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King County bill would require warning signs outside gun shops

Retailers that sell guns could soon come with a warning label.

Legislation was introduced Tuesday to the King County Council that would require secure firearm storage and signs outside gun shops warning of the health risks associated with guns.

The five-piece legislation is part of an initiative to reduce gun violence in King County.

Under the proposed measure, warning signs would be posted outside retail locations, shooting ranges, and places transferring gun ownership. The signs would disclose the “significant” increase in health and life risks from owning a gun and would include contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

They would be available in 10 languages, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Somali, Chinese, Korean, Ukrainian, Amharic and Punjabi, according to King County.

The bill would also require gun owners safely lock their firearms and ammunition when they are not in use. In 2015, about 150,000 King County adults said they left a firearm unlocked, according to the Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Seattle passed a similar measure earlier this month to increase penalties for failing to safely store a gun.

The legislation’s three other measures would require King County to collaborate with youth and young adults to recommend ways to reduce gun violence, require the King County Sheriff’s Office to destroy confiscated weapons, and launch a work group to develop gun safety and gun violence prevention programs.

The bill would send four measures to the Council and one to the King County Board of Health.

It was announced by King County Council Chair Joe McDermott and Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles.