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Durkan looks to increase penalties for people who don’t report stolen guns

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has handed the city council legislation that increases the penalty for people who don't report lost or stolen guns. It also requires the safe storage of firearms unless being carried by the owner.

According to the legislation, gun owners can face fines of $500 if their firearms are not safely stored, $1,000 if their gun is taken because it wasn't safely stored, and $10,000 if their stolen gun is used to cause injuries or deaths.

The safe storage rules do not affect "antique firearms."

“The level of gun violence in our communities is not normal, and we can never think it is inevitable. We – and especially our children – should not have to live like this. With Congress in the grip of the D.C. gun lobby and too many state legislatures failing to act, our cities must lead the way – and we must all continue to demand action that saves lives,” said Durkan.

In a release, the mayor's office pointed to a University of Washington study that found nearly 2 in 3 gun-owning households in Washington state do not safely store their firearms.

According to the Seattle Police Department, 250 guns were reported stolen in 2017.

The legislation was developed in collaboration with Councilmember M. Lorena González and based on input from stakeholders including gun owners, safety advocates, community members, public health experts, and others, the mayor's release states.

“Seattle is proud to be a city taking tangible action on reducing gun violence by requiring gun owners to responsibly and safely store their firearms when those guns are not in their possession,” said Councilmember González.

The legislation will be considered by the city council in the coming weeks.

It would then take effect 180 days after the mayor signs it into law.