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Thread: "No Firearms" in PC parks?

  1. #1
    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    I was at Swan Creek Park today, just down the hill from my house, and I noticed the sign at the park stating "No Firearms, fireworks, or open fires."

    I went in anyways, no trouble there, but I'm thinking a contact to the PC parks department is in order informing them of the preemption of open carry and the illegality of that rule.....

    EDIT: I looked at RCW 36.68 regarding parks departments in WA, nothing I could find relating the banning of firearms in city/county parks or any other rules on that sign for that matter.......
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    You could look forever, because there is no such authority. I'm not sure exactly when state preemption was passed, or how many such ordinances date from before that time, but <i>currently</i> no city or county has any such authority.

    It's a great idea to contact the parks dept and complain (politely) about this, of course.

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    There was a similar sign posted at an entrance to Centennial Trail in Marysville off of 67th ave at approx 132nd



    I say was because it has been a few months since I used that entrance. I assume it is still there

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    State preemption in it's current form was passed in 1983 after the appeals court decision in Second Amendment Foundation v. City of Renton.

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    State preemption in its current form was passed in 1983
    Wow, that's longer ago than I thought--makes it kind of hard to give Pierce County the benefit of the doubt, doesn't it? It sure doesn't look like a 24-year-old sign to me. :-(


  6. #6
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    The preemption statute was revised again in 1994. This sign, regardless of age is irrelevant as far as firearm possession is concerned.

    (from RCW 9.41.290)

    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with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.

    Even if the City/County did have an ordinance on the books, RCW 9.41.300 says:

    (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 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060;



    I don't see a park as qualifying under the definition of Stadium or Convention Center but even if it did, those possessing a CPL are not effected.

    When I see signs with this restriction I just keep on going.


    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    kparker wrote:
    You could look forever, because there is no such authority. I'm not sure exactly when state preemption was passed, or how many such ordinances date from before that time, but <i>currently</i> no city or county has any such authority.

    It's a great idea to contact the parks dept and complain (politely) about this, of course.
    that RCW is a broad RCW for the parks. The RCW that they are reffering to says that the parks can instate those penalties, but says nothing aboutguns. Here's the part that they are reffering to:


    [/b](1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person violating any rules or regulations adopted by the board of county commissioners relating to parks, playgrounds, or other recreational facilities is guilty of a misdemeanor.

    (2)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, violation of such a rule or regulation relating to traffic including parking, standing, stopping, and pedestrian offenses is a traffic infraction.

    (b) Violation of such a rule or regulation equivalent to those provisions of Title 46 RCW set forth in RCW 46.63.020 remains a misdemeanor.

    And here's the RCW that makes that sign useless:


    [/b]The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. 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.



    So as you can see, that sign, like the signs in most of the other parks in western washington, is incorrect and invalid.

  8. #8
    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Excellent response, A.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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  9. #9
    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification on the RCWs! I haven't had a chance to write any sort of letter yet, been busy with work and all that, but should be able to early this week....

  10. #10
    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    OK, found out who to send the email to at Pierce County Parks and Recreation, sent this letter off today to Skip Ferrucci, the Resource Stewardship Superintendent.



    Mr Ferrucci,

    I am writing to you regarding a sign at the entrance to Swan Creek Park on Pioneer Way Ein Tacoma; specifically the sign at the entrance that states, among other rules, that no firearms are allowed in the park. I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that since Washington State is a preemption state, meaning that unless specifically stated in Washington State or Federal law, possession and carry, whether open or concealed (with the required permit) is legal in all public areas not listed as restricted from carry in the appropriate RCWs and Federal laws. As such, the rule of "No Firearms" is therefore unenforceable in any park in Washington State, including those in Pierce County.

    I have not had the opportunity to travel to other parks in Pierce County, but I would assume there is similar signage in other parks as well. As this rule is not legal and enforceable, I would encourage your department to remove this rule from all signage in Pierce County parks to remove any possibility of misunderstanding of the law by other citizens or law enforcement.

    Below I have included the body of RCW 9.41.290 for your convenience regarding State preemption and the legality of firearm carry in all public places, parks or otherwise:

    "The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. 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."

    Thank you for your time in reading this message and I encourage and welcome any comments or questions you may have. You may reply to this address directly with any such correspondence and I will attempt to reply as quickly as possible.


    Thanks again,




  11. #11
    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Have not heard back from PC Parks and Rec. yet.....will be calling on Monday to follow up; I assume they would rather ignore me and hope I will go away........fat chance :celebrate

  12. #12
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Probably passing your letter around until someone with the authority to answer finally gets it. Either that or the attorneys are reading it and trying to figure out an answer.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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