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King County officials propose new gun measures

SEATTLE -- King County officials on Tuesday announced a push for stricter gun control.

During a press conference, King County Council Chair Joe McDermott, and council members Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and Rod Dembowski discussed a five-part plan on gun safety.

The plan includes new laws and initiatives.

King County officials want to create a wide-ranging gun safety task force to develop strategies to reduce the impact of firearm injury and death in King County through the identification and implementation of intervention strategies based on proven public health methodologies; requiring a report and implementation plan.

They want to create a motion requesting the executive to engage and collaborate with King County youth and young adults and their family members to develop a report assessing gun violence among youth and young adults and providing recommendations to reduce gun violence among youth and young adults.

They want to pass a new law requiring the destruction of all forfeited firearms under the control of the sheriff’s office.

They want to create a new law requiring owners to keep their guns in a locked device.

They also want to create a law requiring gun store owners, and gun range owners to post a warning on their businesses about the dangers guns create.

The warning would read:

“The presence of a firearm in the home significantly increases the risk of suicide, homicide, death during domestic violence disputes and unintentional deaths to children, household members and others. (King County Board of Health Rule & Regulation BOH18-XX (this rule and regulations). If you or a loved one is experiencing distress and /depression, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 1-800-273-8255, available 24 hours a day or visit https://suicidenpreventionlifeline.org/chat/ connect via web chat.”

“I’m not willing to wait one single more day,” said McDermott.

However, some say posting a warning will not help create a safer environment.

“They could also include a note that having a gun present may increase the chance of surviving an attempted homicide on your life, or someone raping you, or a violent crime occurring; it may prevent that,” said Jason Cazes.

Cazes is the owner of LowPriceGuns.com, a gun store based in King County. Cazes has owned his store for 15 years, and says his customers rely on his service for safety.

“Most of my market is self-defense,” he said.

Cazes says he is not in opposition to safer gun laws, but he says placing a warning sign on his door is not the way to go.

“I think it's someone that is anti-gun coming up with an idea that is not a useful idea,” he said.

Members of the Second Amendment Foundation, who have already filed a lawsuit against Seattle for their new gun storage law, say they are aware of the King County’s new proposals. They did not respond when asked if they plan to file a suit against the county.

McDermott says he expect these new laws to be voted on by the full council within the next couple months.