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Thread: Bellevue West Coast Armory suspends gun sales

  1. #1
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    Was at West Coast Armory in Factoria today to shoot. There's a sign on the door that says "all firearms and accessories for display only; purchase at our Issaquah store."

    The fellow inside said that some local friend of the mayor complained about the presence of a gun store near her turf, and that the mayor is now using some trumped-up nonsense to prevent them from selling firearms. Furthermore, the city is trying to avoid being associated with guns and now wants to shut down all gun shops and ranges within city limits.

    WTF is going on here?

    EDIT: may be an issue about not being zoned for retail. See follow-up post below.

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    Sounds like a restraint of trade law suit in the making. I wonder about the zoning, and how long have they been there. Probably grandfathered in if there is a zoning change coming up.

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    How can they just stop them if they have a business license?
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    That sounds to be illegal, if not downright damaging to the local economy. I don't think the mayor has the authority to ban ANY legal sales anyways, of course I could also be wrong.

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    factoria is bellevue city limits

    so if that were true

    wades guns would have to close
    and survival arms would have to close.

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    tannerwaterbury wrote:
    That sounds to be illegal, if not downright damaging to the local economy. I don't think the mayor has the authority to ban ANY legal sales anyways, of course I could also be wrong.
    Sounds like the city is trying to violate RCW 9.41.300(3)

    (3)(a) Cities, towns, and counties may enact ordinances restricting the areas in their respective jurisdictions in which firearms may be sold, but, except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a business selling firearms may not be treated more restrictively than other businesses located within the same zone. An ordinance requiring the cessation of business within a zone shall not have a shorter grandfather period for businesses selling firearms than for any other businesses within the zone.

    (b) Cities, towns, and counties may restrict the location of a business selling firearms to not less than five hundred feet from primary or secondary school grounds, if the business has a storefront, has hours during which it is open for business, and posts advertisements or signs observable to passersby that firearms are available for sale. A business selling firearms that exists as of the date a restriction is enacted under this subsection (3)(b) shall be grandfathered according to existing law.

    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


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    ak56 wrote:
    tannerwaterbury wrote:
    That sounds to be illegal, if not downright damaging to the local economy. I don't think the mayor has the authority to ban ANY legal sales anyways, of course I could also be wrong.
    Sounds like the city is trying to violate RCW 9.41.300(3)

    (3)(a) Cities, towns, and counties may enact ordinances restricting the areas in their respective jurisdictions in which firearms may be sold, but, except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a business selling firearms may not be treated more restrictively than other businesses located within the same zone. An ordinance requiring the cessation of business within a zone shall not have a shorter grandfather period for businesses selling firearms than for any other businesses within the zone.

    (b) Cities, towns, and counties may restrict the location of a business selling firearms to not less than five hundred feet from primary or secondary school grounds, if the business has a storefront, has hours during which it is open for business, and posts advertisements or signs observable to passersby that firearms are available for sale. A business selling firearms that exists as of the date a restriction is enacted under this subsection (3)(b) shall be grandfathered according to existing law.
    So it appears that the mayor is violating the law then, just to satisfy their own desires. Bullsh*t I say.

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    Trigger Dr wrote:
    Sounds like a restraint of trade law suit in the making. I wonder about the zoning, and how long have they been there. Probably grandfathered in if there is a zoning change coming up.
    They just opened that store about a couple months ago

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    imho, file under "things heard from a gun store employee" and take itwith a huge grain of salt.
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    Dave_pro2a wrote:
    imho, file under "things heard from a gun store employee" and take itwith a huge grain of salt.
    You may be right. An additional source of info told me that the issue may be about zoning: the area where they are is zoned for light industrial use, which means a gun range is OK, but a gun store is not OK.

    I don't doubt that a city or mayor could try to overstep bounds, but I guess there's more to this story than meets the eye.

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    tannerwaterbury wrote:
    Sounds like the city is trying to violate RCW 9.41.300(3)

    (3)(a) Cities, towns, and counties may enact ordinances restricting the areas in their respective jurisdictions in which firearms may be sold, but, except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a business selling firearms may not be treated more restrictively than other businesses located within the same zone. An ordinance requiring the cessation of business within a zone shall not have a shorter grandfather period for businesses selling firearms than for any other businesses within the zone.
    State preemption is an awesome thing.

    I have a dream about someone opening a gun store right in the middle of downtown Kirkland... and it seems that the city would not be able to stop such a thing. If any retail is allowed in a given area, and it's not within 500 feet of a school, then they are powerless to prevent it.

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    I am also a member of West Coast Armory Range and what I have heard is thatthe issue is zoning. That area is zoned Light Industrial - not Retail.

    They opened as a "Recreational" type business - no problem as there are others of that type in that zoned area - but are allowed only "Incidental" sales associated to that business. So they can sell "eyes" and "ears", ammo, targets that are "incidental" to running of a range. But not guns as it is not zoned for retail sales.

    I understand there are "exceptions" so I think they are "exploring options". So the range is open, the guns are for display only and West Coast currently does all retail sales out of their Issaquah store.

    Now evidently, believe it or not, the Wades range and the attached retail store are in different zonings (yes split down the middle of the building).I am sure there is an interesting story behind that. Maybe someone here has more on that.

    Have fun with this zoning map http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/IT/zoning_fb.pdf


    I welcome additions or corrections to the above.





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    This is where this kind of thing gets "interesting" -- municipalities can and do play favorites, creative ways are found to enable to prevent things, etc. It would too bad if exceptions are routinely granted but in this case some political connection allowed the city to deny the same consideration to West Coast Armory.

    I really like that store -- good prices, reasonable staff, and open on Sundays.

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    I believe that to be true. I think that if the city wants something they find a way and the reverse is true. You know what they say - "It's not who you know, it's who you bl*w"

    Forgive me but I still think it's true.

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    I deal with zoning and development politics on a daily basis.. It's smoke and mirrors. $$$ picks the zone the business wants to be in..

    Want to create a shop on your residential property? But your not zoned for accessory buildings or detached garages? you are SOL...

    But, if some large business that the local municipality thinks will be good for the area wants to re-zone, or have an exception granted, no problem sir!

    HAHAHAH!

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    Another possible issue is that the owner would need a new and separate FFL to sell guns out of that location.

    FFL is ONLY good at the location it was submitted for and for occasional transient events (such as a gun show). To have multiple retail locations, means multiple FFL's. Double the costs, double the insurance, double the inspections, double the hassle.

    Since they have already have an established retail location just a short distance away, it could be a business decision.

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    Well - I have discussed the zoning issue with employees thereand watched a Bellevue City council meeting live on cable last week where the zoning issue was brought up. A bit of a non event but very briefly discussed nontheless.

    I think someone misjudged the situation and minority vocal reaction.

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    Good to know that the city doesn't "have it in" for gun-related businesses.

    It would be nice if the rule-bending went in our favor for once, but at least it appears that this situation is not really threatening to gun-related freedoms in Bellevue.

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    If this is being enforced as a zoning issue, I would like to know how Weapons Safety Inc., which was within 200 yards of this place, could operate for years without problems! Did they re-zone after WSI went out of business? I very much doubt it.

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    civil_lib wrote:
    If this is being enforced as a zoning issue, I would like to know how Weapons Safety Inc., which was within 200 yards of this place, could operate for years without problems! Did they re-zone after WSI went out of business? I very much doubt it.
    Man I miss WSI. It was a very nice place to shoot, a lot better than Wades.

    This is only speculation:

    Zoning could have changed after the closed, izoning could have chnaged while they were open but they were grandfathered in, zoning could have always been no retail but they could have been issued a variance, maybe zoning was always no retail and they just operated under the radar, west coast afaik is a few blocks from the old WSI location so maybe they are in a different zoning area, et cetera.

    Lots of possibilities, and West Coast will surely check into why WSI was ok and they aren't.
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