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Thread: "No-Weapons" sign at Ferndale Library

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    Here is the edited copy of the cover letter that has had a lot of trouble translating from the original MS Word format (.doc). With some help from Gene Beasley (Thanx, Gene ) I've been able to clean it up so it will be a lot more readable. It still isn't exactly as I wrote it -- I had some trouble using the Tab key to move lines around, but it's reasonably close to the original. Sorry for all the hassle.

    (Sunday 11/9) Just discovered a major gaffe in my description of 9.41.300. I've corrected that in bold/red.



    Tuesday when I went to drop off my ballot at the Ferndale Library I noticed a sign outside the door that I had never noticed before: "NO WEAPONS OF ANY KIND ALLOWED IN THIS BUILDING". That got me on a roll, soI gathered all the legal weapons I could find including copies of RCW 9.41.290. -300, -270 and -050 as well as AGO 1982 No. 14 and AGO 2008 No. 8 and put them together with a cover letter and bound them in a nifty multi-compartment folder. I called the City Administrator, Greg Young and set up an appointment for today. The meeting was very cordial, and he listened as I cited the problems with the sign. He seemed to be completely un-aware of the whole field of firearms, though it's possible he was just downplaying. He took my package and promised to refer it to others in the city government including the PD and mayor. It will be VERY interesting to get the feedback.

    Here's my cover letter:






    HAND DELIVERED

    November 7, 2008


    City of Ferndale
    Mr. Greg Young, City Administrator
    PO Box 936
    2095 Main Street
    Ferndale, WA 98248

    Re: Firearms sign at Library

    Dear Mr. Young:

    It has come to my attention that there is a sign posted at the Ferndale Library which states: “NO WEAPONS OF ANY KIND ALLOWED IN THIS BUILDING”.

    I have attempted to identify a Ferndale ordinance supporting the policy stated in the sign, but have been unable to find one in the Code displayed in the City’s website. Whether or not this policy is codified, I must take this opportunity to point out that any prohibition against firearms by a municipality or county in the State of Washington is contrary to RCW 9.41.290, which is the Section pre-empting the entire field of firearms regulation to the State. That section begins: “The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state …”

    In addition to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 24 of the State of Washington Constitution, in general Chapter 9.41 defines the State’s regulation of the field of firearms. The Sections that most closely apply in this case are these:

    9.41.290 is the statement of State pre-emption, as notedabove;
    9.41.270(2)(c) protects the citizen’s right to openly carry a firearm for the purpose of self-protection and protection of others against the use of“…unlawful force by a third person.”
    9.41.300 lists and defines such circumstances and locationswhich areexceptions to the generalprohibition set forth in Section 290. These are restricted areas of jails,law enforcement facilities, courts and court buildings, on-sale liquor establishments and mental health facilities. It also allows municipalitiesand counties to restrict discharge of firearms within their jurisdictions.
    9.41.050 defines the requirements for licensed concealed carry of firearms.

    The Attorney General issued an opinion letter, AGO 1982 No. 14 analyzing the issue of pre-emption with constitutional and case law references. Three questions were asked by State Senator Al Williams (32nd District), first of which was: “May a municipality or county prohibit the sale or possession of a handgun within its jurisdiction?” The answer to that question was “in the negative”.

    Last month, in response to a question asked by State Senator Bob Morton (7th District) and State Representative Kevin Van De Wege (24th District) the Attorney General on October 13 issued AGO 2008 No. 8. The question was:

    Does a city in Washington have the authority to enact a local law that prohibitspossession of firearms on city property or in city-owned facilities?

    Again, with references made to relevant RCW, constitutional and case law applications, the answer was No.

    In view of the facts I have presented, I request that you (1) remove the above-mentioned sign, (2) initiate a repeal of any ordinance in support of the sign, (3) immediately cease any enforcement of the policy stated, and (4) instruct all affected City employees about the issues addressed here.

    I have enclosed copies of the RCW Sections as referenced as well as complete copies of the two Attorney General Opinion letters.


    Respectfully,

  2. #2
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Well Done !!

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    Thanx for that. It's too bad the cut-and-paste of the letter from MS Word didn't translate too well. First, the font was WAY too big so I had to shrink it, and squeeze the margins in from both sides to make it fit. Then when I clicked "Send" it didn't come out at all the way I thought it would. But at least it's readable --- sort of.

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    Regular Member Machoduck's Avatar
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    As someone wounded in similar battles, I feel your pain (just not like Bill Clinton did).

    MD

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    Richard6218 wrote:
    It's too bad the cut-and-paste of the letter from MS Word didn't translate too well.
    A good work-around to that is to take it from Word and paste it into any pure text editor, like notepad or vi. This will strip off any formatting code. This also works well when copying from a PDF file, which also doesn't work well with the forum editor.


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    Gene Beasley wrote:
    Richard6218 wrote:
    It's too bad the cut-and-paste of the letter from MS Word didn't translate too well.
    A good work-around to that is to take it from Word and paste it into any pure text editor, like notepad or vi. This will strip off any formatting code. This also works well when copying from a PDF file, which also doesn't work well with the forum editor.
    What about Adobe .pdf? I have a translator that can convert Word documents (.doc) into the Adobe format. I'll wait for your answer so I don't clutter up the forum with something else that doesn't work.

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    Richard6218 wrote:
    Gene Beasley wrote:
    Richard6218 wrote:
    It's too bad the cut-and-paste of the letter from MS Word didn't translate too well.
    A good work-around to that is to take it from Word and paste it into any pure text editor, like notepad or vi. This will strip off any formatting code. This also works well when copying from a PDF file, which also doesn't work well with the forum editor.
    What about Adobe .pdf? I have a translator that can convert Word documents (.doc) into the Adobe format. I'll wait for your answer so I don't clutter up the forum with something else that doesn't work.
    Now I'm really looking dumb --- didn't read your post about PDF. I'll fiddle with Notepad and try again...

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    Here's the version from Notepad. We'll see how it comes out after it posts:


    THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY AN ATTEMPT TO REPAIR MECHANICAL PROBLEMS WITH THE LETTER AT THE HEAD OF THIS THREAD. THAT ATTEMPT FAILED AND WAS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT TO THE ORIGINAL COPY-AND-PASTE FROM MS WORD. I HAVE FINALLY MANAGED TO GET IT FIXED WITH SOME COACHING FROM GENE BEASLEY AND M1GUNR AND I'M NOW SATISFIED THAT THE LETTER IS READABLE.



  9. #9
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I'd suggest editing your first post with the changes instead of make a new post.

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    That's a good letter!

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    Agree, then you can blank out the second.

    Richard - When it's in note pad, also go through and remove all the extra line spaces. If the original text had formatting that you want to preserve, you can do that using the forum editor. That includes bold, italics and indenting.

    I looks like once you paste it, you're going to have to select all of the pasted text and make it the same font. I think the default is size=2, font=Verdana. The second version has different fonts and sizes.

    I find this editor frustrating at times (it doesn't like Firefox either), but as they say; it is what it is.

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Here is what I use to convert my docs to PDF

    http://www.doc2pdf.net/converter/

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    Respectful, positive, pointed.

    A total "Right on Dude!"



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    M1Gunr wrote:
    Here is what I use to convert my docs to PDF

    http://www.doc2pdf.net/converter/
    I use this because it is standalone and works with anything.

    http://www.go2pdf.com/product.html
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    M1Gunr wrote:
    Here is what I use to convert my docs to PDF

    http://www.doc2pdf.net/converter/
    Now I'm getting confused. :?

    1. Gene says PDF doesn't work well with the forum's architecture, so why would I convert a .doc document to .pdf? I have a converter, ClickToConvert, that I could have used.

    2. How can I delete or edit something that's already been posted? It certainly would be better to be able to do that because there were several places where I used italics, and boldface. So far what I've posted doesn't look anything like the original.

    This is a real education

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    Richard6218 wrote:
    M1Gunr wrote:
    Here is what I use to convert my docs to PDF

    http://www.doc2pdf.net/converter/
    Now I'm getting confused. :?

    1. Gene says PDF doesn't work well with the forum's architecture, so why would I convert a .doc document to .pdf? I have a converter, ClickToConvert, that I could have used.

    2. How can I delete or edit something that's already been posted? It certainly would be better to be able to do that because there were several places where I used italics, and boldface. So far what I've posted doesn't look anything like the original.

    This is a real education
    Not too sure about any incompatibility on the forums with pdf.

    The top right hand corner of your post has an edit button.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I went to the car show Saturday at the Tacoma Dome and found No Weapons of any kind signs. The Tacoma Dome is owned and operated by the City of Tacoma’s Public Assembly Facilities Department.

    Richard, your letter with a few modifications could be used as a template to serve notice on a number of places with signs in effect. I'm going to use your letter and send it to the City of Tacoma and Mike Combs, the Public Assembly Facilities Director. I'll post the feedback when I get it.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    I too must give a "Well Done!"

    Respectful, to the point, and well cited.
    A form letter like this would be nice, as I too
    have noticed a few locations (a library and some parks)
    that have these types of signs.


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    M1Gunr wrote:
    I went to the car show Saturday at the Tacoma Dome and found No Weapons of any kind signs. The Tacoma Dome is owned and operated by the City of Tacoma’s Public Assembly Facilities Department.

    Richard, your letter with a few modifications could be used as a template to serve notice on a number of places with signs in effect. I'm going to use your letter and send it to the City of Tacoma and Mike Combs, the Public Assembly Facilities Director. I'll post the feedback when I get it.
    Thanks to both of you, M1 and FMC. I'm honored that you speak well. I hope the letter will have its desired effect in your cases as well as mine.

    One thought occurs to me at this point: Could the Tacoma Dome qualify as a "Convention Center" as defined in 9.41.300(2)(b)? You might want to look into that first.

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    Some more reading of Section 300: 9.41.300(2)(b)(i) seems to say that CC is ok in a convention center (Cf 9.41.070) but OC isn't.

    Just my un-educated reading of the section

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    Richard6218 wrote:
    Some more reading of Section 300: 9.41.300(2)(b)(i) seems to say that CC is ok in a convention center (Cf 9.41.070) but OC isn't.

    Just my un-educated reading of the section
    OC is fine in that scenario. Posting the section:
    (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
    So, if you are licensed under RCW 9.41.070 (or are exempt from requiring that license), you may possess a pistol in a stadium or convention center operated by town, city, or other municipality. There are no qualifiers stating "any concealed pistol ..." so it's legal to OC, so long as you're licensed under 9.41.070.

    The interesting bit is that it only states you must be licensed, NOT that you must have the license upon you. This leads to a convoluted scenario if you're 'naked' OC, no license, ID, etc, and an officer approaches you asking for those things.
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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    Tawnos wrote:
    Richard6218 wrote:
    Some more reading of Section 300: 9.41.300(2)(b)(i) seems to say that CC is ok in a convention center (Cf 9.41.070) but OC isn't.

    Just my un-educated reading of the section
    OC is fine in that scenario. Posting the section:
    (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
    So, if you are licensed under RCW 9.41.070 (or are exempt from requiring that license), you may possess a pistol in a stadium or convention center operated by town, city, or other municipality. There are no qualifiers stating "any concealed pistol ..." so it's legal to OC, so long as you're licensed under 9.41.070.

    The interesting bit is that it only states you must be licensed, NOT that you must have the license upon you. This leads to a convoluted scenario if you're 'naked' OC, no license, ID, etc, and an officer approaches you asking for those things.
    Respectfully disagree. 9.41.050 is quite unequivocal in its requirement:

    "(b) Every licensee shall have his or her concealed pistol license in his or her immediate possession at all times that he or she is required by this section to have a concealed pistol license and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or ..."

    So regardless of the circumstances, this says that if you conceal a pistol you MUST have your CPL in your immediate possession.

    Secondly, I don't see an exception in 9.41.060 that excepts ordinary citizens. That entire section is intended to except LEO's of all categories, both State and Federal, as well as firearms dealers in the course of business, military while on duty, etc. Can you prove a negative in your statement: "There are no qualifiers stating "any concealed pistol ..." so it's legal to OC"

    Maybe I'm missing something.

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    Regular Member Machoduck's Avatar
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    If one carries openly in a convention center he needs to be on record as having a CPL but need not have one on his person for display to an officer because he is open carrying. He needs to have a CPL (somewhere) because of the convention center clause. That's how I read it. Practical matter; it makes no difference to me because I always have a concealed pistol. If I have pants on, I'm armed. If I'm open carrying the concealed piece becomes a back-up or New York reload. Whichever, I still need my CPL.

    MD

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    Machoduck wrote:
    If one carries openly in a convention center he needs to be on record as having a CPL but need not have one on his person for display to an officer because he is open carrying. He needs to have a CPL (somewhere) because of the convention center clause. That's how I read it. Practical matter; it makes no difference to me because I always have a concealed pistol. If I have pants on, I'm armed. If I'm open carrying the concealed piece becomes a back-up or New York reload. Whichever, I still need my CPL.

    MD
    +1 about CC. No disagreement there. Where I have a problem is this: Section 300 says as follows:

    (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; or

    300(2)(b)(i) says that there are two exceptions to the restriction permitted in (2)(b). One of these is the CC provision under -.070, and the other is any of the listed exeptions in .060, which is basically for LE. I think I see what you're saying about OC: the law's silence about OC implies its consent. I don't agree. I think that if the legislature intended to approve OC in a convention center they would have at least written in a reference to 9.41.270.





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    Richard6218 wrote:
    Tawnos wrote:
    Richard6218 wrote:
    Some more reading of Section 300: 9.41.300(2)(b)(i) seems to say that CC is ok in a convention center (Cf 9.41.070) but OC isn't.

    Just my un-educated reading of the section
    OC is fine in that scenario. Posting the section:
    (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
    So, if you are licensed under RCW 9.41.070 (or are exempt from requiring that license), you may possess a pistol in a stadium or convention center operated by town, city, or other municipality. There are no qualifiers stating "any concealed pistol ..." so it's legal to OC, so long as you're licensed under 9.41.070.

    The interesting bit is that it only states you must be licensed, NOT that you must have the license upon you. This leads to a convoluted scenario if you're 'naked' OC, no license, ID, etc, and an officer approaches you asking for those things.
    Respectfully disagree. 9.41.050 is quite unequivocal in its requirement:

    "(b) Every licensee shall have his or her concealed pistol license in his or her immediate possession at all times that he or she is required by this section to have a concealed pistol license and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or ..."

    So regardless of the circumstances, this says that if you conceal a pistol you MUST have your CPL in your immediate possession.

    Secondly, I don't see an exception in 9.41.060 that excepts ordinary citizens. That entire section is intended to except LEO's of all categories, both State and Federal, as well as firearms dealers in the course of business, military while on duty, etc. Can you prove a negative in your statement: "There are no qualifiers stating "any concealed pistol ..." so it's legal to OC"

    Maybe I'm missing something.
    You are The words "that he or she is required by this section" mean that other sections referencing it do not hold the same requirements.

    Note the particular wording of 9.41.300: "a person licensed under 9.41.060". The wording in 300 deals with having a license; the wording in 70 deals with concealing the pistol.

    As for "proving a negative" - if the law doesn't state something is illegal, it is legal. Law doesn't grand privileges and rights, it takes them away or constrains them.
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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