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Gun Reports Home >> News

Washington Supreme Court
Ends Gun Ban in Seattle Parks

March 12, 2012

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(GunReports.com) -- The Washington state Supreme Court has declined to review an October decision by the state Court of Appeals, reaffirming that the gun ban in Seattle’s parks is illegal.

This order marks a final victory for Seattle-area gun owners, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), who had joined together to block enforcement of the ban.

"The Washington Supreme Court made the right decision in recognizing that the city violated state law," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "This decision is a clear indication why it's critically important for states to enact strong preemption laws, to prevent local governments from imposing a patchwork of firearm restrictions."

The case of Chan v. City of Seattle began in 2008, when the city of Seattle and then-Mayor Greg Nickels (D) enacted a rule that banned firearms and "dangerous weapons" from city parks, community centers and other city properties. In 2009, the city added another rule that banned guns from parks where children are "likely to be present."

In October 2009, the NRA and SAF asked the King County Superior Court to strike down the ban as a violation of Washington's preemption statute, which forbids localities from enacting this type of ban. Specifically, the preemption statute says the state preempts the field of firearm regulation, and prohibits cities from regulating firearms—a position supported by an Oct. 2008 legal opinion from state Attorney General Rob McKenna (R).

In response, the city claimed the ban wasn’t a "law" or a criminal regulation, and that it was acting in its "proprietary capacity" as a property owner.

In February 2010, the Superior Court of King County struck down the Seattle rule banning firearms from city parks, including possession by Right-to-Carry permit holders. The city appealed.

In its Oct. 31 ruling, the Court of Appeals panel wrote: "We hold that under the plain language of RCW 9.41.290 and RCW 9.41.300, the City’s attempt to regulate the possession of firearms at designated park areas and park facilities open to the public by adopting the Firearms Rule, is preempted by state law."

The opinion further stated, "The Firearms Rule regulates the possession of firearms at designated city parks and park facilities open to the general public. [The case law on which the City relies] does not support the City’s position that RCW 9.41.290 does not apply because it is acting as a property owner and setting conditions on use of its property. Except as authorized by the legislature, RCW 9.41.290 precludes a municipality from regulating the possession of firearms at city-owned park facilities open to the general public."

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Reader Comments

I wouldn't go into a city park ANYWHERE, without my hog leg, even Seattle. And, if you can't pack in the city parks, how are you gonna safely sell drugs (an activity that is carried out on a regular basis)?

Applause for the Washington Supreme Court.

Good for the Washington Supreme Court! I have difficulty imagining any place that might put a person more at risk than a city park. This, of course, does not mitigate people going into the parks looking for trouble, just because they might be packing heat. As it is with any concealed carrier who goes about his/her business while carrying, discretion should still be maintained as concerns places where we might logically expect trouble to be lurking.

And you know Colonel, it is getting scarier and scarier in more and more places. I guess the only place we are truly safe in in our own crapper.

Yeah, Cecil, and when I am in that particular room, whether sitting or in the shower, I always have a decent selection of a few pistols and/or revolvers from which to choose. Therein lies the value of stainless, nickel plated, titanium, and polymer framed pieces.

Never thought about that but as usual, you are dead on.

Yeah.....I have always had at least one piece on a mandrel under the sink. Then, an old friend of mine, who is now a Justice of the Peace and is also a retired Texas State Trooper, allowed as he always has one within easy reach when he is in the shower. That convinced me to put a holster on the back of the bathroom door, with an appropriate piece always there. I can easily reach it over the top of the shower stall door, in case I am ever caught by some asshole while I'm in the shower. The current piece in that holster is a nickel plated six inch Colt Official Police revolver in .38 Special.

I was never a fan of "white guns" as one of my police buddies called them, but I never thought about the obvious, i.e., keeping one in a bathroom where there is steam on a daily basis. Now I wish I had my SS .38 back. I gave it to a lady friend for home protection. And I just bought a lawnmower today, so I will have to scour around to find a deal on a stainless gun. It's always something. LOL.

Well, OK, Cecil..... If it wasn't always something, it would likely be nothing! Hang in there, Buddy! It's always nice to have the objective of a firearm acquisition in mind.

A gun quest is always fun.

Cecil - I was never a fan of stainless - a deep bluing just rocks; however, I have come to appreciate the relative ease of maintaining the stainless....

PVB-I am also told that the stainless will not, in some instances, hold up to the pressure in the firing chamber. An engineer friend of mine told me that making stainless actually removes some of the strength in the metal. But, I guess you can get a .357 and shoot .38 in it and it would be a save bet.

As I understand the principles of metallurgy, stainless steel is a bit more malleable than carbon steel. When stainless is machined, it tends to tear rather than chip, as does carbon steel. Now, I am not an expert here, but it seems to me that a more malleable steel may tolerate pressure more than one that fragments as carbon steel does. Also, I figure that with the plethora of stainless firearms on the market, we would have long ago heard something about product liability associated with stainless vs carbon steel. My point is.....I don't think we need to worry too much about the relative strengths of stainless and carbon steels.

Cecil - You got me started... I had to go grab an old Beer & Johnston textbook off the shelf, only to realize I've forgotten more than I know. Part of the problem to this analysis is that there are many different alloys. Basic steel is iron and carbon. How much carbon dictates properties such as hardness and ductility. From there, the elements added, and the proportions thereof are essentially limitless. Stainless adds a significant amount of chromium, but may also have nickel or manganese (for instance). Add heat treatment or quenching into the mix and it gets even more complicated.

For this discussion, obviously the strength of either carbon or stainless is adequate for firearms applications; however, that does depend on the alloy and proper treatment. I suspect reports of one or the other being more or less reliable have more to do with the particular alloy itself, the quality of its manufacture, and the proper application of heat treatment during firearm manufacture than anything else. A more ductile metal may be easier to form, but it is not typically as hard. The harder it is, the more likely you will have a brittle fracture than ductile, especially as temperature decreases. I know: "Blah, blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah blah..." said Gary Larson.

Soooo, that puts us pretty much where what canovack said.......

Also, we are banking on the firearms manufacturers to buy quality alloys suited for the design, and conduct proper heat treatment throughout their manufacture.

did not mean to hand out homework assignments but as usual, I learned something from you guys. Thanks for all your work and research. Anyone know how to attract hot Latina 18 year old chicks into some old guys truck? LOL

Now Cecil, didn't you see the story about the good Samaritan in Chi-town that got arrested a few days after he offered a pair of teenage girls a ride home during a snowstorm???

Cecil - candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker... so, tequila? (just a thought) Hey, here's an idea. Show 'em yer 'burrito'.

If I whipped out that old wrinkled thing, they would run away screaming. I don't want to traumatize them for the rest of their lives. I have tried the candy thing. It doesn't work. LOL

PVB-I missed that story. Was he a pervert or a good guy?

just looking at the picture of this Road Ace, I am betting he already had his dick out. I could be wrong.

LOL Cecil. I was going to ignore this situation until I saw your comment. I'm guessing you could be right. I mean, why would even the girls memorize his plate if he didn't do or say something else? The one article quotes him as asking one question, the other claims he says he only asked two questions. Now I'm wondering what the second question was, and if was about the dick in his hand?

We are just getting to cynical in our old age david. Or perhaps, we have seen these scenarios one too many times. Where there is smoke, there is ALWAYS fire.

I've had a hand in raising 9 girls Cecil B, and I'm not entirely sure I'm that cynical on this one. At 13, they're pretty much just silly and boy-crazy all the time. (That's not to say 'stupid', just '13 and girls'.) So it seems to me that for these girls to memorize his plates and vehicle make, there had to be something actually offensive that went on - otherwise they would normally have had a good yuk about it as he drove off, told all their girlfriends about the 'old creeper' (at 13 anybody over 16 that you're not interested in is 'old') that tried to pick them up, and that would have been the end of it. Sure, some girls aren't like that, but as I said, I've helped raise 9 of 'em and that's a pretty consistent condition at 13 - add or take a little.

Yeah david. I helped raise 3 so I know of what you speak. Something else happened but the media will let the story drop cause no one was killed and dismembered.

There's a thread on pafoa about this guy, and I was surprised that everybody there rallied right around him, not at all disturbed by the other facts, or lack thereof. This happened in a neighborhood, they were at the same gas station where the accused filled up, and likely at least one had a cell phone. The "reporting" also lacks even an attempt to interview the police or families of the 13 year olds. The general sentiment there is this guy did nothing wrong, so why are the po-po messing with him?

All of this from a group who vehemently stand by a slain soccer mom who was ridiculed by the media for her open carry, only to be killed by the person who "inspired" her to carry openly until she could get her permit.


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