I am writing to express concern over the City of Richland Municipal Code 9.22.070, subsection 2, which reads:
"The possession of weapons in the parks is prohibited including, but not limited to, firearms, air rifles, paintball guns, bows and arrows, cross bows, swords and pellet guns unless authorized by the State of Washington as provided by RCW 9.41.070 as it currently exists or may be amended."
I believe this ordinance is in violation of state RCW 9.41.290, which establishes State Preemption of firearms regulation. Under this 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with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality."
As Washington State has no law prohibiting firearms in parks, the City of Richland's 9.22.070 is therefore preempted and unenforceable. I do not believe your exception of firearms authorized by RCW 9.41.270 is sufficient, as this deals only with concealed pistol licenses. As you may be aware, it is legal in Washington to carry a firearm without a CPL as long as the firearm is not concealed and is not carried in a manner that warrants alarm for the safety of others (RCW 9.41.270). The courts have held that a visible firearm in and of itself does not violate 9.41.270 (State v. Casad) and Law Enforcement Agencies in many Washington cities have issued notices to officers re-enforcing the fact that peaceable open carry of firearms is legal. Therefore, by restricting the possession of firearms in parks to CPL holders, you remain in violation of RCW 9.41.290.
I am hereby formally requesting the removal of the firearms restriction in Richland Municipal Code 9.22.070.