does this mean for me?

  • Be sure your gun is safely stored when not being carried by you or under your control by February 13, 2019.

What counts as responsible storage?

  • The gun must be secured in a safe, gun safe, gun case, gun cabinet, or lock box that is:
    • Designed to fully contain firearms and prevent removal of, and access to, the enclosed firearm;
    • Is capable of repeated use;
    • May be opened only by a numerical combination consisting of the entry of at least three variables entered in a specific sequence on a keypad, dial or tumbler device; key, magnetic key, or electronic key; or by biometric identification; and
    • Be constructed with such quality of workmanship and material that it may not be easily pried open, removed, or otherwise defeated by the use of common tools.
  • Full rules available here.

Fines introduced by this legislation:

  • Up to $500 fine (or community service) for failure to store a gun in a locked container.
  • Up to $1,000 fine (or community service) if the unsafely-stored gun is obtained by youth, prohibited individual, or “at-risk person.”
  • Up to $10,000 if the unsafely-stored gun is used to injure, kill or commit a crime.

Local Discounts for Safe Storage Devices

The King County LOCK-IT-UP program promotes the safety of our communities through increasing safe storage of firearms.

Gun Safety in the Media

Gun Safety Facts