SENATE BILL 5673
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By Senators Costa, Kline, Thibaudeau, Constantine, Patterson, Jacobsen, McAuliffe, Franklin, Kohl‑Welles and Spanel
Read first time 01/30/2001. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
AN ACT Relating to safe storage of firearms; amending RCW 9A.36.050; adding a new section to chapter 9.41 RCW; and prescribing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 9A.36.050 and 1997 c 338 s 45 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he or she recklessly engages in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person is guilty of reckless endangerment if the person stores or leaves a loaded firearm in a location where the person knows, or reasonably should know, that a child is likely to gain access, and a child obtains possession of the loaded firearm.
(3) Subsection (2) of this section does not apply if:
(a) The firearm is secured in a locked box, gun safe, other secure locked storage space, or secured with a lock or any device that prevents the firearm from discharging;
(b) The child's access to the firearm is supervised by an adult;
(c) The child's access to the firearm was obtained as a result of an unlawful entry; or
(d) The child's access to the firearm was in accordance with RCW 9.41.042.
(4) If a death or serious injury occurs as a result of an alleged violation of subsection (2) of this section, the prosecuting attorney may decline to prosecute, even though technically sufficient evidence to prosecute exists, in situations where prosecution would serve no public purpose, would defeat the purpose of the law in question, or would result in decreased respect for the law.
(5) For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Child" means a person under the age of sixteen years; and
(b) The definitions in RCW 9.41.010 apply throughout this section.
(6) Nothing in this section shall mandate how or where a firearm must be stored.
(7) Reckless endangerment is a gross misdemeanor.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 9.41 RCW to read as follows:
(1) When selling any firearm, every dealer shall offer to sell or give the purchaser a locked box, gun safe, a lock, or any device that prevents the firearm from discharging.
(2) Every store, shop, or sales outlet where firearms are sold, that is registered as a dealer in firearms with the department of licensing, shall conspicuously post, in a prominent location so that all patrons may take notice, the following warning sign, to be provided by the department of licensing, in block letters at least one inch in height:
"IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE AN UNSECURED, LOADED FIREARM WHERE A CHILD CAN AND DOES OBTAIN POSSESSION."
(3) Every person who violates this section is guilty of a class 3 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW, and may be fined up to fifty dollars. However, no such fines may be levied until thirty days have expired from the time warning signs are distributed by the department of licensing.
(4) Nothing in this section shall mandate how or where a firearm must be stored.
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