Council approves Kohl-Welles’ amendment to keep gun stores away from schools
information from King County Council
The King County Council on Friday approved an amendment that will keep new gun stores at least 500 feet away from schools. Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles brought the amendment forward to be included in an extensive update of the Comprehensive Plan, which was approved as amended.
“The hard truth is there is little we can do at the county-level to enact thoughtful measures pertaining to firearms and gun violence because of federal and state preemptions,” Kohl-Welles said. “But we have to be creative. When the recreational use and sale of marijuana was legalized at the state-level, we added buffer zones to help ensure children and youth would not have easy access to the drug – for their protection.
“I’m sponsoring this amendment under the same principle. If we consider it a priority to protect our kids from marijuana establishments, we should do the same for gun stores – especially considering that guns are a greater public health threat in our county.”
Any new businesses selling firearms that have open hours and signs or advertising would fall under the requirement. Businesses established before June 30 would not be impacted.
The Comprehensive Plan update includes subarea plans for six rural communities and five urban unincorporated areas, as well as several other midpoint updates to the plan. You can read a full staff report on the update here.