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Thread: Letter to city attorney on carry in parks

  1. #1
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    This is my first draft. What do you think?


    Dear X

    It has recently come to my attention that a part of the Sunnyside Municipal Code stands contrary to a preemptory subsection of the Revised Code of Washington, and by state law is preempted and repealed.

    Sunnyside Municipal Code 12.04.020 Prohibited Acts (in Public Parks) reads in pertinent part: The following acts are unlawful: D.To shoot, fire or explode any firearm, fireworks, firecracker, torpedo or explosive of any kind [size=or to carry any firearm][/size] or to shoot or fire any air gun, bows and arrows, BB gun or use any slingshot in any park, except as provided in this chapter. State law explicitly states that municipalities may not enact laws more strict or inconsistent with the RCW in regards to carrying firearms, and if they do, there are repealed. RCW 9.41.290 reads in whole: “State preemption: “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with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed[/b], regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.”
    The Sunnyside Code making unlawful the possession of a firearm in a public park is more restrictive and inconsistent with state law on the matter. Please advise the City Council and/or Manager on the matter, so as to revise the Sunnyside Municipal Code so that it may not stand in opposition to RCW 9.41.290, and to prevent and preclude any potential lawsuits that may arise from unlawful arrests from this preempted code.
    Further, I request that you assist the city law enforcement officials to develop a bulletin for officers that will clear up misconceptions caused by the preempted Code.
    I look forward to hearing back from you on this matter.
    Sincerely,
    X

    Concerned citizen of Sunnyside

  2. #2
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    It kind of made it come out funny with the formatting and all. It's looks better on Word.

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    Oh yes, I recall in a list somewhere of cities with statutes that violate state laws regarding guns and alcohol (I don't recall the specifics) that Sunnyside was on there. Can anyone post a link to it?

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    cynicist wrote:
    Oh yes, I recall in a list somewhere of cities with statutes that violate state laws regarding guns and alcohol (I don't recall the specifics) that Sunnyside was on there. Can anyone post a link to it?
    Answering this one first; will tackle your OP later. The PM I sent you has a broken link for the muni code for Sunnyside,but the code ishere.

    9.20.030 Weapons – Intoxicated persons – Places where liquor consumed.
    A. Any person other than the owner or manager approved as such by the Liquor Control Board who has in his possession or within his immediate physical control a deadly weapon while in an establishment where liquor or alcoholic beverages are served as a consumer thereof, or while under the influence of or affected by the use of intoxicating liquor or drugs as defined in RCW 46.61.506, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, but this section shall not apply in the former case to customers partaking of alcoholic beverages with a meal and while seated, nor in the latter case to a person in his own residence.

    B. The proprietor of all establishments where liquor or alcoholic beverages are consumed on the premises must advise patrons of the requirements of this section. A conspicuous sign stating “No Weapons Allowed” or other sign approved by the Chief of Police and indicating this section is sufficient notice. No notice needs to be given or posted in the dining area of an establishment with a separate lounge.

    C. “Deadly weapon” means any explosive or loaded or unloaded firearm or fixed blade, cutting or stabbing instrument, and includes any other weapon, device, instrument, article, or substance as defined in this section, which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. [Ord. 1547, 1986; Ord. 1519 § 1, 1985; Ord. 1364 § 1, 1982; Ord. 1235 § 3, 1979: RCW 9.42.271.]

    It may seem like this is picking the fly sh-t out of the pepper, but... each of these highlighted is contrary to 9.41.290/300. 9.41.300 (1)(d) is very clear.
    (d) That portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under twenty-one years of age; or
    There is no mention in the RCW on being armed and intoxicated (not wise, but that's not the point of this discussion). There is no mention of being seated. This area is problematic for two reasons. You could seat yourself in the lounge and eat a meal while armed (violating state law) but the muni code would allow it. It's contradictory. There are restaurants (outside of the lounge area) where you could be eating your meal while standing. Semantics, I know. No logical officer or prosecutor should touch it. The problem is when you find someone that has read the local codeand decides to make an issue out of it either directly with you or by making a 911 call. Then there's always the chance of misapplication by LE and prosecutor.

    There is no provision for the police chief to approve or disapprove any signage. This is where you get a sign at the front door of a combined restaurant/lounge stating 'no weapons.' This exceeds 9.41.300 requirements and is preempted.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Might wanna include the AG opinion letter in the letter you send down, and reference that in your letter.

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    Picking the fly **** is what I like doing.

    I'm the type of person that thinks there are too damn many laws, and would like to get rid of as many of them as possible, even if it's just this relatively insignificant crap here.

    I found the SS code, I just wasn't sure what the whole basis was for the argument.
    I think I'll be adding a couple paragraphs to that letter.

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    Might wanna include the AG opinion letter in the letter you send down, and reference that in your letter.
    AG?
    seat yourself in the lounge and eat a meal while armed (violating state law)
    What law?

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    The Attorney General Opinion on state preemption that got released a few weeks ago?

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    I just realized I printed that out about an hour ago. Didn't realize it was the AG.

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