Seattle Mayor Plans Concealed-Weapons Ban


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rainbowbob
June 8, 2008, 12:54 AM
The following article was published in The Seattle Times today regarding our goofy, bobble-headed Mayor's reponse to the shooting incident at the Seattle Folklife Festival last month.

Nickels reportedly plans concealed-weapons ban at festivals
By Sharon Pian Chan

Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels plans to ban concealed weapons at festivals after a shooting at Northwest Folklife injured three people.

Sarah Thorsnes, who was shot in the leg, said Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske told her Friday the mayor would issue a ban shortly.

The mayor's office and Police Department declined to comment Friday. They have scheduled a news conference Monday to discuss an executive order on concealed weapons, but did not provide any details, such as how a ban would be enforced and whether festival officials would be held responsible for violations.

Thorsnes said a ban would affect events funded or sponsored by the city. She did not know any other specifics.

Joshua Penaluna, her boyfriend, who was shot in the arm, called a ban a good idea. "At a public area like that, the only people that should have weapons should be cops and security."

On May 25, the two Renton residents were hit by stray gunfire after a fight erupted between two men. A bullet shattered Penaluna's wrist and then entered Thorsnes' thigh. A third man, Henry Morris, who was struggling with the gunman, suffered powder burns on the upper lip and nose when the gun discharged close to his face.

It was the first shooting in the festival's 37-year history.

A 22-year-old Snohomish man, Clinton Chad Grainger, has been charged with second-degree assault. Grainger, a house painter, has a history of drug addiction and schizophrenia, prosecutors say.

"Honestly, I'm glad it will hopefully stop this [from happening] in the future, but I still feel like there could have been more done at the festival in the first place," Thorsnes said.

She said police standing nearby could have stopped the fight earlier.

"The real concern is whether they had a better way of assessing people's mental health before they let them have a concealed-weapon permit in the first place," she said.

Grainger received his permit from the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office in January 2007, even though federal and state law should have prevented him from having one.

Nickels has urged the Legislature to pass a law denying guns to anyone who has been involuntarily committed to a mental-health facility.

Thorsnes and Penaluna said money has been a real worry since the shooting two weeks ago. Although both have health insurance, neither has been able to work.

Thorsnes, 21, just graduated from the University of Washington-Tacoma and had been searching for a job in broadcast journalism or public relations while working as a nanny.

Now on crutches, she said, she can't work. Even walking around a grocery store is exhausting.

"The bullet wound has healed up really nicely, but it's still in my leg and there's quite a large bump over where the bullet is now," she said.

Penaluna, who was a plumbing assistant at a countertop-installation company, says he won't be able to pursue his plumbing career with the damage done to his wrist. The 18-year-old is now considering returning to school to pursue a business degree instead.

"It's been very, very inconvenient for us, to put it lightly," Penaluna said.

What follows is my letter to the Times:

To the Editor of the Seattle Times:

Two innocent people were severely injured by a firearm at our beloved Folklife Festival, and so it is not surprising that people feel we should do something. Mayor Nickels, as is often the case with politicians, has come up with a feel-good answer that is entirely useless: Ban handguns by law-abiding citizens at our festivals and create another “gun-free” zone.

But here is the catch: Those persons irresponsible and unbalanced enough to commit violence are not in any way hampered by gun restrictions. News Flash…Criminals don’t obey the law! The vast majority of citizens that legally carry a concealed weapon never commit acts of violence.

What that means is those responsible gun owners who choose to legally carry a concealed weapon to protect themselves and their families from criminal violence will be rendered defenseless by a law that is unconstitutional. Thugs and criminals that respect neither laws nor public safety will continue to be armed to the teeth. And we will all be that much more at risk.

Consider that in 37 years there has been only one incidence of violence committed with a firearm, and this was by a person who apparently has serious issues with mental illness and drug addiction. I can assure you that in those 37 years, hundreds, and perhaps thousands of responsible citizens have attended the Folklife Festival with a legally concealed firearm without incident.

The truth is that responsible gun owners use their firearms only in the gravest extreme and as a last resort to prevent unlawful violence.

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catfish101
June 8, 2008, 12:57 AM
You sent a good letter.

The mayor is an idiot.

ClickClickD'oh
June 8, 2008, 01:06 AM
Wait... the mayor wants to get a law passed that would essentially echo the already in place law?

Shockingly typical.

I know, how about instead of passing another silly law, why don't the have an investigation to find out why the law currently in place wasn't followed.

A history of drugs and schiz? Why not find out why he was given a carry permit and why he was allowed to be sold a firearm?

Oh yeah, then they would have to admit that this happened because the government screwed up and put citizens in danger. Can't have that can we.

LWGN
June 8, 2008, 01:09 AM
The Mayor wants to do something? How about insisting that the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office comply with state and federal law by not issuing permits to people who are schizophrenic? Law-abiding citizens have to give up their rights because you can't trust the local law enforcement agency to do their jobs?

This is ridiculous.

Brass Rain
June 8, 2008, 01:11 AM
What a surprise, a politician throwing up the first emotion-based answer that comes to mind regardless of efficiency. I don't know whether to blame this moron or the ones that elected him.

Ignition Override
June 8, 2008, 01:50 AM
From what I've read elsewhere about Seattle, maybe Hanoi Jane (Fonda) could get elected as mayor. She might have become Hillary's Secretary of State.

That area, as with Berkeley, SF, Madison and some other areas, is out to lunch ('tits up'/dreaming), permanently.

Prince Yamato
June 8, 2008, 01:55 AM
Grainger received his permit from the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office in January 2007, even though federal and state law should have prevented him from having one.

Can't the feds arrest the sheriff?

Catherine
June 8, 2008, 04:08 AM
Thanks for putting this up!

We received a letter from a Seattle friend tonight about this very matter. We have several friends that live in WA state.

Catherine

coloradokevin
June 8, 2008, 04:55 AM
Another brilliant knee-jerk reaction.

It sounds like an administrative screw-up was responsible for this guy's permit being issued in the first place, so arguments against issuing permits --within the bounds of the law-- are flawed if this is used as the case study... In essence, the idea of legally concealed weapons is not at fault here!

Moreover, a single act of violence in 37 years is hardly a cause for concern on the part of the city. Overall, this sounds like a very safe festival!


By the way, Rainbow, that was a very well written response!

Mr White
June 8, 2008, 09:08 AM
Pretty good letter, but...
Two innocent people were severely injured by a firearm at our beloved Folklife Festival,
Your opening sentence plays right into the Antis' hands. Innocent people weren't injured by the firearm. The firearm is just an object. They were injured by an evil,crazy, person with a firearm.

Grainger committed the crime, not the gun. Without Grainger, the gun would have just been lying there. Without the gun, Grainger would have resorted to a knife or a hammer, or even a rock.

Standing Wolf
June 8, 2008, 10:30 AM
A few criminals and crazy people commit crimes; therefore, government is entitled to punish everyone.

Idi Amin would understand. I certainly don't.

leadcounsel
June 8, 2008, 10:44 AM
Wow, 1 incident in 37 years, probably thousands of festivals. I think that's something to applaud! You can probably attribute the reduced crime to those who carry concealed.

Why tamper with something that works overall?

MillCreek
June 8, 2008, 10:55 AM
I have to speak up here in defense of the Snohomish sheriff's office. I would point out that they have been issuing my carry permit for about 20 years now. What some of the posters here may not realize, since it was given little attention by the media, is that Washington state law has some strict criteria governing the declination of a carry permit. The accused in this case had never, to my knowledge, been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. This would have made him ineligible for a carry permit.

http://www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Sheriff/Information/concealed_weapons.htm is the website explaining the criteria for granting a permit in Washington state. You will note there are no grounds under RCW 9.41.040 for declining a permit based on drug abuse or schizophrenia, unless the applicant has been involuntarily committed for this or has been convicted of certain drug crimes. You might be able to make an argument that a CPL could be denied if the applicant was the subject of a forfeiture court order based upon being arrested while mentally incompetent while carrying a firearm. But as far as I have read in the media, that had not happened prior to the accused opening fire at the Folklife festival. He had some mental health and drug abuse issues, but I don't recall reading that he had ever been convicted or committed for a disqualifying offense.

If my recall is poor, and there have been any media articles documenting that the accused in this case was ineligible for a CPL, with supporting facts, and the Snohomish sheriff issued one in error, I would like to see the articles.

doc2rn
June 8, 2008, 10:57 AM
If the man with a firearm was defending himself from an attacker I can see this being thrown squarely at the sherrif's feet. Especially if there where two armed deputies who watched the fight and did nothing until a shot rang out.
Hey if it is good enough for Jon Q public to be tried in court I can see this rolling right into the sherrif's lap as his fault and being prosecuted for negligence.

spwenger
June 8, 2008, 11:02 AM
Two innocent people were severely injured by a firearm at our beloved Folklife Festival...
People may be killed or injured with firearms, vehicles, etc., not by them. The prohibitionists love to play games with semantics and we need to be more careful of our grammar.

revjen45
June 8, 2008, 11:14 AM
We live in Everett, which is in the Seattle sphere of cultural/economic influence. Therefore I have some familiarity with a few luminaries of the Seattle political scene. Greg Nickels is card-carrying Lefty Imbecile of the ilk of Jim McDimwit (D-Peoples' Republic of Seattle). WA State has pre-emption and State law specifies where one may carry concealed with a permit. Gauleiter Nickels has nothing to say about it. He is just passing gas to appear that he is "doing something" about a non-existant problem. He does that a lot.

MillCreek
June 8, 2008, 11:16 AM
If the man with a firearm was defending himself from an attacker I can see this being thrown squarely at the sherrif's feet. Especially if there where two armed deputies who watched the fight and did nothing until a shot rang out.
Hey if it is good enough for Jon Q public to be tried in court I can see this rolling right into the sherrif's lap as his fault and being prosecuted for negligence.

Actually, this incident occurred in the city of Seattle, under the jurisdiction of the Seattle Police Department. The issues related to the Snohomish County Sheriff do not pertain to the response to the actual assault, since it was members of the SPD who were present.

Langenator
June 8, 2008, 12:08 PM
Grainger received his permit from the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office in January 2007, even though federal and state law should have prevented him from having one.


Can someone enlighten me as to which federal law regulates the qualification criteria for state-issued CPLs?

And, as a previous poster noted, unless the shooter was involuntarily committed to a mental institution, or his drug issues included a felony conviction, nothing in the law prohibits him from having a CPL or purchasing a firearm.

Bob R
June 8, 2008, 01:19 PM
There is a pretty good thread on the shooting that caused this statement by the mayor on OCDO. If you read into the thread, there is someone in it who works/ed at a gun shop that the shooter used to shop at. His post was pretty eye opening.

http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/11642.html

As far as the mayor trying to ban concealed weapons at his festival, the only way he can do it is to change state law. I don't think that is going to happen.

We have this nice law out here called "State Preemption". The bold I put in there so it won't be skimmed over.

RCW 9.41.290
State preemption.

The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.

All in all, other than the stance on NFA weapons (and Seattle), WA is actually a fairly pro-gun state.

bob

rickomatic
June 8, 2008, 02:00 PM
Just like his socialist brother Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia, the idea of preemption doesn't seem to bother our Mayor "Quimby". He relies on the willingness of the sheep here to back him on his restrictive ideas regardless of actual law.
Other than the ubiquitous lefties inhabiting most of the elective offices in this state, it is a fairly good gun rights state. At least so far. The real schizophrenic here is the state of Washington. Maybe it's too much coffee..... :cuss:

rainbowbob
June 8, 2008, 02:51 PM
Your opening sentence plays right into the Antis' hands. Innocent people weren't injured by the firearm. The firearm is just an object. They were injured by an evil,crazy, person with a firearm.

People may be killed or injured with firearms, vehicles, etc., not by them. The prohibitionists love to play games with semantics and we need to be more careful of our grammar.

Mr White and spwenger both make good points. I should have been more careful with my choice of words.

Although the Seattle Times often prints my letters on other subjects - they have never printed a letter from me on the subject of firearms. I don't ecxpect them to print this one either. Come to think of it - I don't remember ever seeing any pro-2A letters in either daily.

Perhaps they have another agenda?

You will note there are no grounds under RCW 9.41.040 for declining a permit based on drug abuse or schizophrenia, unless the applicant has been involuntarily committed for this or has been convicted of certain drug crimes.

Millcreek is right about this. Unless a person has been involuntarily committed for more than 14 days - they are eligible for a CPL if they otherwise qualify.

The courts have essentially three choices when making a commitment order - 14 days, 90 days, or 180 days. There is currently discussion about changing the CPL statutes to include the 14 day commitment as a disqualification for a CPL.

And most of the local newspaper articles have not been at all accurate about that.

Again..might it be that they have another agenda?

Dain Bramage
June 8, 2008, 03:35 PM
I agree with Mill Creek. The Snohomish County Deputy's office has been professional and courteous when issuing concealed pistol licenses. They were following the law, which is clear-cut and reasonable. Do you want a doctor turning you in every time you come in for counseling or have a medication prescribed?

I've had sedatives prescribed to me for claustrophobia when flying to Hawaii for a family trip. I ended up not using any, but keeping it together in that hermetically sealed aluminum can was aided by knowing the medication was there. Do I need to be turned in?

The papers have been very evasive about printing the cause of this incident. The other person involved in the fight, the one who got a gunpowder tattoo on his upper lip, has not been identified or charged.

BigO01
June 8, 2008, 04:18 PM
Perhaps they have another agenda?

No perhaps about it , their agenda hasn't changed in decades and is always clear , make up whatever lies they have to in order to strip law abiding citizens of any and all means of resisting tyranny , not to prevent crime or protect anyone .

Much like a Sheppard is the overseer of a flock of sheep so they wish to be with us . And while said Sheppard is upset when a predator kills one of his flock it isn't because of a true concern for the individual sheep it is for his loss of profit for his business , but he understands such things happen in the course of being a Sheppard and soon things are back to business as usual .

Notice their reactions is to always remove the sheep's ability to protect themselves NOT to remove the predator .

Back in the 80's when criminologists studies of violent criminals came to the conclusion that the worst of violent crimes are committed by a small percentage of even the criminal population and that even a murderer often isn't just "Born" but instead begins with less violent crimes and progress until he has "Graduated" to murder we began passing laws to attempt to address the problem .

Even with this proof in front of them the liberal gun banners either had to be dragged kicking and screaming into voting for laws like the "three strikes your out" and to this day are trying to dismantle them with cries and complaints of Prison overpopulation rather than funding the building of new prisons to remove them permanently from society , or they simply reject any and all logic when it come to crime control and find a way to blame society "The sheep" for being victims of the predator in the first place .

Look at the lies they have told over the years and anyone can clearly see their "Agenda" Black Talon ammo never did penetrate a LEOS protective vest but was invented to help a LEO stay alive by stopping a criminal with as few shots fired as possible . So called assault weapons never were th weapon of choice because of their size and are defined by the gun grabbers based solely on appearances . The Children they use in gathering their statistics are often 18-20 years old and gang members and as such willing participants of the crimes which cause their deaths .

They have even after years of controlling the courts established that our assigned "Protectors" or "Sheppard's" can't be held liable for failing or refusing to protect us as an individual .

As it stands , you could be murdered in front of a police station with every cop on duty watching and your family would have zero recourse as longs as they hadn't participating in the attack that caused your death .

Don't think it's possible ?

Last year during Pro illegal rallies Americans were savagely assaulted by illegals for silently protesting including a WWII veteran who was simply standing and holding up a sign in full view of uniformed officers who stood and did nothing because they were afraid they would set off a riot by protecting a citizen of this country exercising his First Amendment Right .

rainbowbob
June 8, 2008, 04:26 PM
The papers have been very evasive about printing the cause of this incident.

I've noticed the same thing and have been wondering what precipitated this incident.

From what has been printed, it sounded like a belligerent shoving match. If that's all there was to it - that Glock should have never seen the light of day, particularly in that crowd.

If, on the other hand, Grainger was minding his own business and was assaulted - that makes the appearance of the Glock a little more comprehensible. But even in that circumstance it should probably not have been brought out in that crowd. Especially considering the fact that in the absence of a weapon in the other fellow's hands, Grainger would have had other reasonable alternatives.

This is of course only my opinon - after the fact - without many facts to go on.

I will be very surprised if the Mayor is able to pre-empt state law and pass a partial gun ban on city property. But meanwhile, he'll get to go on record for trying to do something about gun violence. Nevermind that he knows better. It's just more cynical dishonesty from a politician - something we are all way too familiar with, unfortunately.

Aguila Blanca
June 8, 2008, 04:38 PM
The courts have essentially three choices when making a commitment order - 14 days, 90 days, or 180 days. There is currently discussion about changing the CPL statutes to include the 14 day commitment as a disqualification for a CPL.
I am not a Washington resident, so I suppose it's really none of my business. Except that I have friends and family in Washington and I never know when/if I may be headed there.

The 14-day "commitment" is an observation period only. No meaningful treatment for any mental condition can take place in 14 days. IMHO it would be setting a very dangerous precedent to start denying civil rights on the basis of nothing more than the person having been under observation for a fortnight.

Suppose the incident that led to the enforced observation was nothing more than a reaction to a new prescription, or a benign incident? After the 2-week observation, the person is deemed either not to be a danger to himself or others, or he may even be deemed to not have any problem at all. Why should such a person be thereafter denied his/her right to self-defense?

rainbowbob
June 8, 2008, 05:16 PM
The 14-day "commitment" is an observation period only. No meaningful treatment for any mental condition can take place in 14 days. IMHO it would be setting a very dangerous precedent to start denying civil rights on the basis of nothing more than the person having been under observation for a fortnight.

Aguila Blanca:
I agree with everything you wrote. My point was that Grainger did qualify for a CPL under the current statute, and there is no reason to change it.

Although some will say that any restriction of firearm ownership is an infringement of the 2A (and they would be right), I personally don't have a problem with restrictions based on a history of criminal violence (whether or not the person is mentally ill).

pyle
June 8, 2008, 05:25 PM
Why is it that politicians and "stupid" find each other like male and female cats? My definition of "stupid" = lacking common sense.....

spentbrass
June 8, 2008, 05:49 PM
I can't stand Greg Nickles, when will people stop electing "Dough Boy" into office? I'm so glad I don't live in Seattle anymore.

"Dough Boy" also wants to ban plastic water bottles, bon fires on the beach, and plastic bags at the grocery store. In addition to trying to ban "evil guns" at his precious music festivals, he's some sort of Climate Change Crusader.

Mannlicher
June 8, 2008, 07:28 PM
I may be wrong, but a mayoral edict is not law.

makarovnik
June 9, 2008, 12:32 AM
How does the issuing authority verify if someone has been committed? Does that show up on the FBI background check. Is there a list somewhere?

86thecat
June 9, 2008, 01:10 AM
What am I missing here? Music festival in park is outdoors, right?

RCW 70.108.150
Firearms — Penalty.


It shall be unlawful for any person, except law enforcement officers, to carry, transport or convey, or to have in his possession or under his control any firearm while on the site of an outdoor music festival.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars and not more than two hundred dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than ten days and not more than ninety days or by both such fine and imprisonment.

[1972 ex.s. c 123 § 5.]

Mortech
June 9, 2008, 01:20 AM
The main thing is that the Festival is not mainly a music one so there is a debate whether it qualifies as a 'music festival' . Thus whether or not it is coverd by RCW 70.108.150

86thecat
June 9, 2008, 01:23 AM
Thanks.

theken206
June 9, 2008, 01:49 AM
Nickles, man dont even get me started on this cat

rainbowbob
June 9, 2008, 09:30 AM
How does the issuing authority verify if someone has been committed?

The clerk of the court is supposed to send notice to the NICS system of any order of commitment (longer than 14 days).

rainbowbob
June 9, 2008, 09:32 AM
What am I missing here? Music festival in park is outdoors, right?

RCW 70.108.150
Firearms — Penalty.

It shall be unlawful for any person, except law enforcement officers, to carry, transport or convey, or to have in his possession or under his control any firearm while on the site of an outdoor music festival.

That's a good question. I'd forgotten about that. It could certainly be argued the Folklife Festival is an outdoor music festival. Hmmm...

Dain Bramage
June 9, 2008, 09:41 AM
RCW 70.108.150

Note that Grainger has not been charged under this RCW. The DA either thought it didn't apply, or that 2nd degree assault was enough. I get the distinct impression they just want this to die down and go away.

They probably have a better grasp of the legal issues, unlike Don KeyNickels tilting at antigun windmills.

MinnMooney
June 9, 2008, 09:45 AM
They were injured by an evil,crazy, person with a firearm.

Grainger committed the crime, not the gun. Without Grainger, the gun would have just been lying there. Without the gun, Grainger would have resorted to a knife or a hammer, or even a rock.


Exactly the way I feel. The mayor is simply being a knee-ferk reactor and we don't need that kind of adolescent in a position of power.

Old Dog
June 9, 2008, 02:08 PM
It seems to me that Nickels has somehow fixated on the gun-control issue as being the one issue he will continue to obtain support on ... he's screwed so many things up in Seattle; he knows that guns are one thing on which his liberal constituency will actually agree with him (see the current "SoundOff" in the P.I.). http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/ SPD Chief ("Dude, where's my Glock?") Kerlikowske is probably one of the few who side with him on the gun issue ...

Nickels fancies himself a crusader for numerous liberal causes, but regrettably, firearms issues will probably garner him more heat than any others, as I suspect most people simply ignore him until he starts attacking something that affects their lives ... and there are too many folks up here, even in King County, who will draw the line when it comes to guns.

Bobarino
June 9, 2008, 03:47 PM
here's the EO. he's out of his gourd. state laws do NOT authorize further restrictions and his EO is not consistent with state laws in the least. at least not in the real world. in crazy lefty, hoplophia land, ya, you betcha.

http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/executive_orders/E0708-GunSafetyAtCityFacilities.pdf

Bobby

Orange_Magnum
June 9, 2008, 04:09 PM
I'm glad Florida has a more mature outlook on things. Many people living in Florida are retired, people with life experience. On the news here our Sheriff would say about an incident like the one in Seattle, had it happened here, "We got the guy and he is off the street now. Good news for everyone." But no, in commie Seattle everybody has to be punished, people who had nothing to do with it, and the shooter is probably out on the street tomorrow, given leftwing sobbing mentality. :banghead:

MD_Willington
June 9, 2008, 04:22 PM
Wow, the comments posted there are really ripping the mayor a new one...

Larry E
June 9, 2008, 04:48 PM
This sort of thing makes me glad that I no longer live in the Seattle area or WA State. Nine years ago when I lived in WA a person could be charged with reckless endangerment if someone so much as saw another's concealed handgun, let alone had it drawn on them.

WA State's concealed carry requirements are actually pretty lenient unless they've changed recently. A clean criminal record, legal age, and the money for the permit. The King County Sheriff's office had a window for concealed carry applications, open during all normal business hours. In Montana, a person not only has to have a clean criminal record, be legal age, and have the money for the permit, but also pass a firearms safety/law class (at least in Billings/Yellowstone County). The anti-gun Yellowstone County Sheriff's office has two (or three, my memory is going:uhoh:) days a week, three people per day by appointment, when a person can apply for either a new or renewal CCP. Other states require a shooting test as well. When the WA State legislature passed a reciprocity bill a few years back, Gov Locke vetoed it because, "...other states might not have WA State's rigorous requirements...". Uh, yeah! A WA CCW is good in Montana, but not vice-versa. :cuss:

MillCreek
June 9, 2008, 06:07 PM
Actually, I just read the executive order linked above. As I interpret it, he is asking the City to develop restrictions forbidding firearms on City-owned property. I think the City would be within their property ownership rights to restrict or forbid firearms on their owned property. A property owner is generally given wide latitude as to permissible activities on their property.

The question is of course, as to if the lawful possession or carrying of firearms would from a Constitutional standpoint trump the private property ownership rights. Very interesting, and I wonder if there is any Washington state case law on the subject.

Mainsail
June 9, 2008, 06:17 PM
RCW 9.41.290
State preemption.

The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.

MillCreek
June 9, 2008, 08:02 PM
Mainsail, if you read the executive order, you will note that the mayor is not proposing any laws or ordinances. He is proposing rules, policies and contractural agreements pertaining to the ownership of City property. As such, a good lawyer would argue that this is immune from the state preemption of firearms laws and ordinances. This would be no different than you having a rule in your house banning the carrying of firearms. Your rules apply on your private property. The sticky wicket is then if those rules violate the Constitution, and as such the government can over turn those rules.

MD_Willington
June 9, 2008, 08:10 PM
restrictions forbidding firearms on City-owned property.


Mayor "Fancy" Nancy over here in Moscow Idaho tried the same thing, the State told her to get stuffed...

TAB
June 9, 2008, 08:12 PM
Mayor "Fancy" Nancy over here in Moscow Idaho tried the same thing, the State told her to get stuffed...


wait so it so its wrong for some one, to restrict what can be brought onto thier properity?

MillCreek
June 9, 2008, 08:36 PM
I did some research in the Washington case law, and I found the Washington Supreme Court case that the City of Seattle is relying upon: Pacific NW Shooting Park Association, et al. vs. the City of Sequim, et al. The citation is at 158 Wn. 2d. 342, October 2006. It turns out my earlier guess as to policies and rules pertaining to owned property is exempt from the state preemption is correct.

If you read the opinion, you will see some interesting holdings by our Supreme Court in the headnotes:

[9] Municipal Corporations - Weapons - Possession - Right of Possession - Regulation - Municipal Corporations - Proprietary Capacity. RCW 9.41.290 , which preempts municipal "laws and ordinances" regulating the possession of firearms, does not apply to a municipality when it acts in a proprietary capacity comparable to that of a private party.

[10] Municipal Corporations - Powers - Proprietary Function - What Constitutes - In General. A municipality acts in a proprietary capacity when it acts as the proprietor of a business enterprise for its own private advantage. A municipality acting in a proprietary capacity exercises business powers in much the same way as a private individual or corporation.

[11] Municipal Corporations - Powers - Proprietary Function - Right To Contract - Scope. When acting in a proprietary capacity, a municipality may enter into any contract that is necessary to render the system efficient and beneficial to the public.

[12] Municipal Corporations - Powers - Proprietary Function - Property Management - Temporary Use Permit for Municipal Facility. A municipal corporation acts in a private capacity as a property owner when it issues a permit for the temporary use of a municipal facility by a nonmunicipal entity.

[13] Municipal Corporations - Weapons - Possession - Right of Possession - Regulation - Municipal Facilities - Permit Conditions - Preemption. RCW 9.41.290 , which preempts municipal "laws and ordinances" regulating the possession of firearms, does not prohibit a municipality from conditioning the issuance of a permit for the temporary use of a municipal stadium or convention center for a gun show where firearms will be bought, sold, and traded.

Reading the entire opinion, you see that the Court essentially said that RCW 9.41.290 does not prohibit a municipal property owner from imposing firearms restrictions on municipal property. These are not laws and ordinances as contemplated by 9.41.290, and the city can exercise its property rights.

So very interesting reading, and since the Washington Supreme Court has ruled on this issue of a municipality exercising property rights on municipal property as they pertain to firearms, it will be interesting to see if any new City of Seattle firearms policies related to city-owned property could be successfully challenged. Note that this decision did not address the Constitutional issue of the lawful possession and carrying of firearms. This decision had to do with restrictions on sales at a gun show.

another okie
June 9, 2008, 10:36 PM
What is it exactly that happened? The newspaper accounts are all extremely vague. The guy has been charged criminally for the shooting, but why did he shoot?

suemarkp
June 9, 2008, 11:06 PM
Something is wrong when "city" becomes equated with private property rights. Who is the owner of city property -- the government, which is owned by the people.

Even then, I feel that private property open to the public should not be able to impose restrictions on firearms possession. It would be impossible to seamlessly carry while traveling if every piece of private property banned guns -- need gas, leave your gun at the street. Want groceries, leave your gun at the street.

357WheelGun
June 9, 2008, 11:18 PM
Nine years ago when I lived in WA a person could be charged with reckless endangerment if someone so much as saw another's concealed handgun, let alone had it drawn on them.
You are misinformed. WA has had legal open carry far longer than nine years and no charge of "reckless endangerment" could be made to stick for simply having a legal weapon show unintentionally (or even intentionally). There must be additional circumstances that warrant concern or alarm (an example typically given is a person gripping the firearm, or prominently exposing it during a heated confrontation) as the mere conspicuous presence of the weapon itself is not sufficient.

As far as the mayor's plan, it won't stand up to the state preemption.

Sun195
June 10, 2008, 12:24 AM
MillCreek: I think your analysis of this issue is spot-on. It's about control of municipally owned property, not a new law. I believe the University of Washington takes a similar approach to restricting firearms on its campus - if they find you with one, you're asked to leave. Failure to comply results in a trespass. It all comes down to who controls what property and what rights/control they have over it.

Not to say I agree with this, but that's the legal approach taken.

Cliff47
June 10, 2008, 09:39 AM
I can see this is going to be a most entertaining exercise through our court system. Mayor Nickels, here's your sign...(to borrow a phrase from Bill Engvall)

Kitchen_Duty
June 10, 2008, 10:18 AM
Where's a good fail image when you need one. Any fark.com people here?

MillCreek
June 10, 2008, 12:08 PM
An article in this morning's PI confirms that the Sequim case is the legal basis for the City's action: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/366336_guns10.html

nomadboi
June 10, 2008, 03:01 PM
In answer to the question(s) about the cause of shooting:

So far as I can tell, there was a fight, this guy reached for a gun in an ankle holster, there was a struggle over the gun resulting in a single shot fired... went through the nose of the guy fighting over it (not the shooter, but the other guy), a bystander's arm, and into another bystander's leg.

Heck, I'm with the mayor on banning styrofoam take-out containers and plastic bags, but this seems a pretty useless move.

Also surprised nobody has so far tied this to the cutbacks in staffing they're having to make in the King County Sheriff's office this year, since I believe they're the ones who screen applications for CHL permits.

We're adding expensive video cameras and banning carry to city parks to try to make things "safer", but cutting seventy-some deputies in our county... I know it's different budgets, but it still seems sad.

K-Romulus
June 10, 2008, 03:22 PM
Not having read the Sequim case, I can still already try to work up a distinction.

Sequim seems to concern the proprietary rights of the municipality to propose contractual terms for agreements regarding the use of city property, just as how a landlord could negotiate a lease with a tenant. The key is the term "proprietary."

Regulating a public park or public library is NOT a "proprietary" act. Contracting with someone who wants to rent a convention center or a meeting room in the public library IS a proprietary act.

Seattle seems to be free under state law to negotiate whatever contracts it wants. I don't see the same for its regulating public access to public property. But I'm not a WA state lawyer . . .

ETA: Key part of the Lexis summary in the Sequim case -
The critical point was that the conditions the city imposed on private party gun sales related to a permit for private use of its property. They were not laws or regulations of application to the general public.
(I'm reading the opinion now)

ETA: Link to executive order PDF- http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/mayor/executive_orders/E0708-GunSafetyAtCityFacilities.pdf
Key part of executive order:
policies, rules and contractual agreements that prohibit dangerous weapons

The Mayor and police chief's "policies and rules" jihad will result in 100% FAIL.

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