Applications for firearms are up 200% in Bellevue since the pandemic began. Before residents can legally own a gun, they are required to file a Firearms Transfer Application with the police department, which includes a background check.
“With so many new firearms in the community, it’s imperative that people lock up their firearms and keep everyone safe,” warned Chief Steve Mylett.
Washington State law (RCW 9.41.360) requires gun owners to lock up their firearms. A gun owner can be criminally prosecuted if their gun gets into the wrong hands and a crime is committed with it, or if a “prohibited person” gets ahold of it, including a minor.
“We urge all gun owners to take a safety course, learn about your firearm, and store it safely. Also, please talk with your children, so they understand firearm safety. These steps could easily save lives,” said Chief Mylett. “We are in challenging and stressful times, and we need to be proactive to avoid tragedies.”
The CDC reports mental health issues, including suicides, have spiked across the country during the pandemic. Safely locking up firearms could avoid tragic events like the one in California where an 11-year-old boy took his life with a firearm during online school. “We mourn Adan’s loss as our thoughts and prayers are with his family. We must prevent these tragedies from happening,” said Mylett.
If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).
You can get a free gun lock at the Bellevue Police Department. Email BPDRecords@bellevuewa.gov.
You can find more information about gun safety at Project Child Safe.