Everett, WA – The Everett City Council is considering an ordinance that would fine gun owners if they don’t report their missing or stolen firearm within 24 hours..
Under state and federal law, people are currently not required to report the loss of their firearm, according to KIRO-TV.
Violation of the ordinance would not be considered a criminal offense. Instead, it would be a civil infraction not exceeding $250.
The Everett Police Department helped draft the ordinance.
“Maybe at some point, this weapon was involved in a crime. It's involved in the shooting. It gets in the hands of a 12 - or 13-year-old, which we have seen in this community,” Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman said, according to KIRO. “That's what we are trying to prevent.”
Templeman said he hasn’t heard of any opposition to the ordinance, according to KOMO-TV.
“This is just yet another step that we’re taking to try to reduce the number of firearms that end up in the wrong people’s hands,” Chief Templeman told KOMO.
The city stated the number of stolen weapons cases is increasing in Everett. There were 140 firearms reported stolen in Everett in 2017. But police also recovered 27 guns that were not reported that year, according to KIRO.
Chief Templeman said the ordinance was modeled after similar ordinances in other cities, such as Seattle. Failure to report a gun as lost or stolen within 24 hours in Seattle could result in a fine of up to $500.
Tim Dennis owns G&H Pawn in Everett and buys and sells guns. He said a $250 fine wasn’t enough.
“Gun owners, it’s a privilege to be able to have one and it’s also a responsibility,” Dennis said, according to KOMO.
The City Council has a public hearing set for July 11 on the issue.