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Thread: Question: Possible Open Carry on School Grounds?

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    Question: Possible Open Carry on School Grounds?

    I remember seeing a post about public property being "rented" or "leased" and that those that have leased or rented said property can ban firearms because of this. So my question for you legal beagles is this: I understand that my son's baseball league has to pay for the privilege of using baseball fields at the local schools, that being said if the league allows guns during said use would it run afoul of the law? I don't plan on petitioning the league, just a question for debate and to data mine.

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    What does the league's allowances have to do with statutory prohibitions? If the league allowed marijuana, would that make it legal? If the league called a three-legged dog a horse, would that make it have four legs?
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    Ummmm...because it was discussed before about a private organization renting a public venue and banning guns??
    Last edited by Lovenox; 06-29-2014 at 06:24 PM.

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    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    It's a pretty good question.

    The reason given for why an organization that leases or rents (as opposed to a use license) being able to ban guns in places such as public buildings that normally cannot ban guns, is that for the duration of the rental/lease they are effectively the property owner. That ownership reverts to the actual property owner when the lease or rental is over.

    Take a city-owned convention center for example -- normally anyone with a CPL is able to lawfully carry there, but if part of it is rented out to an anti-gun group, that group can ban guns from the part they are renting.

    If you rent/lease part or all of a school facility while school is not in session, is it still a school for purposes of gun bans? If you rent/lease only part of a school facility, would it be legally any different than possessing a gun in the house next door to a school?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Difdi View Post
    If you rent/lease part or all of a school facility while school is not in session, is it still a school for purposes of gun bans? If you rent/lease only part of a school facility, would it be legally any different than possessing a gun in the house next door to a school?

    Exactly. I remember my friend getting a speeding ticket that doubled his fine because it was located at a construction site on 101. The only problem was that it was late at night and no construction or highway persons were working. He fought it with vigor and the judge agreed that it wasn't the scope or intent of the law and the ticket was greatly reduced or even dropped if I remember correctly. Since , school is out can the same reasoning apply here?

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    RCW 9.41.280
    Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities — Penalty — Exceptions.



    *** CHANGE IN 2014 *** (SEE 6312-S2.SL) ***

    (1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.280


    There is your answer.
    Last edited by Freedom1Man; 06-30-2014 at 03:27 AM. Reason: Forgot link
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Regular Member rapgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovenox View Post
    I remember seeing a post about public property being "rented" or "leased" and that those that have leased or rented said property can ban firearms because of this. So my question for you legal beagles is this: I understand that my son's baseball league has to pay for the privilege of using baseball fields at the local schools, that being said if the league allows guns during said use would it run afoul of the law? I don't plan on petitioning the league, just a question for debate and to data mine.
    Nope. Not afoul. Perfectly legal. Unless the rental agreement says otherwise, the way I read the opinion, Pacific Northwest Shooting Park cuts both ways.
    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 tombrewster421's Avatar
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    A better question is, can you carry at a school on the weekend if you go to a church that rents the building? That is a very common occurrence and I would think Rapgood's opinion makes sense in that instance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    RCW 9.41.280
    Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities Penalty Exceptions.



    *** CHANGE IN 2014 *** (SEE 6312-S2.SL) ***

    (1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.280


    There is your answer.
    I am neither a public nor private school. So if I am using the facility, perhaps to see a high school play, then doesn't this mean I can carry a firearm? After all, while I am present the facility is no longer being used exclusively by the school, I am using it as well, right?

    Once again a state legislature proves they are completely incapable of writing a law that means what they intend.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arentol View Post
    I am neither a public nor private school. So if I am using the facility, perhaps to see a high school play, then doesn't this mean I can carry a firearm? After all, while I am present the facility is no longer being used exclusively by the school, I am using it as well, right?

    Once again a state legislature proves they are completely incapable of writing a law that means what they intend.
    I am not giving legal advice, I am just giving my opinion based on the clear wording of the laws.

    But in the what you describe I would say no, school grounds, school game, so no guns.

    Like at the church I used to go to. There is a private school during the week days and then in the evenings there are non-school activities and service on Sundays. I've carried there while school was not in session.

    I've carried on school grounds during a summer break because I was helping with an adult orientated outdoor cooking class. It was a dutch oven cooking class.

    I have learned that persecutors have a hard time with plain language laws. So while many of us might understand the law to mean what it says the persecutor might come up with another meaning and get the judges to agree with their twisted meaning.
    Last edited by Freedom1Man; 06-30-2014 at 03:42 PM.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Regular Member massivedesign's Avatar
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    You guys are overlooking .280, a very important part:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.280

    ... (6) Except as provided in subsection (3)(b), (c), (f), and (h) of this section, firearms are not permitted in a public or private school building.
    Emphasis added by me.
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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by massivedesign View Post
    You guys are overlooking .280, a very important part:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.280



    Emphasis added by me.
    Is it a school building during the time a church is renting the facility?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    Is it a school building during the time a church is renting the facility?
    Probably not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    Is it a school building during the time a church is renting the facility?
    Temporary occupation doesn't change the type of building that it is. IMO.
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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Question: Possible Open Carry on School Grounds?

    Quote Originally Posted by massivedesign View Post
    Temporary occupation doesn't change the type of building that it is. IMO.
    Then by the same standards, we should all be able to carry in stadiums no matter who is running the event. After all it is a public building paid for by our taxes and covered under preemption.
    Last edited by tombrewster421; 06-30-2014 at 07:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    Then by the same standards, we should all be able to carry in stadiums no matter who is running the event. After all it is a public building paid for by our taxes and covered under preemption.
    That is actually a good argument to use as a counter to both... They can't have it both ways.
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    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by massivedesign View Post
    Temporary occupation doesn't change the type of building that it is. IMO.
    But it would mean that that building is not being used exclusively as a primary or secondary school.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim_Night View Post
    That is actually a good argument to use as a counter to both... They can't have it both ways.
    I bet they'll try anyway. Whichever argument you use second is going to have a lot more impact, if you lose the first case. Going after the school side first would have the greatest benefit I think, but also the greatest risk for the poor schmuck who ends up as the test case.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    Is it a school building during the time a church is renting the facility?

    In my case it was a church first that had its own private school.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    RCW 9.41.280
    Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities — Penalty — Exceptions.
    *** CHANGE IN 2014 *** (SEE 6312-S2.SL) ***

    (1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.280
    I have been corrected by others on this board about the interpretation of .280. You're selecting only half of the statement.

    (1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:
    If Safeco is rented out by the Washington scholastic athletics association (or whatever it's called) for the State High School Baseball Championships, guns would be unlawful to carry there. Graduations at Comcast Center. High School football games at city stadiums. The argument would be made that the school was the exclusive occupant at those times. A field trip to the Ballard Locks or Seattle Aquarium, for example, does not fit the "used exclusively" standard, as the general public can still access the building.

    Also, the law is unambiguous. No carry on school premises- regardless of activities, if school is in session or not (which is uber-retarded). Other than the specifically exempted pick-up/drop-off of student, or proceeding to hunting ground exclusions, etc., carry is not allowed. I think the only other exemption is to have the gun, unloaded, in an opaque container.

    "Areas of facilities" is not school premises. Otherwise it'd say "Areas of school facilities" and be redundant to the first part.
    Last edited by mikeyb; 07-01-2014 at 01:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovenox View Post
    if the league allows guns during said use would it run afoul of the law? I don't plan on petitioning the league,...
    A better question might be "Does the league prohibit guns?" If they do not have a rule against carrying then, according to the discussion below and the response from rapgood especially, it is perfectly legal. If you were to petition them I can almost guarantee what the answer would be. This reminds me of the discussions several years ago where members of this forum were going to ask permission to open carry in various places, with predictable results. Numerous businesses said "please don't" before word got around that this was a losing tactic. Right now the league is leasing the property, they get to set the rules within the confines of state law, and so long as they have not adopted a rule banning guns, you are good to go.

    This is, however, a situation where I would imagine that the first time you open carry they will promptly adopt such a rule. Might be a good time to CC and the lack of a rule then provides an affirmative defense for having a firearm on school property should a situation arise where you need it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heresolong View Post
    This is, however, a situation where I would imagine that the first time you open carry they will promptly adopt such a rule. Might be a good time to CC and the lack of a rule then provides an affirmative defense for having a firearm on school property should a situation arise where you need it.
    If you have a firearm on school property, it is illegal, unless you fulfill the few exceptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyb View Post
    If you have a firearm on school property, it is illegal, unless you fulfill the few exceptions.
    You should probably read the rest of the thread. There are numerous exceptions and a lawyers opinion that if the league is renting the school ball fields, this is not covered by the ban.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heresolong View Post
    You should probably read the rest of the thread. There are numerous exceptions and a lawyers opinion that if the league is renting the school ball fields, this is not covered by the ban.
    +1 This isn't the first time RapGood has explained it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heresolong View Post
    You should probably read the rest of the thread. There are numerous exceptions and a lawyers opinion that if the league is renting the school ball fields, this is not covered by the ban.
    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    +1 This isn't the first time RapGood has explained it.
    And I disagree with rapgood, as it is his interpretation of the court's opinion on Sequim.

    The RCW 9.41.290 clearly states "Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality."

    RCW 9.41.280 clearly states firearms are not permitted on public or private school premises. There are not broad state laws prohibiting firearms from parks, city buildings, convention centers, halls, etc. Additionally, the Sequim case specifically addressed the municipalities' power; not school districts', which are their own entity. Important, since 9.41.290 does not identify school districts as something subject to that particular RCW.

    In a better world, I don't believe .280 should extend past school hours (rather not have the law at all). Prohibiting firearms on school property when school is not in session is idiotic. But hey, if someone wants to be the guinea pig case for this, go right ahead.

    Don't forget, once you're done with WA law, you have the Federal law to contend with.

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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyb View Post
    And I disagree with rapgood, as it is his interpretation of the court's opinion on Sequim.

    The RCW 9.41.290 clearly states "Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality."

    RCW 9.41.280 clearly states firearms are not permitted on public or private school premises. There are not broad state laws prohibiting firearms from parks, city buildings, convention centers, halls, etc. Additionally, the Sequim case specifically addressed the municipalities' power; not school districts', which are their own entity. Important, since 9.41.290 does not identify school districts as something subject to that particular RCW.

    In a better world, I don't believe .280 should extend past school hours (rather not have the law at all). Prohibiting firearms on school property when school is not in session is idiotic. But hey, if someone wants to be the guinea pig case for this, go right ahead.

    Don't forget, once you're done with WA law, you have the Federal law to contend with.
    Actually as long as you have a CPL you are golden as far as federal law goes.

    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/922(q)(2)(B).html
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