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Thread: Hayes v Spokane Public Facilities District - resolution

  1. #1
    Regular Member hadji's Avatar
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    Hayes v Spokane Public Facilities District - resolution

    Hayes v Spokane PFD

    BE AWARE: You are not the 'general public'.

    As some of you are aware, and others can perhaps recall,
    Jeff Hayes has been involved in a legal dispute with the
    Public Facilities District over an incident in 2012.
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ith-Jeff-Hayes


    Hayes was attemtping to enter a 'Ron Paul Rally'
    in the Spokane Convention Center, but was denied access
    when security noticed that Hayes was open carrying.

    Notable progress has been made;
    Spokane Municipal Code 10.10.050 was revised to include
    the exception noted in RCW 9.41.300 (2) (b) (i),
    which states in relevant part:

    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:
    (b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center,
    operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:
    (i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070

    Additionally, a new training bulletin was issued by the Spokane City Police
    regarding open carry, to include the guidelines regarding 'warrants alarm'.

    The PFD switched tactics shortly into the dispute,
    claiming that Sequim provided an exemption from the preemption statute.
    Northwest Shooting Park Ass'n v. City of Sequim, 158 Wn.2d 342; (2006)

    Sequim acknowledges that municipalites operate in either
    a governmental capacity or a proprietary capacity.
    When operating in a proprietary capacity,
    a municipality retains the general rights of a landlord,
    in that a municipality may set the conditions of use of the property.

    The PFD asserts that when licensing the property to be used by a client,
    the PFD is operating in a proprietary capacity.
    Thus, the PFD can set the conditions of the license,
    one of which is that the licensee must follow all of the rules and policies of the PFD.

    One of the policies of the PFD is a 'no firearms' rule, without exception.

    Chan noted that Sequim applies to the licensee, not to the general public.
    Chan v. City of Seattle, 164 Wash. App. 549 (2011)

    We were able to secure the services of both SAF
    and one of the principal attorneys from Chan.

    We have spent a few hours going over the case with them, over the last few weeks.

    Note this well:
    According to counsel, including SAF,
    you are not the general public.


    Here is why:

    Since a licensee can set the conditions of entry into the facility that they have licensed,
    those that are allowed to enter are a subset of the general public.

    It may very well be that the licensee sets a very low standard for condition of entry,
    such that everyone may enter, but the fact remains it is the licensee
    that can set that policy to whatever they want.

    Most licensees will require the purchase of a ticket to enter.
    Some will prohibit cans, bottles, alcohol or knives on premise.
    Every licensee is required to completely prohibit firearms in the venue.

    The point being, since you must comply with the licensee conditions for entry,
    you are no longer a member of the general public.

    What does this mean to us?

    Preemption applies to the general public.
    If we are not the general public, preemption does not apply.

    This is a very serious encroachment upon the concept of preemption.

    Never-the-less, until Sequim can be clarified, or more strictly interpreted,
    if you enter any place, building, land or area in which someone can place restriction upon entry,
    preemption does not apply to you. If they say 'no carry', they can trespass you for carrying.
    Because at that place and time, carrying is not a 'lawful condition'.


    So, what about RCW 290/300 which states in relevant part:

    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:
    (b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center,
    operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:
    (i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070

    If access is conditional, Sequim renders preemption meaningless in those areas.

    Be warned.

    Considering the above, we have chosen to drop the case.

    Comments?

    hadji

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    so.. a permission slip is needed?

    Hooray? No. Boo.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    so maybe we should enact a new preemption statute. in fact we can copy Orygun's

    State preemption
    (1) Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate in any matter whatsoever the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.


    that would end this nonsense quickly. the WA legislature is unlikely to act on gun related legislation though until the two initiatives are resolved, that means it's essential that we defeat 594 and defeat it decisively so the legislature has a failed gun control ballot measure hanging above the decision process. also if 594 is defeated then we need to take the offensive and immediately offer pro gun initiatives to the ballot.
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    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    So basically, they are making an end run around 9.41.290/300 by #1 hot holding any events of any sort at the facility that are open to the "general public" and #2 requiring all licensees to add the "no firearms/weapons" clause into their entry requirements... This sounds a little like male cow manure to me...
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    Pretty much what I've been saying all along when situations of a similar context are raised here at OCDO-WA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    so maybe we should enact a new preemption statute. in fact we can copy Orygun's

    State preemption
    (1) Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate in any matter whatsoever the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.


    that would end this nonsense quickly. the WA legislature is unlikely to act on gun related legislation though until the two initiatives are resolved, that means it's essential that we defeat 594 and defeat it decisively so the legislature has a failed gun control ballot measure hanging above the decision process. also if 594 is defeated then we need to take the offensive and immediately offer pro gun initiatives to the ballot.
    That would not help in this case since the courts in Washington have ruled that when municipalities are acting as a private business the law does not apply them any more than it would to a private business. In Oregon this law does not apply to private business or private property.
    Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack.

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    While there is a chance of winning this case there is also a chance of losing and having additional case law that would be a problem later.

    Sequim is a great example of what we do not want to do. IMHO the Sequim case was argued incorrectly and because of that we now have case law to overcome and it has given Cities and Municipalities a way to circumvent the law. Part of the reason this is not being perused is so that we do not go backwards and add more bad case law.

    I would like to thank Hadji between he and I we spent hundreds of hours researching this, meeting, talking to lawyers and reading case law.
    Thank you Hadji for all the support and the kick in the backside I needed on occasion.

    We are not completely done with the PFD, as other items come to fruition I will keep everyone informed.
    Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack.

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    The interpretation of general-public is interesting and I'll keep it in mind when re-reading my state's statutes, though I do not recall that term of art used there.
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    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking this on, Jeff and Hadji. The huge amount of work that the two of you did is remarkable. I am sorry that you lost this one, but I agree that we don't want more bad case law. Thank you both for all the time and effort you invested in maintaining our rights.

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    Regular Member Lammo's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I agree with the decision to avoid making bad law but have a half-formed (if not half-baked) idea about a way to fix this. The ridiculous result in Sequim comes from the "proprietary capacity" fiction. This allows a public entity to claim it's not a public entity. If this is somehow real then everything that comes with not being a public entity should follow. The public entity should not be able to hide behind claims requirements in order to be subject to legal action (and they should have to hire their own lawyers rather than being represented by the city attorney or county prosecutor). The public entity should have to pay taxes on any revenue derived from their "proprietary capacity". They should have to comply with all the same labor laws that apply to any other private business, etc. Not sure if/how/when anything can be made of this but the idea is to force them into claiming they are a public entity in some situation where they are trying to exercise the "proprietary capacity" in order to expose the fiction and, hopefully, to do it in a context that has nothing to do with firearms. Then, having dismantled the fiction, we can take another run at getting the firearms rules tossed. Hope this makes some sense.
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    Regular Member hadji's Avatar
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    Who does the Attorney General think the general public is?

    Indeed it does make sense.

    There is another potential vector;
    the definition of the 'general public'.

    We've been told that when we enter an event
    where the licensee can set the conditions of entry,
    we are no longer a member of the general public.

    Even if the 'general public' is invited.


    The AGO 2008 No.8 refers to the general public several times.

    I am aware that, as a member of the general public,
    I cannot request an opinion from the state Attorney General.
    That request must come from... well... I do not know.

    Is it possible to request an opinion from the AG that clarifies
    whether I lose my membership to the general public
    upon entry to an event on public property?

    If we do not lose that membership, then the AG opinion on preemption stands.
    If we lose that membership, then preemption is meaningless in this context,
    and we must go after the proprietary capacity concept.

    The case currently turns on the definition of the 'general public',
    as used by the AG.

    comments?
    hadji

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    The case currently turns on the definition of the 'general public',
    as used by the AG.


    How can anything "turn" on an AG's non-binding opinion? The AG is just a lawyer with a special practice. He's not a judge, and he doesn't get to decide law. His writings and those of his staff are just opinions.

  13. #13
    Regular Member hadji's Avatar
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    A, perhaps unfortunate, figure of speech.
    It is probably worth noting that his 'opinion' was quoted by Chan.

    If the AG gives an opinion that we do not lose our 'general public' status, we may consider pursuing the case.
    Last edited by hadji; 04-04-2014 at 12:59 AM.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Good for you guys for keeping up the fight.

    So sad the "servants" have to engage in a tortured twisting of language to rule in their favor. It is "us vs them", when they do these things.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lammo View Post
    Thanks guys! I agree with the decision to avoid making bad law but have a half-formed (if not half-baked) idea about a way to fix this. The ridiculous result in Sequim comes from the "proprietary capacity" fiction. This allows a public entity to claim it's not a public entity. If this is somehow real then everything that comes with not being a public entity should follow. The public entity should not be able to hide behind claims requirements in order to be subject to legal action (and they should have to hire their own lawyers rather than being represented by the city attorney or county prosecutor). The public entity should have to pay taxes on any revenue derived from their "proprietary capacity". They should have to comply with all the same labor laws that apply to any other private business, etc. Not sure if/how/when anything can be made of this but the idea is to force them into claiming they are a public entity in some situation where they are trying to exercise the "proprietary capacity" in order to expose the fiction and, hopefully, to do it in a context that has nothing to do with firearms. Then, having dismantled the fiction, we can take another run at getting the firearms rules tossed. Hope this makes some sense.
    Agreed this sorta crossed my mind at one point a few weeks ago only I thought how can they tax us and then claim to be private at any time if we the tax payers are funding the venture.

    I am up for backing up and regrouping and taking another swing at this from a different angle.
    Last edited by Jeff Hayes; 04-05-2014 at 01:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadji View Post
    A, perhaps unfortunate, figure of speech.
    It is probably worth noting that his 'opinion' was quoted by Chan.

    If the AG gives an opinion that we do not lose our 'general public' status, we may consider pursuing the case.
    Did you mean quoted by the court in the Chan case?
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  17. #17
    Regular Member hadji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hayes View Post
    Did you mean quoted by the court in the Chan case?
    A more accurate way to state it.
    Thank you.

    hadji

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Have you guys thought about contacting the original authors/sponsors or the Preemption law? I'd sure love to hear their thoughts on this situation and they may have some insight or political clout to help out. Like defining the relation between the local government and the entities they contract out for services... I seem to recall some states with preemption regard a got contractor to operate as though the government itself is providing that service. Specifically so that the govt can't contract out in order to bypass restrictions placed upon itself under the cla I'm that it's not them but a private company doing the service. I don't know if that pertains to you situation at all, just figured I'd throw it out there.

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    Public Facilities Districts (PFDs)


    https://www.mrsc.org/subjects/econ/ed-pfd.aspx



    Public facilities districts (PFDs) are municipal corporations with independent taxing authority and are taxing districts under the state constitution.



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