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Thread: Is it unlawful for a municipal employee to carry a firearm while..

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    According to this email from a legislator?

    The preemption section, by its own terms, applies only to local jurisdictions. Under the state constitution, local jurisdictions have the authority to adopt and enforce public safety and health laws unless in conflict with the general laws of the state. RCW 9.41.290 expresses the Legislature's intent to limit the authority of local jurisdictions to pass firearms laws. Although this preemption language is fairly broad, in two cases the Washington Supreme Court has upheld local firearms policies or regulations against a challenge that they were preempted by RCW 9.41.290. In the first case, Cherry v. Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, 116 Wn.2d 794 (1991), the Court held that RCW 9.41.290 is not preemptive of the authority of a municipal employer to regulate or prohibit a municipal employee's possession of firearms while on the job or in the workplace. The Court determined that the Legislature, by adopting the preemption statute, intended to eliminate a multiplicity of local criminal laws relating to firearms and to advance uniformity in criminal firearms regulation, and that the "laws and ordinances" preempted are laws of application to the general public, not internal rules for employee conduct. In a more recent case, Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association v. City of Sequim, 158 Wn.2d 342 (2006), the Court upheld the authority of the city of Sequim to impose conditions on the sale of firearms at a gun show being held in the city's convention center. The conditions imposed by the city were a part of a permit for private use of its property, and were not laws or regulations of application to the general public.

    State agencies are generally given the authority to adopt rules to administer their programs. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has adopted a rule that generally prohibits the discharge of firearms in upland state park areas (WAC 352-32-120). Many universities and colleges have adopted rules prohibiting possession of firearms on campuses, and other state agencies have adopted rules prohibiting firearms in certain places (e.g., Office of Administrative Hearings facilities, facilities operated by the Washington State School for the Blind or School for the Deaf, grounds of horse racing associations, and licensed child care centers). I am not aware of any legal challenges to these rules. As to whether or not the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission could adopt a rule prohibiting possession of firearms on state parks, I do not know whether a challenge to the rule would be upheld.

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    Campaign Veteran ak56's Avatar
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    Municipalities may prohibit their employees from carrying at work. See Cherry v. The Municipality Of Metropolitan Seattle
    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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    So they may prohibit it (probably for insurance and liability reasons) but they cannot make it unlawful.

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    Aaron1124 wrote:
    So they may prohibit it (probably for insurance and liability reasons) but they cannot make it unlawful.
    unlawful NO. lose your job... YES

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    I talked to a Pierce Transit bus driver who admitted to concealing a firearm while he's on the job. I was highly surprised that he told me that. Him and I were on the discussion of firearms, considering I was OCing on the bus, and was the only one present on the bus at the time. This was about a year and a half ago. He said something along the lines of "Yeah, it's against Pierce Transit policies to allow their employees to carry any firearm on the bus.. not that it stops me" as he gets a cheesy grin and slaps his fanny pack, as if he were suggesting that's where he keeps his gun.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    It is ridiculous. I think public employees working for the public shouldn't be banned the same way a private employer can.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    sudden valley gunner wrote:
    It is ridiculous. I think public employees working for the public shouldn't be banned the same way a private employer can.
    And the difference between these two is-----?????

    It would seem to me that a "workplace" is a "workplace". If one is allowed to regulate, why not the other?

    The underlying issue is that the State Constitution specifically states the right to carry a firearm for self defense. Seems to me that an employee, public or private, has a Constitutional right to do so. Challenges always refer to "preemption" which only applies to the passing of laws by local authority. Why no challenges on Constitutional grounds. The US Constitution only prevents the Federal Government from removing our firearms. The State Constitution of Washington guarantees the right, not only for militia purposes but the individual right of self defense. I find it curious that this has not been explored or are Employers alowed to deny Constitutional rights. If that is the case they why are they not allowed to deny employment on the basis of race, religion, sex, etc.?

    I'd be interested in the comments.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    The difference to me is one is a private entity and one is not.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Aaron1124 wrote:
    I talked to a Pierce Transit bus driver who admitted to concealing a firearm while he's on the job. I was highly surprised that he told me that. Him and I were on the discussion of firearms, considering I was OCing on the bus, and was the only one present on the bus at the time. This was about a year and a half ago. He said something along the lines of "Yeah, it's against Pierce Transit policies to allow their employees to carry any firearm on the bus.. not that it stops me" as he gets a cheesy grin and slaps his fanny pack, as if he were suggesting that's where he keeps his gun.
    Bad juju man... wrong person watches that security tape, and he could get in a whole heap of trouble. Can't say I blame him of course, if I drove for Metro or PT, I would too whether they liked it or not, but not even God would know












    Ok but JUST Him.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Metalhead47 wrote:
    Aaron1124 wrote:
    I talked to a Pierce Transit bus driver who admitted to concealing a firearm while he's on the job. I was highly surprised that he told me that. Him and I were on the discussion of firearms, considering I was OCing on the bus, and was the only one present on the bus at the time. This was about a year and a half ago. He said something along the lines of "Yeah, it's against Pierce Transit policies to allow their employees to carry any firearm on the bus.. not that it stops me" as he gets a cheesy grin and slaps his fanny pack, as if he were suggesting that's where he keeps his gun.
    Bad juju man... wrong person watches that security tape, and he could get in a whole heap of trouble. Can't say I blame him of course, if I drove for Metro or PT, I would too whether they liked it or not, but not even God would know












    Ok but JUST Him.
    The security tape didn't even dawn on me. Do they use audio on public transit?

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Aaron1124 wrote:
    The security tape didn't even dawn on me. Do they use audio on public transit?
    Can't say for sure on PT but I would think so. I know in my case, all CT busses have auto AND video recordings, and the audio's pretty darn sensitive. So we're very careful what we say on or around the bus.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Aaron1124 wrote;
    Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association v. City of Sequim, 158 Wn.2d 342 (2006), the Court upheld the authority of the city of Sequim to impose conditions on the sale of firearms at a gun show being held in the city's convention center. The conditions imposed by the city were a part of a permit for private use of its property, and were not laws or regulations of application to the general public.
    This I believe was a miss step by PNSPA and their Attorney as it had to do with tortious interference with a contractual relationship or business expectancy between PNSPA and the city of Sequim and did not bring issues that related to an individual being denied the right to buy or sell a firearm.

    If they stated the reason for the Gun Show was for a demonstration or lecture involving the exhibition of firearms it would have fell with in State Preemption and just let citizen conduct business as they would have any where else they would be legal to sell or buy a firearm.

    Once they stated they will be buying or selling firearms in the Gun Show then it falls into RCW 9.41.300 (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.

    Then they could have argued that they were being treated more restrictive then another business with in the same zone.


    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/wa-suprem...t/1152139.html
    ¶ 45 I concur with the dissent;  however, I write separately in order to briefly clarify Washington law regarding firearms and their sale, which was misstated or improperly applied by the police chief here.1  This is particularly important as the Washington constitutional right “of the individual citizen to  bear arms” could have also been implicated in this case.2  Wash. Const. art. I, § 24.   Whether this right includes a corollary constitutional right to sell or trade firearms need not be decided since Washington statutory law, correctly understood, allows the sales.   I concur with the dissent.
    ¶  46 Police Chief Nelson made a significant legal error in his April 11, 2002 memo, which he personally distributed.   Suppl. Clerk's Papers (SCP) at 17.   The memo restricted gun sales at the show in a manner not allowed by Washington law.   It is difficult to find that a law enforcement officer, who surely had access to the RCWs, could incorrectly state the law in good faith.3
    ¶ 47 The memo stated that “Sales by persons who are not licensed dealers shall not be allowed.”   SCP at 18.   Interestingly, the memo then contradicted itself and stated that “Dealers ONLY may purchase/acquire firearms from an unlicensed individual.”  Id. However, Washington law does not restrict the sale or purchase of guns to licensed dealers.

    5. The dissent states that RCW 9.41.300 “explicitly and specifically prohibits municipalities from regulating gun shows on municipal property,” but in order to reach this conclusion it must completely ignore the last three words of RCW 9.41.300(2)(b)(ii).   Dissent at 4. RCW 9.41.300(2)(b)(ii) prohibits cities only from restricting showings, demonstrations, or lectures involving “exhibition of firearms.”  (Emphasis added.)   The dissent fails to explain how a sale qualifies as an exhibition.
    This shows that if the case was properly addressed it would have came out way different then it did.

    It decided that there was not tortious interference with a contractual relationship and the issue as State Preemption did not apply, well it didn't as it was not properly before the court, meaning what they filed did not support an issue concerning preemption.

    So when it comes to Cities and Towns or State Agencies making rules restricting gun rights they can but do not have the weight of the law behind them and in my view are not enforceable.
    This does not mean one will not have to fight for their rights as we have seen with many other cities to include Seattle.





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    • 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.
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    Metalhead47 wrote:
    Aaron1124 wrote:
    The security tape didn't even dawn on me. Do they use audio on public transit?
    Can't say for sure on PT but I would think so. I know in my case, all CT busses have auto AND video recordings, and the audio's pretty darn sensitive. So we're very careful what we say on or around the bus.
    That really surprises me that the driver would be so willing to talk about firearms then. That's really risky. If I were a driver, and carrying against policies, I wouldn't utter a word to anyone... especially not while I am in the course of my duties on the job.

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    amlevin wrote:
    sudden valley gunner wrote:
    It is ridiculous. I think public employees working for the public shouldn't be banned the same way a private employer can.
    And the difference between these two is-----?????

    It would seem to me that a "workplace" is a "workplace". If one is allowed to regulate, why not the other?

    The underlying issue is that the State Constitution specifically states the right to carry a firearm for self defense. Seems to me that an employee, public or private, has a Constitutional right to do so. Challenges always refer to "preemption" which only applies to the passing of laws by local authority. Why no challenges on Constitutional grounds. The US Constitution only prevents the Federal Government from removing our firearms. The State Constitution of Washington guarantees the right, not only for militia purposes but the individual right of self defense. I find it curious that this has not been explored or are Employers alowed to deny Constitutional rights. If that is the case they why are they not allowed to deny employment on the basis of race, religion, sex, etc.?

    I'd be interested in the comments.
    I fully agree here Amlevin as the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a God Given Right and the 2nd Amendment was to put a stop to the Federal Government from restricting that right our of existence.

    Our very own Washington State Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the 2nd Amendment applied to our state through the 14th.

    To add emphasis our Washington State Constitution is even stronger stating it is our right to bear arms and that it shall not be infringed which applies to the State, County, City and Municipalities in preventing them restricting our rights as well.

    It needs to be taken a step farther enforcing the concept that an individual cannot not restrict the rights of another [PERIOD] with out due process.

    I am sure no one has taken this on as they would likely be fired, or let go from their job during the process thus placing a large burden upon them.

    I am not aware of Cherry v Metro ever was appealed or not on this basis? Likely not.
    • 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 Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Aaron1124 wrote:
    That really surprises me that the driver would be so willing to talk about firearms then. That's really risky. If I were a driver, and carrying against policies, I wouldn't utter a word to anyone... especially not while I am in the course of my duties on the job.
    Exactly. They ARE watching us. :what:And they have ways of dealing with troublemakers. Supposedly, on our contract, video/audio can't be used against drivers if something happens to be seen/heard, but all it takes is a passenger complaint and the tape is fair game. I won't even talk politics at the yard or on the bus since my opinions are, shall we say, unpopular with both passengers & coworkers. I won't carry on the job for just these reasons, and I have no secure or discrete way to store a weapon in a vehicle either. So I just figure my employer is now legally responsible for my safety from the moment I leave the house to the moment I return if at any point in my day I'll be on the property, so my wife has very explicit instructions on whom to sue in the event of my untimely demise.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    sudden valley gunner wrote:
    The difference to me is one is a private entity and one is not.
    But both are employers. Courts don't distinguish between Public and Private Sector workplaces as far as work rules are concerned. If employees should be allowed to carry while in the workplace it shouldn't matter. As it stands, both can restrict carry.

    That is really the only issue.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    amlevin wrote:
    sudden valley gunner wrote:
    The difference to me is one is a private entity and one is not.
    But both are employers. Courts don't distinguish between Public and Private Sector workplaces as far as work rules are concerned. If employees should be allowed to carry while in the workplace it shouldn't matter. As it stands, both can restrict carry.

    That is really the only issue.
    Yea I realize that but was expressing my personal opinion that a public employer should have no excuse in restricting the rights of it's employees.

    The way I look at it is that if I spend my money and run my own company I can set my own rules for my company. Even down to I don't allow pink shirts (which is not a right)

    A public "entity" being funded by the publics money and employing the public should not be enumerated with those same abilities to restrict rights, although I do understand having a dress code (that not being a right).
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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