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Thread: What 'weight' does the AGO 2008 carry?

  1. #1
    Regular Member hadji's Avatar
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    What 'weight' does the AGO 2008 carry?

    This seems like a good topic for the forum,
    and I suspect others may benefit from the conversation.


    The Attorney General Opinion, 2008 has some statements that have been cited in cases, most notably, Chan v. Seattle.

    Does the AGO carry the weigh of case law? Less? More?
    Or is it just different?

    In an upcoming "discussion" we intended to lean heavily on the AGO.
    I just want to know how solid the ground is that we are standing on....

    comments?
    citations?

    hadji

  2. #2
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    Hadji

    I would say less weight than case law. It is a good indicator of how a Judge may rule but in no way a guarantee.

    I think we are on solid ground with what we are doing every where else has complied I can not see how they can not.
    Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack.

  3. #3
    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    There is no need to use that opinion since an appellate court validated it. we can simply use the court ruling and not the AGO.
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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  4. #4
    Regular Member hadji's Avatar
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    I must be dense this morning.
    Which ruling was that?

    hadji

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadji View Post
    I must be dense this morning.
    Which ruling was that?

    hadji
    Chan v. Seattle. the AGO was asked in response to Seattle's parks ban, the AG issued an opinion stating that Seattle's ban is unlawful.

    Seattle told the AG to go pee up a rope, so some people sued seattle, and won. the AG opinion was validated by the Chan ruling.

    although I guess I don't know, if the Chan ruling was unpublished then the AG's opinion is precedent to use, but if Chan was published, citing in appeals court opinion is much better then an AGO
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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  6. #6
    Regular Member hadji's Avatar
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    Ok, thank you.
    I thought I had missed something.

    Chan did cite the AGO, giving it validation in general.
    We want to cite two specific lines, one of which was not mentioned in Chan.

    In Chan, the following was cited: 'Pacific Northwest Shooting Park, 158 Wn.2d at 357.
    The Court explained that the “critical point is that the conditions the city imposed
    related to a permit for private use of its property.
    They were not laws or regulations of application to the general public.' "

    This is good.

    But a further clarification, if you will, is provided by a following statement that I have emphasized for clarification:

    "Under Cherry and Pacific Northwest Shooting Park, RCW 9.41.290 does not preempt a city’s ability to impose conditions when it is acting in a private capacity.
    The question is whether this reasoning would apply if a city prohibited the general public from possessing firearms on city property.
    It is certainly true that RCW 9.41.290 would not preempt a private citizen from prohibiting possession of firearms on his or her property.
    This prohibition might be enforced by simply refusing to permit someone entry on to the private property with a firearm.
    However, in this respect, a city is not in the same position as a private citizen.
    Large parts of city property are generally open to the public.
    Indeed, citizens may be required to enter city property, for example, to apply for a building permit.
    For these reasons, neither Cherry nor Pacific Northwest Shooting Park support the view that cities may prohibit the general public from possessing firearms on city property."

    This line, in particular, invalidates Spokane's PFD resting upon the PNWSP case, which was cited by the PFD's attorney, Mr. Schwartz, as justification for their policy.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Lammo's Avatar
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    An AGO is just that: the opinion of the Attorney General. It carries no precedential value and is only useful in that it contains language that could or should be used to argue for or against an issue in court. In other words, an AGO and $3.50 will get you a latte.
    Last edited by Lammo; 05-28-2013 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Typo
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    The AG is the states prime lawyer. He advises the state in the same manner that your lawyer advises you. To use Chan v Seattle as an example, it shows that sometime state and local government (Seattle) disregard their prime lawyers advice.

    To have any weight, the AG's opinion (just as any lawyer's opinion) must be tried in a court of law before it is validated.

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