Thread: OpenCarry.org member pushes
By Andrea Damewood
Columbian staff writer
Monday, August 16, 2010
With his Ruger SP101 revolver at his hip, 26-year-old Joe Winton asked the Vancouver City Council on Monday night to make it clear he has the right to carry his gun in city parks.
Winton identified himself as a member of national gun advocacy group opencarry.org, and said he carries his gun when he and his wife visit Esther Short Park downtown.
“Now that I have a wife, I have someone else to protect,” he told the council. “Esther Short Park is one of the most unsafe areas. When I go to areas that are very, very dangerous … I feel a lot more protected with my firearm.”
But many city park signs say that possessing a firearm in a park is illegal, in direct conflict with state open-carry laws, and the city’s code relating to gun possession in parks is also out of date, he noted.
City Attorney Ted Gathe told Winton and the council that he’s aware of the code discrepancy.
Vancouver’s code on firearms in parks was written in the 1970s, when cities could decide whether a citizen could have a gun in a city park or not, Gathe said. Since then, Washington’s open-carry law has passed, superseding city code, making it legal to have guns in parks.
The entire parks code “is being rewritten top to bottom,” and will be brought to council for approval by December, Gathe said.
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