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Thread: Mayor moves forward on gun ban effort

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Mayor moves forward on gun ban effort By LEVI PULKKINEN
    P-I REPORTER
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/386966_guns08.html

    An unequivocal "no" from the state Attorney General's Office is often enough to shoot down a city proposal.
    Not so with a move by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels to ban legally permitted handguns from city-owned parks and buildings, an effort that, if successful, could shatter a 47-year-old state prohibition against cities' regulation of firearms.
    The Mayor's Office continues to build a case for the ban despite an Oct. 14 opinion issued by Attorney General Rob McKenna's office arguing that the city cannot pre-empt state gun law. The mayor hopes to introduce an administrative order next month.
    "The cities are the ones on the front lines of this issue," said Regina LaBelle, legal counsel to the mayor. "We always have to keep in mind not just state law but also federal laws. But our bottom line is that we want to have common-sense gun laws."
    Gun-control supporters have long targeted so-called "pre-emption" laws that keep gun regulation out of the hands of city lawmakers, who often are more inclined to create restrictions than their state and federal counterparts. Nickels' push represents a bright spot for gun-control advocates who've largely been stymied for more than a decade and watched this year as a string of high-profile shootings failed to elevate the issue in the national political campaigns or state races.
    Nickels' move was widely criticized by supporters of gun rights, who saw it as both wrongheaded and outside the mayor's mandate. That view is shared by Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, a Sequim Democrat who asked the attorney general to review Nickels' proposed ban.
    "We quickly realized that he can't do that, that it would be illegal," Van De Wege said. "I think that even people who don't like guns can see the point here that we can't have every municipality having different gun regulations."
    The past eight years have largely been marked by stagnation or backward movement for gun-control advocates, said Ladd Everitt, communications director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
    President Bush allowed limits on assault weapons and other firearms to expire. In response to a scathing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives report, Congress severely curtailed the agency's ability to share information on guns used in crime. And, though it received mixed reviews on both sides of the gun question, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a constitutional right to individual gun ownership.
    A Democratic majority in the House of Representatives offered no relief for gun-control proponents.
    "Anyone who thought this Democratic Congress was going to be strong on gun issues was sadly mistaken," Everitt said. "That said, I think that Barack Obama gets this, understands the balancing act" between the views of rural and urban Americans on the issue.
    Some gun owners fear what Obama and a stronger Democratic Congress might do. Gun stores across the nation report a surge in business since Tuesday's election, attributing it to buyers worried that their ability to obtain firearms might be curtailed.
    The Virginia Tech massacre did prompt Congress to improve the flawed national database used to perform background checks on gun buyers. If funded, the improvement package should ensure that more states submit mental health information to the system, said Eric Nelson, an assistant attorney general representing the Department of Social and Health Services.
    As the system currently stands, most states fail to identify mentally ill individuals who've been confined against their will in the federal system. As a practical matter, Nelson said, that means someone institutionalized in Oregon or another state would pass a background check in Washington.
    "It certainly is the case that not every state is submitting mental health records," Nelson said. "If FedEx can track a package around the world, how is it that the state and federal authorities can't track these prohibitive records?"
    Washington began submitting records to the system in 2004, Nelson said. But the state background-check system remains fragmented, with each of the state's 291 police agencies charged with conducting state background checks for concealed pistol licenses.
    Arriving at the Northwest Folklife Festival on May 24, 22-year-old Clinton Chad Grainger carried both his pistol and a concealed-weapons permit issued to him despite a history of mental illness. Hours later, he shot and wounded two people during an altercation.
    The accidental shooting prompted Nickels to propose a ban on all guns from city-owned parks and buildings. That effort, LaBelle said, is still under way despite the attorney general's opinion.
    LaBelle said the city needs greater "clarity" on state law, either from the Legislature or through the courts. She said the Mayor's Office has found 39 other Washington cities that already have restrictions on the books, which shows the issue is far from settled.
    The opinion followed the line thought to be enshrined in a 1961 law stating that local gun rules "inconsistent" with state law are "pre-empted and repealed." Expressing a view backed by the attorney general's finding, Van De Wege said state law bans local governments from regulating guns.
    Speaking more broadly, Van De Wege said he doesn't see a need for tighter restrictions on guns. The decline in crime rates around the state, he said, shows additional rules aren't needed.
    "My concern, and I think a lot of my constituents' concern, is that we're going to end up punishing a lot of law-abiding citizens," he said. "They feel most comfortable carrying a gun, and they want to be able to do that."
    LaBelle said the city is looking at only a single change. But she said city officials deserve to have the authority to protect their citizens.
    "The mayor has asked repeatedly for the Legislature to allow local representatives to create laws they think are right for their cities," she said. "It's obvious that it's a local concern."
    The Mayor's Office plans to release an administrative order later this month in line with the earlier proposal. A public hearing would then take place in early December.

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    Well, who wants to get in line to get arrested and start suing Seattle? State law is very freaking plain.

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    a bunch of us will be in Seattle on the 11th.

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    M1Gunr wrote:
    a bunch of us will be in Seattle on the 11th.
    Where, when?
    "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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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Tawnos wrote:
    Where, when?
    Port of Seattle Meeting
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/17571.html

    Although I don't know how many will be carrying. I won't unless I drive in that day to work.

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    The reporter is a moron:

    President Bush allowed limits on assault weapons and other firearms to expire
    Actually, it was Congress who allowed the limits to expire, by not renewing the AWB, whereas Bush annoyed and alarmed quite a few of us by making sounds like he would sign a renewal if it passed.

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    Regular Member Machoduck's Avatar
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    Oh, that reporter knows perfectly well what happened with the expiration of the assault weapons ban. It's just that your way of explaining it doesn't give as much blame to President Bush as his wording does. After all, what's more important; facts and objectivity or getting the Messiah elected by blaming President Bush for everything from bad roads to dental cavities. He's already elected? Well, the verities of newspeak must be preserved.

    MD

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    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    I was appalled when I saw this. What a MAROON!

    When election time rolls around again, vote for "The Other Guy".
    "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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    Bookman wrote:
    I was appalled when I saw this. What a MAROON!

    When election time rolls around again, vote for "The Other Guy".
    Hah My thoughts exactly.
    "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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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    M1Gunr wrote:
    Port of Seattle Meeting
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/17571.html

    Although I don't know how many will be carrying. I won't unless I drive in that day to work.
    I don't think any of us will be, but can't speak for anyone else. We're not going to the POS on the issue of open carry. At this point it's strictly about a government entity controlled by state preemption and willfully violating it. I would rather they hear me for three minutes than give any notice to anything on my hip. Open carry, being a legal mode of carry, would just benefit as a byproduct.

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I should have made my self clearer. I won't be OC'ing at the meeting but if I drive in I will OC after.

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    "LaBelle said the city needs greater "clarity" on state law, either from the Legislature or through the courts."

    Worse than a 6 year old who doesn't like dad's "no" answer and goes and asks mom instead. Only in this case, "mom" said no too, now they're gonna go ask grandpa.

    "She said the Mayor's Office has found 39 other Washington cities that already have restrictions on the books, which shows the issue is far from settled."

    Nice circular logic. Yeah, and they're all illegal too. The cities are just to lazy or ignorant or stubborn to scrub them from the books. The cities could put a law in changing the drinking age to 45. It would be illegal too. With this logic, Nickels could cite the fact that other cities raised the drinking age, so he should be able to also.

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    Regular Member Machoduck's Avatar
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    I'm a grandpa and I say "no" to the 6 year old mayor too.

    MD

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    Still waiting for the shoe to drop, but I hope Ferndale doesn't try to mimic Nickels. My guess is they won't, but it ain't over till it's over...

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    I hope some folks choose to open carry at the hearing to be held in January and that many gun owners come to show their outrage.

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    M1Gunr wrote:
    Arriving at the Northwest Folklife Festival on May 24, 22-year-old Clinton Chad Grainger carried both his pistol and a concealed-weapons permit issued to him despite a history of mental illness. Hours later, he shot and wounded two people during an altercation.
    Hey folks - I thought the rumor about this guy's mental illness was proved false - that in fact he had never been adjudicated inelegible to carry a gun. Am I correct? Link?

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    Mike wrote:
    M1Gunr wrote:
    Arriving at the Northwest Folklife Festival on May 24, 22-year-old Clinton Chad Grainger carried both his pistol and a concealed-weapons permit issued to him despite a history of mental illness. Hours later, he shot and wounded two people during an altercation.
    Hey folks - I thought the rumor about this guy's mental illness was proved false - that in fact he had never been adjudicated inelegible to carry a gun. Am I correct? Link?
    To my knowledge you are correct Mike, at least I have yet to see proof that he was in fact ineligble.
    "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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    Somebody help me on this. What's it called when an elected official knowingly and repeatedly attempts to overstep his authority?

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    joeroket wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    M1Gunr wrote:
    Arriving at the Northwest Folklife Festival on May 24, 22-year-old Clinton Chad Grainger carried both his pistol and a concealed-weapons permit issued to him despite a history of mental illness. Hours later, he shot and wounded two people during an altercation.
    Hey folks - I thought the rumor about this guy's mental illness was proved false - that in fact he had never been adjudicated inelegible to carry a gun. Am I correct? Link?
    To my knowledge you are correct Mike, at least I have yet to see proof that he was in fact ineligble.
    Yeah, just googled this story for a while and basically the guy was never adjudicated inelegible to possess a gun - hence the story is very misleading as it makes it look like had information sharing been more robust, this man would have been denied a concealed carry permit,


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    3/325 wrote:
    Somebody help me on this. What's it called when an elected official knowingly and repeatedly attempts to overstep his authority?
    Unlawful Abuse of Authority is what comes to my mind.
    "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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    Or this one.



    RCW 9A.80.010
    Official misconduct.

    [/b](1) A public servant is guilty of official misconduct if, with intent to obtain a benefit or to deprive another person of a lawful right or privilege:

    (a) He intentionally commits an unauthorized act under color of law; or

    (b) He intentionally refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him by law.

    (2) Official misconduct is a gross misdemeanor.

    [1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 38 § 17; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.80.010.][/quote]



    I am not a lawyer, do not play one on TV, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But this is a good RCW to have knowledge of. By pointing out to the city/county prosecutors that an action they are going to take mayplace their license to practice law in jeopardy, they may elect not to prosecute when they know they are going against state law.

    When I brought up a couple of municipal codes here to the city prosecutor, and asked point blank if he would prosecute in defiance of state preemption, he said he would not.

    bob



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    That's great. I will have to go find out if we have something similar down here in Oregon!

    -adamsesq

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    Good thing to add to that letter in another thread to the Library...

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Stumbled across this and could not resist sharing....

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    Ha! Shooted...

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