Warning signs now required at all King County gun shops, firing ranges

BELLEVUE, Wash. - King County’s Board of Health will now require gun shops and firing ranges to post health warning signs at their doors.

The plan was approved Thursday, the same day the NRA filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s newly approved  Initiative 1639, a gun safety initiative.

King County’s Board of Health's Gun Safety Action Plan is believed to be the first law on the West Coast to require warning signs in gun stores and firing ranges.

The signs will warn customers of the increased risk of suicide, fatal acts of domestic violence, and accidental deaths to children in homes with guns.

“The last year for which we have data, 2016, 151 people in King County died from injuries from firearms," said Karen Brownson, the Community Safety Manager for King County Public Health. "Seven of those were children under 18 and three-quarters of those deaths were suicides. Sixty-two percent of homicides and 41 percent of suicides in King County were by firearm that year. There were 95 hospitalizations, nine of them were children under 18,"

The plan also includes requiring gun owners to securely store all firearms. But the owner of Low Price Guns in Bellevue said federal law already requires a sign meant to decrease youth violence.

He said the new plan only addresses one side of the gun safety debate.

“If we could have it fair and balanced, we’d have an additional sign on top of it saying guns may prevent you from getting assaulted or raped or being a victim of a violent crime by having a gun to defend yourself,” said Jason Cazes, owner of Low Price Guns.

Cazes says he’ll comply with King County’s new requirement and put up the new warning sign but he doesn’t think it’ll have much impact on gun sales or decrease violence.

King County says the new requirement will go into effect 30 days after the regulation is signed by the Board of Health Chair.