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with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality."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