Thread: City of Wenatchee Code
Sent a letter to the City of Wenatchee concerning municipal code 6a.18.240:
Dear City Attorney and Council of Wenatchee:
I would like to bring to the city’s attention Wenatchee Municipal Code 6A.18.240 [Firearms prohibited in parks.] and its violation of Washington State Law.
Currently Wenatchee Municipal Code 6A.18.240 is worded: “(1)No person except duly authorized law enforcement personnel shall possess a firearm, bow and arrow, crossbow, or air or gas weapon in a city park. No person shall discharge across, in, or into any city park area a firearm, bow and arrow, crossbow, air or gas weapon, or any device capable of injuring or killing any person or animal or damaging or destroying any public or private property except for law enforcement officials acting in official capacity. (2)A violation of this section is a gross misdemeanor. (Ord. 2008-10 §2)
Wenatchee Municipal Code 6A.18.240 is in violation of RCW 9.41.290 [State Preemption]: “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with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.”
Wenatchee Municipal Code 6A.18.240 is inconsistent and more restrictive then RCW 9.41.300 when it states: “No person except duly authorized law enforcement personnel shall possess a firearm…” There is no exemption in RCW 9.41.300 that stats a city can restrict the right to carry a firearm onto the grounds of a public park. Under RCW 9.41.290, Wenatchee Municipal Code 6A.18.240 is preempted and repealed. I would also like to direct your attention to the Washington State Attorney General's Opinion AGO 2008 No. 8 which states "RCW 9.41.290 preempts a city’s authority to enact local laws that prohibit possession of firearms on city property or in city-owned facilities."
I request that you revise the referenced codein order to prevent and preclude the potential for a lawsuit from illegal citation and/or arrest in violation of state law. 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 about this issue.