The National Rifle Association (NRA) and others are suing the City of Edmonds over its newly passed gun safety ordinance. The organization says the city does not have the legal authority to enact gun legislation in Washington, only the state does.
The ordinance would take effect in March of 2019. Earlier this year, the Edmonds City Council passed an ordinance that allows fines of up to $10,000 if a child or a person-at-risk gets access to an unsecured firearm.
Much of what was argued in court Tuesday involved legal technicalities over whether the NRA's lawsuit could continue. A similar suit against the City of Seattle's gun safety law was thrown out by a King County judge earlier this month.
The bigger issues at stake are ones people are very passionate about -- using guns for self-defense and keeping them out of the hands of children.
Arguing for NRA members, attorney Eric Lindberg said forcing people to lock up their guns in their homes when they are not in control of them would put law-abiding citizens at risk if a violent intruder were to break in.
"They allege that they fear enforcement of the ordinance. They allege they need to keep these firearms unlocked so they can access them for self-defense purposes," said Lindberg.
Also see | What is Washington I-1639 on gun safety?
However, one only needs to look back to the horror at Marysville-Pilchuck High School -- almost four years ago to the day -- when Raymond Fryberg let his son gain access to his handgun.
Jaylen Fryberg ended up killing four classmates and himself.
A group of moms attended Tuesday's court hearing.
Sue Whitcomb says requiring gun owners to safely store their weapons only makes sense.
"We're human beings. We don't always do the safe thing if it's inconvenient, so we often need a consequence to change our behavior,” said Whitcomb. “If a change in behavior that will save lives is a slippery slope, then I guess we need to get a little slippery."
Judge Anita Farris is hearing the case. She is expected to rule over the next week, or so, if the NRA suit to strike down the Edmonds gun law can proceed.