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Thread: Yelm eases firearms restrictions

  1. #1
    Regular Member 911Grunt's Avatar
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    Yelm eases firearms restrictions

    http://yelmonline.com/articles/2013/...9047980907.txt


    By Steven Wyble
    news3@yelmonline.com
    Published: Friday, April 12, 2013 4:07 PM PDT
    Yelm City Council voted to change several ordinances Tuesday to bring city gun ordinances in line with state law.

    The changes affect laws regarding carrying or selling guns near schools, carrying guns in city parks and minors possessing guns.

    According to a staff report by Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil, the Yelm Municipal Code regarding use and possession of firearms has been in place since 1977. State law has changed since that time, creating a discrepancy between state and city law.

    “Our current language is more restrictive than state law, therefore bringing this recommendation to change our Yelm Municipal Code,” he wrote.

    The council voted to repeal city ordinance No. 966 regarding minors possessing firearms and will instead refer to state law 9.41.042.

    The council also voted to amend Ordinance 967, which prohibited firearm possession or sales within 1,000 feet of school property to reflect state law, thus allowing possession or sale of guns within 500 feet of school property. Councilor Mike McGowan abstained.

    The council also voted to adopt ordinance 965, which made several changes to how people can use city parks, including the use of guns in city parks.

    City law restricted carrying guns in city parks, but state law allows carrying firearms in parks under certain circumstances.

    Community development director Grant Beck said it’s not just a matter of bringing city law into compliance with state law, but that state law actually preempts the city’s laws.

    Mayor Ron Harding said the city of Seattle challenged the state law a couple years ago and lost.

    “Part of our job is to protect the community, but it’s also to follow state law and not put the citizens in additional liability from (lawsuits) as well,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we’re taking this action. … It opens us up to litigation if we’re not consistent with state law.”

    Councilor McGowan said he understood the reasoning of bringing city law into compliance with state law, but added he thinks allowing guns in city parks is unwise. He abstained from the vote on allowing guns in city parks.

    “Personally, I think it’s a really unwise idea to have firearms in city parks,” he said. “We’re not talking about having a rifle for hunting, we’re talking about bringing a weapon into a city park and I don’t think the vast majority of gun owners are trained in situations that our law enforcement people are.

    “To me, it also indicates a lack of trust of law enforcement that we would want to be carrying a loaded weapon in a city park.”

    Yelm resident Bryan Boyea, who made the city aware of the inconsistency of the city’s gun restriction in city parks with state law, thanked the council for its swift action in resolving the matter.

    He said he disagreed with McGowan, and argued the presence of firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens doesn’t endanger the citizens of Yelm any more than the possession of vehicles by licensed drivers.

    He said he trusted local law enforcement agencies, but said they cover a large area.

    “They can’t always be everywhere when an incident may occur,” Boyea said. “Therefore, citizens have the right and the responsibility to protect themselves and their families and those around them.”

    McGowan said there are restrictions on vehicle use, noting if someone wanted to drive down a city street at 75 mph, they would be prohibited from doing so.

    “It’s not just unabated, you can drive anywhere you want when you get a license as fast as you can,” he said.

    He said he’s not debating the right to carry guns in parks, but questioned “whether it’s a good idea to have loaded weapons in our city parks.”

  2. #2
    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    I trust law enforcement to carry out their duties professionally and lawfully until they prove otherwise.

    Of course, since defending me from a mugger in a city park is not part of their duties, my carrying a pistol for self-defense in no way reflects on those police nor does it display a lack of trust on my part.

  3. #3
    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    From the article:

    "City law restricted carrying guns in city parks, but state law allows carrying firearms in parks under certain circumstances."

    Just what circumstances are they talking about? As long as it's legal? Well, no duh!
    Just another example of people trying to send a message that is different from the truth.
    "Loyalty above all else except honor. " -John Mahoney

    "A Government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have." -Gerald R. Ford

  4. #4
    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decklin View Post
    "City law restricted carrying guns in city parks, but state law allows carrying firearms in parks under certain circumstances."
    I would assume those circumstances would be not a felon, not certified insane, breathing, and human.
    Last edited by Difdi; 04-15-2013 at 04:37 AM.

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