(WA) Community (Snohomish) Transit folds, will change rules


Gray Peterson
June 10, 2006, 05:20 PM
Dear all,

I wanted to impart a bit of good news. I was just contacted by the law firm for Community Transit (Snohomish County's transit agency). They have answered in the affirmative that Washington State law preempts Community Transit from enforcing such rules, and they are in contact with Community Transit and that Community Transit will change the stated rules to reflect so.

They will also receive training on how to appropriately deal with firearms matters with members of the public (No more drivers and other employees making "Man with a gun calls" due to a political discussion on a bus).

Thus far, Pierce Transit and Community Transit have agreed to change their "no weapons or firearms" rule.

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June 10, 2006, 11:45 PM
Any background on this?

June 11, 2006, 01:12 AM
There was an article about this in the latest newsletter from the Washington Arms Collectors.

June 11, 2006, 01:27 AM
One of the main reasons I avoid mass transit in this state .

Gray Peterson
June 11, 2006, 04:02 AM

Well this has changed significantly. Actually, Mason Transit is one of my next targets. I got a really snooty response from their customer service so I intend to send another letter to their legal department. White paper, legal demand, etc.

June 11, 2006, 09:35 AM
Congratulations , Lonnie! A job well done.

Gray Peterson
June 14, 2006, 01:23 AM
Any background on this?

Sorry for not getting back to this thread. I don't have much in the way of free time until recently and that's due to a vacation that I'm about to partake.

Ok, I've been quite vocal about state and local agencies following the laws. I'm also believe that open carry is also a fundamental right under our state constitution, and I believe that despite RCW 9.41.270, open carry of a handgun in a holster is completely legal absent any other violations of law.

When I moced up here to Washington from Oregon, I had a different set of laws to comply with. I've been persuing preemption violations for a while, but didn't have a plan of attack as far as how to directly attack these rules.

First, arguing with customer service is a bad idea as far as contacting these transit agencies. They will continue arguing and arguing with you and tell you flat to your face that it's illegal, it's against the rules, and that's final.

My best approach to dealing with them is contacting the administrative offices of these transit agencies, and then getting the name of their legal counsel, whether it be in house or contract. I then send them a packet with information on the preemption statute, the unlawful bus conduct statute, and the case of Cherry v. Metro Seattle, which defines the caselaw involving unlawful bus conduct.

It cost me a few hours of my time, thus far I haven't needed to sent any certified letters to anyone. Pierce Transit and Community Transit has only been communicated with primarily via email and phone. I dislike talking on the phone and I told them that I'd rather just send it via email, and they gave me their email addresses.

The good thing about this entire situation is now that Pierce and Community Transit' have folded, it'll make it much easier to deal with the rural transit agencies who suprisingly enough, were more willing to cling to their "rules" in violation of the laws of this state.

Why am I doing this? Flat out, I don't want to go to be thrown off the bus for having a political discussion, or no-trespassed if I happen to be travelling on Community Transit and Pierce Transit buses (easy to do considering I'm near the largest transit hub in southern King County). However, I am also approaching agencies I've either never travelled on, or travelled once or twice.

Even better, I'm not only getting them to change their rules, but also having them train their drivers, transit supervisors, their security officers, and their customer service on the finer points of legal carry on a bus. You need a CPL to carry openly or concealed on a bus, due to RCW 9.41.050. Instead of telling you to get off the bus, the most they'll ask is to see your carry permit. No more "man with a gun" 911 calls from the transit agency employees.

After I'm done sending out this information and getting it to the transit agencies, and getting them to change their rules, I plan to more actively persue an educational campaign on RCW 9.41.270 on the local police agencies. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your definition), I am the resident of what could be considered the most anti-open carry city (police officer wise) in the state of Washington: Federal Way, the home of the State v. Spencer case. Wish me luck. :)

June 14, 2006, 11:05 AM
Good work, Lonnie. Keep up the good fight.

Henry Bowman
June 14, 2006, 12:21 PM
Good news! Excellect work! Small victories add up.

Mr. James
June 14, 2006, 01:09 PM
Good luck!

Maybe in your "spare time" you can go after Sound Transit and Kitsap Transit . . .

tomorrow, the world!

Good work, sir.

Jim March
June 14, 2006, 01:41 PM
Lonnie is just amazing. If everybody dug in and fought to this degree we wouldn't need a "politics" section of this site.

Gray Peterson
June 14, 2006, 03:36 PM
Maybe in your "spare time" you can go after Sound Transit and Kitsap Transit . . .

I read Kitsap Transit's website, their rules seem to follow state law. Unless you know something as a KT rider that I don't? Is there a posted rule I should know about?

Sound Transit has already acknowledged my emails, however they seem to believe that they're not legally required to change the rule on paper (though they acknowledge it's unenforcability against CPL holders in vehciles, however, I can persue things via their contractors.

They contract their drivers via King County Metro, Community Transit, and Pierce Transit, so those agencies folding (KCM follows state law already), so the drivers are taken care of.

Now I need to get a hold of their security account manager and do the same thing. If they don't want to remove the written rule, even though they know it's ineffective? Fine. I served them notice and if anything occurs after this point, and I get thrown off a sound transit bus or ST property, then I will file a lawsuit, bar none, guaranteed.

Three other transit agencies were sent emails in the last 24 hours, and two more are being sent by tonight.

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