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Thread: Spokane Muncipal codes

  1. #1
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    After Shy_Panda was denied entrance to the PIOP in Spokane I looked at the muncipal code they used to keep him (and his gun) out of the park. I felt it was in conflict with state law, so I rev'd up the letter writing machine and sent this off to the City Prosecutor:

    From: bob rXXXXX [mailto:bobrXXXXX@gmail.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 1:44 PM
    To: Bledsoe, Jim
    Subject: Spokane municipal code and RCW 9.41.290


    Mr Bledsoe,

    Over the weekend I was with a gentleman who was asked to leave Riverfront Park during the Pig Out In The Park festivities because he was exercising his right under the US Constitution Second Amendment and the Washington State Constitution Article 1 Section 24 to wear his pistol in an open manner. He asked to leave by the police using Spokane municipal code 10.10.040 Section F subsection 1 which states:

    "No person may in any park:
    possess any dangerous weapon as defined in chapter 9.41 RCW, unless authorized by park department rule, regulation or special permission of the park board, park department or police department; or"
    I believe this section of the municipal code is in violation of RCW 9.41.290 which states in part :

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with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality."

    As open carry of a firearm is legal in the state of Washington I would like your interpretation of this Municipal code in light of RCW 9.41.290. If I decide to enter Riverfront park, or any other city park while carrying a firearm openly in a holster will I be subject to prosecution?

    While going over the municipal codes I also noticed that 10.10.050 has similar wording:

    "
    No person shall bring into any City public assembly facility any cans, bottles, alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, guns, knives or other such devices which are weapons or apparently capable of use as weapons.

    The public assembly facilities are the Spokane Opera House, the Convention Center/Washington State International Agricultural Trade Center, and Joe Albi Stadium."

    This seems to be in violation of RCW 9.41.290 and also RCW 9.41.300 which states in part:
    "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; or

    (ii) Any showing, demonstration, or lecture involving the exhibition of firearms."

    The way I read this is that as long as I have a concealed pistol license issued by the state I can take my pistol into the areas specifically mentioned as restricted in 10.10.050.

    Once again, I would like your interpretation of municipal code 10.10.050 in light of RCW 9.41.300 and 9.41.070.

    Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter.

    Bob RXXXX


    After a few other emails back and forth, mostly to clarify things, I received this email this morning:

    Dear Mr RXXXX,

    Thank you for your email and the follow-up response. You raise two different issues in your question and we have completed a preliminary review in this office. I am forwarding my work to the City Attorney for final review and any necessary remedial action. However, pending the City Attorney's ultimate actions on this issue I expect an Administrative Directive to issue suspending police enforcement of the two issues that you have raised. Once it becomes clear exactly what actions will be taken the City Attorney or I will respond to you again with regard to the final actions.

    Sincerely,

    Jim A. Bledsoe
    City Prosecutor
    So, we will see how long it takes for the City Attorney to fix this. I will stay on top of it so that we can be sure the muncipal code gets brought into compliance with state law.

    bob





  2. #2
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    Your effort at getting this moved is quite commendable, and thank you for the work you have put in on not only this project but others recently (such as the Spokane Fair interactions).

    Hopefully this doesn't end up like the Spokane training bulletin which seems to be forever stuck in the revision process.

  3. #3
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    Good work Bob. We need more members willing to take up paper and pen.

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    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    Good work! They just needed a little educatin'!:celebrate:celebrate
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


    "I like people who stand on the Constitution... unless they're using it to wipe their feet." - Jon E Hutcherson

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    It does appear that ithe City Prosecutor does recognize that the ordinances mentioned are unenforceable due to State Preemption.

    With the Prosecutor recognizing, and the Police Department being notified, any further action on the part of the Police could cause action to be brought against them, at the very least for harassment.
    "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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    Well done!

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    Hopefully this doesn't end up like the Spokane training bulletin which seems to be forever stuck in the revision process.
    That is actually the next project I am going start on. I have already been in contact with the Chief of Police's secretary and am focusing on the city attorney next.

    bob




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    bobr,
    From code changes made earlier this year, the city attorney is aware of state preemption. It took a couple of months for the change to work its way through.
    I would suggest we work together on some of this, rather than going off not knowing what has already been done.

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    Well, then we all need to bring pressure to bear on the city attnys office about the training bulletin. I am not sure a single individual making contact is the way to go. A multiple person approach, showing there is more concern about it from the community than they realized may speed up a review.

    I has been at least 3 months since another board member was told it was at the city attnys office for review. I think that would be long enough.

    As far as the city attny knowing about statew preemption, that is good. Now we need to ferret out the codes that need to be changed. I doubt his office will expend the man hours to do a thorough search.

    Until the PIOtP I am not sure anyone knew of the restrictions in 10.10.040 and 10.10.050. By bringing it to the city prosecutor it got it to the city attny within a week.

    As far as the training bulletin, I think we need to contact the city council member on the police advisorycommittee and have her make some inquiries as to where it is.

    If there is one thing that a military career taught me it is the fact that crap rolls downhill a lot faster than trying to push it uphill.

    It seems we need an easily searchable data base to keep track of our efforts in Spokane.

    Anyone up for a Spokane OC msn or yahoo group?



    bob



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    bobr,
    I have been in touch with dist. 3 council member who is on the police advisory board. I am going to see her today. Remember surfj has been in touch with the police chief also. I don't know how we can set up an archive of past posting on this subject.

    edit,
    I did not get to city hall today. I have an appointment at 1 pm wed. the 10th. (tomorrow). bobr and/or shy-panda if you could meet at city hall at about 12:45 you can tell your story to council member McLaughlin (she is on the police advisory board) about why they need to get the training bulletin out to the cops. asap

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    Sorry about that, I haven't been checking as often as I used to. With my classes down in Pullman it makes it somewhat difficult to be up in Spokane helping out with this sort of thing. I hope that the meeting today went well.

    I am up for a spokane msn group or whatnot, despite the whole school thing I am not all that good at setting up archives, and I really haven't been as proactive as I should be. I walk around with my sidearm and apparently look like a thug (I don't know how, unless military haircuts, t-shirts and issue boots are thug) because I have been getting a fair amount of attention, but I have only written Senators andRepresentatives, both on the national and state level.

    If I get a chance to help out with the goings on in Spokane I will be more than willing to help, but I don't know about how often it will be. Feel free to PM me or we can set up this msn thingy if that would be easier.

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    I will be home in Spokane in 2 weeks, and ready to hit the ground running. I met two people with the local papers this last year and it may be a good time to meet with them about the SPD's lack of training, as well as the lack of the powers that be to fix it. Hopefully I can find their info, I just moved and have a lot of stuff in boxes still.

    Let's plan a lunch for a few weeks from now and we can get together battle plan.

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    OK here is the latest scoop.
    First, there are too many people at the city involved in reviewing to training bulletin.
    Second, they have reviewed it and have made some changes.
    Third, they have it backwards and are falling back on the SMC about carry into parks. They feel this code trumps the state. When they need to change the code to fall inline with the state. They are stuck on the " warrants alarm" part. They feel that anyone walking into riverfront park will automatically cause alarm. Need to send them clarification on that. Otherwise it has been issued to the police training coordinator.

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    OK here is the latest scoop.
    Third, they have it backwards and are falling back on the SMC about carry into parks. They feel this code trumps the state. When they need to change the code to fall inline with the state.
    This part has been addressed by the City Prosecutor in part. I believe he understands the relationship between state law and the muncipal codes.

    They are stuck on the " warrants alarm" part. They feel that anyone walking into riverfront park will automatically cause alarm.
    There is a very good discussion on this from a few days ago here on the board. I will print it out.

    Need to send them clarification on that. Otherwise it has been issued to the police training coordinator.
    Who is them?

    I don't understand the issued part if there are still problems with it.

    Where/What can we do now?

    bob








  15. #15
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    maybe some of us on here could pool together some funds for an attorney to draft an official complaint to the city/ police department. We could issue a press release and just let the city know we will not stand for it, and are prepared to fight back.

    I'm not sure what something like that would cost. Anybody know? Anybody friends with a lawyer?

  16. #16
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    Mornin',
    More on the training bulletin. Bobr, the "they" I am referring to is city legal. The bulletin has been foreword, as I stated, to the police training coordinator. It (the training bulletin) has not been read to the police. Surfj, we don't need to hire a lawyer. That's what our taxes pay the city attorneys to do. All the city attorneys need to do is follow the law. As for SMC 10.11.048 it looks like it will be revised. To what extent I don't know.
    I had a good talk with Council Member McLaughlin, she is on our side. She is a good person. Also dist. 3 rep on the council. She has been thinking about carrying also due to some moron shooting up a council meeting back east. I remember the story but not where. Anyway I feel the best way to counter the "warrents alarm" part is through education of the people in general. I am still handing out the pamphlets. I will relay more info as I get it. PM me if you need more cleaification.


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    fetch wrote:
    Mornin',
    More on the training bulletin. Bobr, the "they" I am referring to is city legal. The bulletin has been foreword, as I stated, to the police training coordinator. It (the training bulletin) has not been read to the police. Surfj, we don't need to hire a lawyer. That's what our taxes pay the city attorneys to do. All the city attorneys need to do is follow the law. As for SMC 10.11.048 it looks like it will be revised. To what extent I don't know.
    I had a good talk with Council Member McLaughlin, she is on our side. She is a good person. Also dist. 3 rep on the council. She has been thinking about carrying also due to some moron shooting up a council meeting back east. I remember the story but not where. Anyway I feel the best way to counter the "warrents alarm" part is through education of the people in general. I am still handing out the pamphlets. I will relay more info as I get it. PM me if you need more cleaification.
    They need to have Casad read to them so the "causes alarm" and the "warrants alarm" will stop being taken out of context. You don't have to be smart to be a city lawyer, just politically connected.

  18. #18
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    fetch, I am glad to hear the TB has moved beyo d city legal now. If it is at the training coodinaters desk that means it is getting close. Did you just gather that from Nancy?

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    surfj9009 wrote:
    fetch, I am glad to hear the TB has moved beyo d city legal now. If it is at the training coodinaters desk that means it is getting close. Did you just gather that from Nancy?
    A bad or incorrect bulletin is worse than no bulletin. You guys need to get city legal back on track and corret this error.

  20. #20
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    fetch wrote:
    I had a good talk with Council Member McLaughlin, she is on our side.
    Even though she won her seat over my girlfriends Aunt, I do agree. She is from the Indian Trail area (used to live over there for about 8 years).

  21. #21
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    She also beat me. I was on that ballot for 3rd district.

  22. #22
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    Okay, well I am down to a 50-50 shot between who you are I know you are 1 of 2 possibilities.

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