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Thread: Open carry in parks

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    Open carry in parks

    I read through the sticky, and found this...

    6) I saw a park sign saying no firearms. Is that legal? (RCW 9.41.290) No. Washington State has preempted all firearms laws regarding possession. You may carry in any city, county, state, National Forest or National Park in Washington State.

    But curious why it would say firearms prohibited on the sign, if its still legal to carry? And does anyone have a code/link/law they could point me to that could sum this up better for me. Whats a police reaction going to be when he points at the sign and i say, the signs wrong? Or how do i know if its a private owned park, that allows the public, but can make its own rules? Sorry if these have all been answered or are silly questions, just trying to learn all that i can the best that i can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanut170 View Post
    I read through the sticky, and found this...

    6) I saw a park sign saying no firearms. Is that legal? (RCW 9.41.290) No. Washington State has preempted all firearms laws regarding possession. You may carry in any city, county, state, National Forest or National Park in Washington State.

    But curious why it would say firearms prohibited on the sign, if its still legal to carry? And does anyone have a code/link/law they could point me to that could sum this up better for me. Whats a police reaction going to be when he points at the sign and i say, the signs wrong? Or how do i know if its a private owned park, that allows the public, but can make its own rules? Sorry if these have all been answered or are silly questions, just trying to learn all that i can the best that i can.

    Because the sign was put up by the local governing body who didn't know the law or were outright acting in spite of the law. Yes, you may get hassled by the police; that is always a danger when OCing whether in a park or not. The fact is that OC is legal in any national/state/county/city park, and that does not change regardless of what it says on their rules sign. Carry a voice recorder for your protection and some WA OC Pamphlets with you to educate anyone who might ask (including LEO). If the park does happen to be privately owned, you're still in the clear because a no gun sign does not have the force of law in WA. You would simply be in violation of the park rules and must comply if asked to leave by an agent of the park (owner, manager, etc) or you risk being guilty of trespassing.

    I see you are in/around Vancouver. Read up on Josh's troubles he had with OCing in that area so you can be better prepared for what you may come up against. The thread is buried here in the WA forum somewhere.
    Last edited by FrayedString; 01-23-2013 at 12:26 AM.

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    Spokane has laws on the books that say no firearms allowed in parks, we have had two OC picnics in parks since then, at the first one a TV reporter called the police on us and they refused to respond. As long as it is a public park carry away, anyway you like.

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    I know for Lacey, WA I brought up the issue of the signs in our parks about no weapons. Before I even got to the monthly meeting they had the city lawyer check on the issue of preemption, and the subject was done before the meeting even occurred. They don't have the money to replace the signs, but the police have been instructed to not mess with anybody carrying in a legal manor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanut170 View Post
    I read through the sticky, and found this...

    6) I saw a park sign saying no firearms. Is that legal? (RCW 9.41.290) No. Washington State has preempted all firearms laws regarding possession. You may carry in any city, county, state, National Forest or National Park in Washington State.

    But curious why it would say firearms prohibited on the sign, if its still legal to carry? And does anyone have a code/link/law they could point me to that could sum this up better for me. Whats a police reaction going to be when he points at the sign and i say, the signs wrong? Or how do i know if its a private owned park, that allows the public, but can make its own rules? Sorry if these have all been answered or are silly questions, just trying to learn all that i can the best that i can.
    Peanut,
    The code/link/law is in your quote. You need to read 9.41.290 and understand it in its entirety. WA state pre-empts ALL firearms laws as made by any municipality IE: Cities/counties and other Government municipalities such as Public Hospital districts.

    Do a search of the threads using terms like 9.41.290/pre-emtion/ etc. You will find some very good discussions on here.

    As to how do you know if it is a private park? Look at the signs...most will say "city park", "county park", "State Park" and such. If you are unsure, google the park name.

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    Thank you all for the replies, exactly what I was looking for.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Signs will remain in lots of parks for years to come. Changing them takes money and unless someone seriously vandalized it, or burns it down, a new and correct sign wont be put up.

    As long as one isn't violating RCW 9.41.270 and essentially "intimidating others", no prosecutor in his right mind (post Chan decision) will charge anyone for violating this sign.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Welcome to OCDO. I have been writing that a bunch lately and I like it.
    The State of Washington once had a patchwork quilt of laws pertaining to weapons. It would depend upon where you were standing as to whether it was a crime or not. But then the sun came out, level heads said 'This is dumb, lets just have one law!" Great, the law was enacted, but some (seattle) said not me and sued. State said"Seattle, sit down and shut up." So it became the Law of the Land. You will still see signs now and thenthat have not yet been fixed.
    You can do what is being done in Oak Harbour, and ask them to fix the sign.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrayedString View Post
    Because the sign was put up by the local governing body who didn't know the law or were outright acting in spite of the law. Yes, you may get hassled by the police; that is always a danger when OCing whether in a park or not. The fact is that OC is legal in any national/state/county/city park, and that does not change regardless of what it says on their rules sign. Carry a voice recorder for your protection and some WA OC Pamphlets with you to educate anyone who might ask (including LEO). If the park does happen to be privately owned, you're still in the clear because a no gun sign does not have the force of law in WA. You would simply be in violation of the park rules and must comply if asked to leave by an agent of the park (owner, manager, etc) or you risk being guilty of trespassing.

    I see you are in/around Vancouver. Read up on Josh's troubles he had with OCing in that area so you can be better prepared for what you may come up against. The thread is buried here in the WA forum somewhere.
    I looked up this Josh, persons trouble you referred to, it's about a 46 age thread so hadn't figured out the complete outcome, but seems he got rather screwed for no reason, and that worrys me a little being from vancouver. Any body sum that thread up for me that remembers until I have a chance to read through it more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanut170 View Post
    I looked up this Josh, persons trouble you referred to, it's about a 46 age thread so hadn't figured out the complete outcome, but seems he got rather screwed for no reason, and that worrys me a little being from vancouver. Any body sum that thread up for me that remembers until I have a chance to read through it more.

    Here is the case as I recall it. Josh was standing around on the sidewalk near a (strip?) mall waiting for some friends, it so happened that he was in front of a restaurant of some kind that had been robbed recently. The employees inside noticed he was OCing and called the police, so the police came to check out the situation. Josh and the police got into an argument about his rights, and he ended up getting a ticket for violating 9.41.270. My memory isn't 100% on the order of events after that, so if I'm wrong someone chime in:

    - Judge #1 threw the case out.
    - City appealed or something, and the case was going to be heard just by Judge #2.
    - City demanded a jury be present rather than presenting directly to judge
    - Jury convicted Josh of "warranting alarm" or some nonsense so he loses his CPL for up to 2 years, at the courts discretion, and may have to pay a fine or do up to 1 yr jail time (I don't think the penalties imposed on him were ever posted in the thread)


    I think the main lesson to be learned is if you are confronted by Vancouver PD, don't get into a argument with them. Ask them if you're being detained or if you're free to go. If you aren't being detained, stop talking to them. Seriously, just don't say anything. If you are being detained, the same applies; stop talking and call a lawyer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc <- Don't talk to the police!

    Carry a personal voice recorder, you can pick up a basic on that will work perfect on amazon.com for $50 or less. Make sure it's one that can be easily connected to a PC, I've noticed they have some of the ones for sale now don't support this; don't get one of them, it's more headache than the $10 savings. The voice recorder will cover your butt when someone tries to say you were threatening them or whatnot.

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    Regular Member rapgood's Avatar
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    Private parks and churches

    There is a body of case law that says the more a private party holds his/her property out for access by the public-at-large, the more that property owner is subject to laws regulating the state's actions (read: preemption).

    My read on the law indicates that this is just as true for churches in which McGinn or City Council members hold "town meetings." If anyone decides to test this, I will gladly represent him/her pro bono publico.
    Rev. Robert Apgood, Esq.

    A right cannot be lost by exercising it. McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3021, 177 L. Ed. 2d 894 (2010) (citing Near v. Minn., 283 U.S. 697 (1931)).

    Although IAAL, anything I say here is not legal advice. No conversations we may have privately or otherwise in this forum constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship, and are not intended to do so.

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    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    I know defacing official signs is illegal, but I've often wondered what if anything the courts would do to you for putting correction tape over illegal portions of signs?

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanut170 View Post
    I read through the sticky, and found this...

    6) I saw a park sign saying no firearms. Is that legal? (RCW 9.41.290) No. Washington State has preempted all firearms laws regarding possession. You may carry in any city, county, state, National Forest or National Park in Washington State.

    But curious why it would say firearms prohibited on the sign, if its still legal to carry? And does anyone have a code/link/law they could point me to that could sum this up better for me. Whats a police reaction going to be when he points at the sign and i say, the signs wrong? Or how do i know if its a private owned park, that allows the public, but can make its own rules? Sorry if these have all been answered or are silly questions, just trying to learn all that i can the best that i can.
    So, now is the time to start putting on the pressure. Take a photograph of the sign, and then look up the law that it is based on. Read the law carefully, examine the sign carefully, and most of all, read section 2 of RCW 9.41.300 extremely carefully.

    Compose a letter to the governmental agency (city council, county council) that points out what is wrong, why it is wrong, and what you would suggest to correct the error. If you would like an example that has already worked, PM me. My letter to the City of Tonasket has been acknowledged as being correct, and they are currently in the process of auditing the whole city code to make sure there are not other old laws that no longer fit.

    Mail a copy of your letter to the Mayor/county exec...whoever is in charge. Next council meeting, show up, and during public comment, read the letter and ask what they plan to do to comply with state law.

    Pay careful attention to the Oak Harbor thread, you will probably learn something as to interacting with the council when they are not interested in complying with State Law. remember, I never had any pushback. The Mayor and council sent my letter to legal, legal said, yep, he's correct. So now, they plan on fixing all of the old law problems in one swell foop. Even though I have their assurance verbally in open council meeting, and in writing...I'm not going to let up until I see it published in the code.

    That is what YOU need to do. You do not wait for someone else to do it for you....YOU do it. You noted it is wrong, now, get active and correct the error.
    Last edited by hermannr; 01-23-2013 at 06:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rapgood View Post
    There is a body of case law that says the more a private party holds his/her property out for access by the public-at-large, the more that property owner is subject to laws regulating the state's actions (read: preemption).

    My read on the law indicates that this is just as true for churches in which McGinn or City Council members hold "town meetings." If anyone decides to test this, I will gladly represent him/her pro bono publico.
    Could this be applied to schools too, along with the AG's opinion about when a school is considered a school?

    And I tend to have a long memory about certain things, I won't forget your offer......
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Difdi View Post
    I know defacing official signs is illegal, but I've often wondered what if anything the courts would do to you for putting correction tape over illegal portions of signs?
    This was done at Bloedel Donovan Park in B'ham. #7 on the "don't do this list" was No Firearms. The Park Guy, Wayne, Saved a bunch of money by putting duct tape over the offending line. Simple, attractive(when painted) and mostly inexpensive.
    I do not reccommend breaking the law.......If someone did tape over the "offending line" at your park, I would hope the wrote the RCW on the tape with an indelible ink. jus sayin
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Quote Originally Posted by rapgood View Post
    There is a body of case law that says the more a private party holds his/her property out for access by the public-at-large, the more that property owner is subject to laws regulating the state's actions (read: preemption).

    My read on the law indicates that this is just as true for churches in which McGinn or City Council members hold "town meetings." If anyone decides to test this, I will gladly represent him/her pro bono publico.
    What about the Spokane Public Facilities District banning fire arms in the Arena, Convention Center and Inland Northwest Performing Arts Center. They are a Washington State municipality.

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    Food for thought

    Quote Originally Posted by rapgood View Post
    There is a body of case law that says the more a private party holds his/her property out for access by the public-at-large, the more that property owner is subject to laws regulating the state's actions (read: preemption).

    My read on the law indicates that this is just as true for churches in which McGinn or City Council members hold "town meetings." If anyone decides to test this, I will gladly represent him/her pro bono publico.
    This also applies to private property that is set aside for public use,ie a 20 acre parcel dedicated to use as a park, but still private property.

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    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    can't believe I posted this in the totally wrong thread and didn't notice it till now...

    08.76.530 - Firearms, Weapons

    No person except duly authorized law enforcement personnel and/or persons licensed to carry a concealed weapon shall possess a firearm in a city park. No person shall possess a bow and arrow, crossbow, or air or gas weapon in a City park. No person shall discharge across, in, or into any park area a firearm, bow and arrow, crossbow, air or gas weapon, or any device capable of injuring or killing any person or animal, or damaging or destroying any public or private property provided that where the Department for good cause has authorized and approved a special recreational activity or a recreational program, upon finding that it is not inconsistent with City park use, this section shall not apply. (Ord. 420 1 (part), 2006; Ord. 126 1 (part), 1997.)
    I just found out that Lakewood has an illegal city municipal code regarding firearms in parks

    I have drafted an email to the Lakewood city mayor.

    Mr. Anderson, I would just like to take the time to inform you that the Lakewood City Municipal code is in violation of Washington State law regarding state preemption. RCW 9.41.290

    "08.76.530 - Firearms, Weapons" states, No person except duly authorized law enforcement personnel and/or persons licensed to carry a concealed weapon shall possess a firearm in a city park. No person shall possess a bow and arrow, crossbow, or air or gas weapon in a City park. No person shall discharge across, in, or into any park area a firearm, bow and arrow, crossbow, air or gas weapon, or any device capable of injuring or killing any person or animal, or damaging or destroying any public or private property provided that where the Department for good cause has authorized and approved a special recreational activity or a recreational program, upon finding that it is not inconsistent with City park use, this section shall not apply. (Ord. 420 1 (part), 2006; Ord. 126 1 (part), 1997.)

    In the state of Washington, the only 2 times one is required to be in possession of a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) are (1) when carrying a pistol concealed and (2) when carrying a pistol loaded in a vehicle. RCW 9.41.050 Washington state is an open carry state and as such, the act of carry a firearm in a lawful and responsible manner without the requirement of a CPL is a protected right.

    I would strongly urge you and the City Council Members to review this matter and take it under advisement with your legal representation before the city becomes subject to a civil lawsuit. I am a law abiding citizen who proudly exercises my constitutionally protected rights and I would be extremely upset, as I'm sure others would be, if we were to come under an illegal action from city law enforcement officials who were enforcing an illegal law.

    I will be looking forward to your speedy response in this matter.

    Signed Mr. Witmer
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam3176 View Post
    Yes its illegal law right now For the Simple Fact they didnt outlaw Open carry yet. Thats because of how the system works. It creates the Illegal laws before putting them into operation. The fact of the matter is the plan to make open carry illegal has been ongoing for a long time. And now with these staged OP shootings on a mass scale and it will get Worse, They will ban open carry. When your guess is as good as mine. We are not talking 5 years from now. We are talking Months, As of Right now you dont need a license to carry a firearm, The cities are Ignoring that Fact

    https://www.youtube.com/user/adam3176?feature=mhee
    I disagree that they will ban OC. It is very possible that they may try...but...I do not think that A1/S24 will allow for the ban of OC...that said, they could possibly get around A1/S24 by allowing anyone to CC without a license, which you know that isn't going to happen.

    That is what happened in OH. They would not allow CC, so a bunch of guys went OC and forced the issue. OH's CC law was written just for the purpose of limiting OC, but their courts would not allow them to eliminate OC so they gave those that wanted to carry an alternative with their CC law...I think you will find the same here in WA.
    Last edited by hermannr; 01-25-2013 at 03:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    I disagree that they will ban OC. It is very possible that they may try...but...I do not think that A1/S24 will allow for the ban of OC...that said, they could possibly get around A1/S24 by allowing anyone to CC without a license, which you know that isn't going to happen.

    That is what happened in OH. They would not allow CC, so a bunch of guys went OC and forced the issue. OH's CC law was written just for the purpose of limiting OC, but their courts would not allow them to eliminate OC so they gave those that wanted to carry an alternative with their CC law...I think you will find the same here in WA.
    um... in washington anybody can carry OC and CC with a CPL... no need to get around any laws
    Armed and annoyingly well informed!

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    Campaign Veteran OlGutshotWilly's Avatar
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    Grim,
    He is referring to what "possibly" could happen in the state, not the current situation.
    THE SECOND AMENDMENT: Washington didn't use his right to free speech to defeat the British, he shot them.
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    Campaign Veteran OlGutshotWilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam3176 View Post
    I think when SHTF ALL will CC if they have a CPL or not. If its a life and death situation then people will CC for their protection. But thats where the Law will make citizens Criminals.

    You do realize you are posting on an OC forum, and making the proclamation that ALL will CC for their own protection Perhaps you are confused as to which forum you are posting in?
    THE SECOND AMENDMENT: Washington didn't use his right to free speech to defeat the British, he shot them.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Government is not reason; it is not eloquent -- it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
    --George Washington,
    first U.S. president

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    Regular Member rapgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Could this be applied to schools too, along with the AG's opinion about when a school is considered a school?

    And I tend to have a long memory about certain things, I won't forget your offer......
    Well... schools are in a special class unto themselves. Just about any law that is passed with the intent to protect the little kiddies is not likely to be put to the test. I know I wouldn't put it to the test. Anything that could threaten the little munchkins evokes visceral reactions in people (myself included).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hayes View Post
    What about the Spokane Public Facilities District banning fire arms in the Arena, Convention Center and Inland Northwest Performing Arts Center. They are a Washington State municipality.
    I'm not entirely sold on the concept that these are proper bans, but in Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association v. Sequim the Washington Supreme Court sez it's ok to impose restrictions. I think the case was decided incorrectly, but the Supes' opinions carry a whole lot more weight than mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trigger Dr View Post
    This also applies to private property that is set aside for public use,ie a 20 acre parcel dedicated to use as a park, but still private property.
    Yep.
    Rev. Robert Apgood, Esq.

    A right cannot be lost by exercising it. McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3021, 177 L. Ed. 2d 894 (2010) (citing Near v. Minn., 283 U.S. 697 (1931)).

    Although IAAL, anything I say here is not legal advice. No conversations we may have privately or otherwise in this forum constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship, and are not intended to do so.

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    [QUOTE=rapgood;1887595]


    I'm not entirely sold on the concept that these are proper bans, but in Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association v. Sequim the Washington Supreme Court sez it's ok to impose restrictions. I think the case was decided incorrectly, but the Supes' opinions carry a whole lot more weight than mine.

    I will reread PNSPA V Sequim again, I keep going back to where it says "the laws were not laws or regulations of application to the general public" Since the Ron Paul rally was open to the general public they did in fact impose laws on the general public, me.

    I believe the Attorneys for PNSPA missed the boat entirely in their argument and thus lost a case that should have never been lost. Egos got in the way they argued if PNSPA could have firearms in the convention center they should have argued that the general public could have firearms in the convention center. In fact that argument has not been made to date that I am aware of.
    Last edited by Jeff Hayes; 01-25-2013 at 11:11 PM.

  25. #25
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapgood View Post
    Well... schools are in a special class unto themselves. Just about any law that is passed with the intent to protect the little kiddies is not likely to be put to the test. I know I wouldn't put it to the test. Anything that could threaten the little munchkins evokes visceral reactions in people (myself included).
    I am quite protective of young ones myself.

    I was wondering about when a school is used for another purpose and young ones are not the main attendees, like when they hold our Caucasus's there. Not sure if I am ready to be a test case on that though......
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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