Chapter 5.26
STORAGE OF FIREARMS*

Sections:

5.26.010    Definitions.

5.26.020    Safe storage of firearms.

5.26.030    Unauthorized access prevention.

5.26.040    Penalties.

5.26.050    Notice of infraction – Issuance.

5.26.060    Response to notice of infraction – Contesting determination – Hearing – Failure to appear.

5.26.070    Hearing – Contesting determination that infraction committed – Appeal.

*Code reviser’s note: Section 3 of Ord. 4131 states: “Ordinances 4120 and 4121 shall not be enforced until 240 days after final passage, which is March 21, 2019.”

5.26.010 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

A. “At-risk person” means any person who has made statements or exhibited behavior that indicates to a reasonable person there is a likelihood that the person is at risk of attempting suicide or causing physical harm to oneself or others.

B. “Firearm” means a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder, including but not limited to any machine gun, pistol, rifle, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or shotgun as those terms are defined in RCW 9.41.010. “Firearm” does not include a flare gun or other pyrotechnic visual distress signaling device, or a powder-actuated tool or other device designed solely to be used for construction purposes.

C. “Lawfully authorized user” means any person who:

1. Is not in the unlawful possession of a firearm under RCW 9.41.040; and

2. Is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under any other state or federal law; and

3. Has the express permission of the owner to possess and use the firearm.

D. “Locking device” includes any device listed on the Approved Firearms Safety Devices Compatibility Chart, published by the State of California’s Office of the Attorney General and attached to the ordinance codified in this section as Exhibit A, which is incorporated herein by this reference as if set forth in full, and stored in conjunction with a compatible firearm.

E. “Minor” means a person under 18 years of age who is not authorized under RCW 9.41.042 to possess a firearm, or a person of at least 18 but less than 21 years of age who does not meet the requirements of RCW 9.41.240.

F. “Prohibited person” means any person who is not a lawfully authorized user. [Ord. 4131 § 1, 2018; Ord. 4120 § 1, 2018].

5.26.020 Safe storage of firearms.

It shall be a civil infraction for any person to store or keep any firearm in any premises unless such weapon is secured by a locking device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inaccessible or unusable to any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, for purposes of this section, such weapon shall be deemed lawfully stored or lawfully kept if carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user. [Ord. 4120 § 1, 2018].

5.26.030 Unauthorized access prevention.

It shall be a civil infraction if any person knows or reasonably should know that a minor, an at-risk person, or a prohibited person is likely to gain access to a firearm belonging to or under the control of that person, and a minor, an at-risk person, or a prohibited person obtains the firearm. [Ord. 4120 § 1, 2018].

5.26.040 Penalties.

A. A violation of ECC 5.26.020 shall constitute a civil infraction subject to a civil fine or forfeiture not to exceed $500.00. For good cause shown, the court may provide for the performance of community restitution, in lieu of the fine or forfeiture imposed under this subsection.

B. A violation of ECC 5.26.020 or 5.26.030 shall constitute a civil infraction subject to a civil fine or forfeiture in an amount up to $1,000 if a prohibited person, an at-risk person, or a minor obtains a firearm as a result of the violation. For good cause shown, the court may provide for the performance of community restitution, in lieu of the fine or forfeiture imposed under this subsection.

C. A violation of ECC 5.26.020 or 5.26.030 shall constitute a civil infraction subject to a civil fine or forfeiture in an amount up to $10,000 if a prohibited person, an at-risk person, or a minor obtains an unsecured firearm and uses it to injure or cause the death of oneself or others, or uses the firearm in connection with a crime. A separate civil fine or forfeiture may be issued for each instance that a person is injured or killed as a result of a violation of ECC 5.26.020 or 5.26.030.

D. A violation of ECC 5.26.020 or 5.26.030 is hereby deemed at minimum negligent and may be considered reckless depending upon the knowledge and actions of the violator.

E. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to alter any requirements, including, but not limited to, any warrant requirements applicable under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article I, Section 7 of the Washington State Constitution.

F. ECC 5.26.020 and 5.26.030 shall not apply to “antique firearms,” as defined in RCW 9.41.010. [Ord. 4120 § 1, 2018].

5.26.050 Notice of infraction – Issuance.

A. A peace officer has the authority to issue a notice of infraction:

1. When an infraction under this chapter is committed in the officer’s presence;

2. If an officer has reasonable cause to believe that a person has committed an infraction under this chapter.

B. A court may issue a notice of infraction upon receipt of a written statement from the officer that there is reasonable cause to believe that an infraction was committed. [Ord. 4120 § 1, 2018].

5.26.060 Response to notice of infraction – Contesting determination – Hearing – Failure to appear.

A. Any person who receives a notice of infraction shall respond to such notice as provided in this section within 15 days of the date the notice is personally served or, if the notice is served by mail, within 18 days of the date the notice is mailed.

B. If the person determined to have committed the infraction does not contest the determination the person shall respond by completing the appropriate portion of the notice of infraction and submitting it, either by mail or in person, to the Edmonds municipal court. A check or money order in the amount of the penalty prescribed for the infraction must be submitted with the response, if responding by mail, or, if responding online, payment may be made using a credit card. When a response that does not contest the determination is received, an appropriate order shall be entered in the court’s records.

C. If the person determined to have committed the infraction wishes to contest the determination the person shall respond by completing the portion of the notice of infraction requesting a hearing and submitting it, either by mail or in person, to the Edmonds municipal court. The court shall notify the person in writing of the time, place, and date of the hearing, and that date shall not be sooner than seven days from the date of the notice, except by agreement.

D. If the person determined to have committed the infraction does not contest the determination but wishes to explain mitigating circumstances surrounding the infraction, the person shall respond by completing the portion of the notice of infraction requesting a hearing for that purpose and submitting it, either by mail or in person, to the Edmonds municipal court. The court shall notify the person in writing of the time, place, and date of the hearing.

E. In any hearing conducted pursuant to subsection (C) or (D) of this section, the court may defer findings, or in a hearing to explain mitigating circumstances may defer entry of its order for up to one year and impose conditions upon the defendant the court deems appropriate. Upon deferring findings, the court may assess costs as the court deems appropriate for administrative processing. If at the end of the deferral period the defendant has met all conditions and has not been determined to have committed another infraction under this chapter, the court may dismiss the infraction. A person may not receive more than one deferral within a seven-year period.

F. If any person issued a notice of infraction:

1. Fails to respond to the notice of infraction as provided in subsection (B) of this section; or

2. Fails to appear at a hearing requested pursuant to subsection (C) or (D) of this section;

the court shall enter an appropriate order assessing the monetary penalty prescribed for the infraction and any other penalty authorized by this chapter. [Ord. 4120 § 1, 2018].

5.26.070 Hearing – Contesting determination that infraction committed – Appeal.

A. A hearing held for the purpose of contesting the determination that an infraction has been committed shall be without a jury.

B. The court may consider the notice of infraction and any other written report made under oath submitted by the officer who issued the notice or whose written statement was the basis for the issuance of the notice in lieu of the officer’s personal appearance at the hearing. The person named in the notice may subpoena witnesses, including the officer, and has the right to present evidence and examine witnesses present in court.

C. The burden of proof is upon the city to establish the commission of the infraction by a preponderance of the evidence.

D. After consideration of the evidence and argument, the court shall determine whether the infraction was committed. Where it has not been established that the infraction was committed, an order dismissing the notice shall be entered in the court’s records. Where it has been established that the infraction was committed, an appropriate order shall be entered in the court’s records.

E. An appeal from the court’s determination or order shall be to the superior court. The decision of the superior court is subject only to discretionary review pursuant to Rule 2.3 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure. [Ord. 4120 § 1, 2018].