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Thread: East Wenatchee Municipal Code

  1. #1
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    So I sent an email to the city attorney today regarding the municipal code in East Wenatchee that prohibits firearms in city parks. Here is the letter I sent to him:

    Devin,

    I am writing to you in regards to a city municipal code that I believe is not in line with state law because of preemption. I've been in contact with the park board and the city council since October of 2009, but I haven't seen anything particularly moving in regard to this issue. Initially I had emailed Dave Bremmer, but he apparently was not getting my messages. When he failed to respond, months later, I contacted the entire city council of East Wenatchee along with the mayor Steve Lacy. I got one response back from Dennis and he seems to be the only one particularly concerned about it. When no one was responding to my inquiry, I contacted a staff writer of the Wenatchee World because it might be noteworthy that elected officials are ignoring a citizen's request to review codes and to clarify them by bringing them up to date with state law. She attended a council meeting as I was unable to on short notice and reported to me that the information regarding this problem was handed to you. Additionally, Dennis has helped to confirm that this information is resting in your hands as well. I'm curious as to the intended outcome and the operations being put into effect that will clarify this for the public and for law enforcement. I have already contacted the park board in the past and they agreed that the wording was wrong and not legally enforceable. So they changed it. Unfortunately, they were citing a city municipal code that is outdated because of state preemption. That is why I am coming to you with a request to have it changed. Here is the wording in the original letter I wrote to Dave regarding the municipal code in question and how it conflicts with state law:

    I am writing to you about a city municipal code that I believe is outdated and no longer reflects Washington state law. The municipal code in question is 12.12.040 which states:

    12.12.040 Firearms and explosives.

    It is unlawful to shoot, fire or explode any firearm, fireworks, firecracker, torpedo or explosive of any kind or to carry any firearm or to shoot or fire any air gun, bows and arrows, B.B. gun or use any slingshot in any park except designated recreational areas provided for such activities. (1967 code § 8.40.040)

    However, RCW 9.41.290 prohibits the city from banning firearms on city property and at facilities. This is the text from RCW 9.41.290 which states:

    RCW 9.41.290
    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, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.

    You can find this state preemption here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.290

    I'm concerned about the text in the city municipal code that prohibits the lawful carry of a firearm. I think that you should have the text "or to carry any firearm" removed from the municipal code entirely as to reflect state preemption and current law.

    Thank you for your time in reading my email. I am looking forward to a response from you.


    Here is his response:


    I'm aware of the issue. However, I've not yet researched your claim. I hope to make a recommendation to the City Council on whether the code needs to be amended by the end of the month.
    Thank you.
    Devin Poulson


    And this is what I sent him back:


    That is excellent! If there are any public meetings or anything of that nature, I'd like to be in attendance if at all possible. Would it be too much to ask of you to send me an email if any are planned? I'm interested in the process and I think it would be an excellent opportunity to learn a few things.


    I'm wondering if there is anything else that any of you think I should have added to the emails or that I should bring to his attention. Now that I have his attention. I'd like to see this municipal code clarified and up to date with state law. Any suggestions or advice?



  2. #2
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Show up to the city council meeting and sign up to speak on the issue, provide hand outs with your information and asked the council to direct city legal to review and make a recommendation at the next council meeting, this makes it a matter of public record and what action is to be taken.

    Ensure you present the information in voice and written form to all, this is where it will become public record, emails are easily dismissed as I have found out in the past as well.

    If we do not show up and do it ourselves then we will get what they want only.
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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    Daath 474 wrote:
    12.12.040 Firearms and explosives.

    It is unlawful to shoot, fire or explode any firearm, fireworks, firecracker, torpedo or explosive of any kind or to carry any firearm or to shoot or fire any air gun, bows and arrows, B.B. gun or use any slingshot in any park except designated recreational areas provided for such activities. (1967 code § 8.40.040)
    Not seein in this code where the possession is being restricted? Its only speaking of discharging those items. 12.12.040 is a Legal code they way I read it.

    RCW 9.41.300 gives them the right to limit areas of discharge.

    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

    (a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and

    Im proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    jbone wrote:
    Daath 474 wrote:
    12.12.040 Firearms and explosives.

    It is unlawful to shoot, fire or explode any firearm, fireworks, firecracker, torpedo or explosive of any kind or to carry any firearm or to shoot or fire any air gun, bows and arrows, B.B. gun or use any slingshot in any park except designated recreational areas provided for such activities. (1967 code § 8.40.040)
    Not seein in this code where the possession is being restricted? Its only speaking of discharging those items. 12.12.040 is a Legal code they way I read it.

    RCW 9.41.300 gives them the right to limit areas of discharge.

    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

    (a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and
    Good catch you are dead on with your assessment on this issue.
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

  5. #5
    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    I double checked the code he was referring toon the website, the city is within state law, it does not restrict possession.

    http://nt5.scbbs.com/cgi-bin/om_isap...JUMPDEST_12.12
    Im proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    BigDave wrote:
    jbone wrote:
    Daath 474 wrote:
    12.12.040 Firearms and explosives.

    It is unlawful to shoot, fire or explode any firearm, fireworks, firecracker, torpedo or explosive of any kind or to carry any firearm or to shoot or fire any air gun, bows and arrows, B.B. gun or use any slingshot in any park except designated recreational areas provided for such activities. (1967 code § 8.40.040)
    Not seein in this code where the possession is being restricted? Its only speaking of discharging those items. 12.12.040 is a Legal code they way I read it.

    RCW 9.41.300 gives them the right to limit areas of discharge.

    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

    (a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and
    Good catch you are dead on with your assessment on this issue.
    Except for the part which says "or to carry any firearm".
    cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt

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    NavyMike wrote:
    BigDave wrote:
    jbone wrote:
    Daath 474 wrote:
    12.12.040 Firearms and explosives.

    It is unlawful to shoot, fire or explode any firearm, fireworks, firecracker, torpedo or explosive of any kind or to carry any firearm or to shoot or fire any air gun, bows and arrows, B.B. gun or use any slingshot in any park except designated recreational areas provided for such activities. (1967 code § 8.40.040)
    Not seein in this code where the possession is being restricted? Its only speaking of discharging those items. 12.12.040 is a Legal code they way I read it.

    RCW 9.41.300 gives them the right to limit areas of discharge.

    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

    (a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and
    Good catch you are dead on with your assessment on this issue.
    Except for the part which says "or to carry any firearm".
    Another good catch. Thanks.
    Im proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Doh!:celebrate
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

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    jbone wrote:
    Daath 474 wrote:
    12.12.040 Firearms and explosives.

    It is unlawful to shoot, fire or explode any firearm, fireworks, firecracker, torpedo or explosive of any kind or to carry any firearm or to shoot or fire any air gun, bows and arrows, B.B. gun or use any slingshot in any park except designated recreational areas provided for such activities. (1967 code § 8.40.040)
    Not seein in this code where the possession is being restricted? Its only speaking of discharging those items. 12.12.040 is a Legal code they way I read it.

    RCW 9.41.300 gives them the right to limit areas of discharge.

    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

    (a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and
    Might have missed this part.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Wow, someone in this room needs to get their contact prescription adjusted.

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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    I know my glasses are serveral year old, getting weaker.
    Im proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    New acronym... OCDOh!

    :celebrate

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    East Wenatchee has repealed the firearm ban in city parks. Sort of.

    Guns are now allowed in parks in East Wenatchee-- with a few restrictions, that is. A city ordinance banning guns in parks was amended by the East Wenatchee City Council during Tuesday's council meeting. The ordinance was changed to allow guns in parks under certain conditions. Those with out a concealed -carry permit still may not carry a loaded firearm in a public park. Those without the concealed-carry license can carry a firearm only if it is unloaded and in an "opaque case or secure wrapper" or if it is in a designated recreation area for firearms, according to the ordinance.

    Please post a link to the article if you can. I can't.

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    jimatwen wrote:
    East Wenatchee has repealed the firearm ban in city parks. Sort of.

    Guns are now allowed in parks in East Wenatchee-- with a few restrictions, that is. A city ordinance banning guns in parks was amended by the East Wenatchee City Council during Tuesday's council meeting. The ordinance was changed to allow guns in parks under certain conditions. Those with out a concealed -carry permit still may not carry a loaded firearm in a public park. Those without the concealed-carry license can carry a firearm only if it is unloaded and in an "opaque case or secure wrapper" or if it is in a designated recreation area for firearms, according to the ordinance.

    Please post a link to the article if you can. I can't.
    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010...ordinance.html

    They're still breaking the law
    "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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    Sent them this:
    Recently the city moved to update its park ordinance banning possession of firearms in parks. You are quoted as saying "this was basically just a housekeeping move to correct [the ordinance]." If this is housekeeping, you've left a mess.

    State law is clear on what power the city has to regulate firearms. RCW 9.41.290 says, in no uncertain terms, that local laws "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." Recently, the city of Seattle attempted to violate state law in this very fashion. The court promptly struck down their illegal "rule" as violating state preemption. Similarly, East Wenatchee must come into compliance with state law. This means that any limitation on carry that is not allowed under RCW 9.41.300 must be removed from your city ordinances, as they are already repealed.

    Please, finish the job you started, and bring your local codes in line with state law, by removing any case and conceal requirements or requirements for a CPL. By doing so, you will no longer run afoul of RCW 9.41.290 or the WA state constitution, Article 1 Section 24.

    Thanks,
    "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:
    jimatwen wrote:
    East Wenatchee has repealed the firearm ban in city parks. Sort of.

    Guns are now allowed in parks in East Wenatchee-- with a few restrictions, that is. A city ordinance banning guns in parks was amended by the East Wenatchee City Council during Tuesday's council meeting. The ordinance was changed to allow guns in parks under certain conditions. Those with out a concealed -carry permit still may not carry a loaded firearm in a public park. Those without the concealed-carry license can carry a firearm only if it is unloaded and in an "opaque case or secure wrapper" or if it is in a designated recreation area for firearms, according to the ordinance.

    Please post a link to the article if you can. I can't.
    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010...ordinance.html

    They're still breaking the law
    Picnic time?
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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    It appears that this City Council either one of two things, have been misguided by their legal council or are incapable reading and comprehending State Law.

    Some in Government seem to think that they can enact laws in the guise of safety of it's citizens when it is the State Legislature who actually carry that power, not Counties or Cities.

    RCW 9.41.290 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, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.



    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Hey daath, how long ago did you send the first letter?
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

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  19. #19
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Curious did anyone show up for Public Comment?
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

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