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Thread: South King Fire and Rescue will allow guns on district property.

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    South King Fire and Rescue will allow guns on district property.

    The South King Fire and Rescue board of commissioners on Thursday voted unanimously to change a policy that banned the public from carrying guns on fire district property.

    The policy — said to have been in place for more than 20 years — was changed in a manner that will now allow members of the public to carry weapons on South King property, but continues to ban the carrying of guns by employees.

    Fire Chief Al Church said that policy, which was the subject of a recent article in The Mirror, had not drawn criticism or legal threats, but had been discussed on websites that support Second Amendment rights. Several men who frequent the website Opencarry.org were at Thursday’s meeting, carrying sidearms, and were prepared to speak out in opposition to the policy.

    Church said that the policy was changed after the department reviewed policies of the cities of Federal Way and Des Moines on the public’s carrying of guns on municipal property. Both of those cities — and a number of other government agencies, like King County Metro — allow the public to carry weapons on their property.

    Church said after the meeting that he was looking forward to getting back to the business of the fire department, and not having to focus on a weapons policy.

    South King employees still cannot carry guns while at work. The right of a municipal employer to ban its employees from carrying guns was upheld in a state Supreme Court case, Cherry vs. Seattle Metro. Washington state has a “pre-emption clause” in regards to firearms, which states that no municipality may enact laws stricter than state law. State law bans the carrying of guns in specific places like jails, mental health institutions and courtrooms, among others. State law does not speak to the carrying of guns in public buildings or at public meetings.



    Federal Way Mirror Reporter Neal McNamara can be reached at nmcnamara@federalwaymirror.com or 253-925-5565 ext. 5054.
    We were interviewed but didn't even get a mention! LOL

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    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    SNIP - Church said that the policy was changed after the department reviewed policies of the cities of Federal Way and Des Moines on the public’s carrying of guns on municipal property. Both of those cities — and a number of other government agencies, like King County Metro — allow the public to carry weapons on their property.


    This is factually untrue. These agencies do not "allow" the carry of firearms. They cannot ban them legally. There is a difference that these people don't seem to understand.

    To allow it, would be giving permission to do it. We do not need permission.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    well,,,

    a big thank you , to you guys!

    OCDO has the power!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

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    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  4. #4
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    I found it interesting that the Fire district, while not allowing employees to carry, does allow them to keep them locked in their vehicles while on FD property.

    Maybe some other employers can learn from them.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    Great job guys! DEROS told me what happened. I especially liked the part about you guys laughing and joking with the FW cops.
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


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  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Updated story.... (includes names and pictures)

    STORY


    The public may now carry guns on the property of South King Fire and Rescue after a policy banning the practice was changed by the board of commissioners.

    The commissioners voted unanimously last Thursday to revise a longstanding gun policy for employees and the public. The revised policy still prohibits South King employees from carrying guns while on the job.

    The legality of the policy had been questioned in recent weeks by members of the public and attracted the attention of gun enthusiasts. Three men attended the meeting openly carrying sidearms. They were prepared to ask the commissioners to change the policy.

    Fire Chief Al Church said the policy was revised after the district reviewed similar policies held by the cities of Federal Way and Des Moines. He said that no threats — legal or otherwise — had been made against the department, but that the policy had been talked about on pro-gun websites.

    “While we feel our old policy was legal,” Church said, “we think it makes sense to make a change that’s more in line with the other cities’ policies.”

    Reading from a prepared statement, fire commission chairman Bill Gates left open the possibility of changing the policy back at a future date.

    “We have for many years maintained a policy prohibiting the possession of firearms on our property by employees and visitors. We feel our policy is a good one that promotes workplace safety,” he said. “We will monitor whether the advised policy as applied over time adequately protects the safety of our employees, public officials and members of the public. If not, we will revisit the issue in the future and revise our policy accordingly.”

    Federal Way allows members of the public to carry while on municipal property. State law prohibits the carrying of guns in a few specific places, including courthouses, jails, police stations and mental health facilities. But state law pre-empts localities from enacting laws stricter than state guns laws.

    The right of a municipal employer to ban its employees from carrying guns was upheld in a state Supreme Court case, Cherry vs. Seattle Metro. That case, from the early 1990s, involved a bus driver who was fired for carrying various weapons, including a gun, while at work.

    Three Federal Way police officers were at Thursday’s meeting at the request of the fire district, said Commander Steve Neal.

    “We’re here on any legal issue that might come up,” Neal said.

    The three men who came to the meeting carrying guns were upbeat, talking to fire officials and police officers and showing off a photo of the armed men posing with state Attorney General Rob McKenna. One of the men, Tobin Titus, wearing a button down shirt and a holstered gun, cheerfully snapped photos of the meeting.

    “I caught wind that the fire chief and council here have a policy banning firearms from the public in the public places of buildings, which is in violation of state law,” said gun advocate Nick Smith. “We always say a right not exercised is a right lost.”

    When asked why one needs to carry a gun in a public place, and the possible effects of a citizen openly carrying, the men had differing answers.

    “Government officials, anti-gun people and all this and that keep coming up with all kinds of excuses to ban our Second Amendment rights,” said Jim Beal, a Des Moines resident, on why he came to the meeting. “It’s the Second Amendment of the Constitution. It’s just as important as the first. If we don’t have the (Second Amendment), we could lose all the others.”

    Beal was carrying a Tanfoglio .45 caliber pistol. Titus was carrying a SIG Sauer P226 and Smith was packing a SIG PT250.

    Titus, a Redmond resident, said that carrying a gun at public meetings is necessary because they and other public places can sometimes be dangerous. He referenced a recent incident in Florida where a man held a school board hostage with a gun.

    “You never know what people are going to do,” he said. “I like to be prepared for that situation. I never want to have to use (my gun). I am content if it never has to leave its holster — except for target shooting.”

    Smith said that he would not want to be excluded from bringing his daughters on a tour of a fire station just because he carries a gun.

    “I should be able to do that and not be discriminated against,” he said.

    Titus said that people either should not fear their fellow open-carrying citizens.

    “I wear it and people don’t react negatively to it,” Titus said. “I don’t think unless you’re antagonizing someone, and trying to point out that you have a firearm, that people are upset by it.”

    Washington is in the majority of states in allowing the open carrying of guns. Every state except Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, New York, Florida, South Carolina and the District of Columbia allow some form of open carry.

    Chruch said that he recognizes the strength of gun rights advocates, and that a number of local and national organizations watch out for Second Amendment matters. He said the department should focus on responding to emergencies, not guns.

    “I’d rather be running a fire department and not dealing with firearms issues,” Church said.

    After the meeting, Titus, Beal and Smith posed for a picture in front a sign at the entrance to fire Station 68 (where commissioner meetings are held) that read “no firearms,” with a picture of a six-shooter with a red line through it. They pondered how quickly the sign would be removed.



    Federal Way Mirror Reporter Neal McNamara can be reached at nmcnamara@federalwaymirror.com or 253-925-5565 ext. 5054
    Live Free or Die!

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G20-IWB24/7 View Post
    This is the BEST kind of win... the mere news that OCDO members are showing up, gets those involved to review, vote on, and unanimously pass an ordinance to align themselves in our favor. They may have taken the wind out of your sails by not allowing you to give your planned speeches before the resolution was passed, but not before their tails were between their legs on said issue.

    What's next, the threat of a phone-call to the next offending jurisdiction? "If you don't get rid of this illegal city ordinance, I'ma have Jim or Nick ----- (wait for it) ------ CALL YOU!!!!"

    Great job, Gentlemen! Wish I could have been there.
    Hopefull this is where we are headed.....
    Live Free or Die!

  8. #8
    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    It is a great win.As I said before people know who we are.Open Carry we just won't go away..We seem to turn up everywhere and know what we are talking about.The police officers were really good guys and we had a good conversation.Sending two members of the gang unit....really??
    I think the commisioner had it built up that a bunch of guys in camos and drop holsters were going to barge in shouting slogans.What the got was quite different.Actually the pic in the article of myself talking with the commisioner was a bit misleading,in that it turned out we chewed some of the same dirt in Vietnam and were trading war stories.

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    I was definitely surprised that an article with a picture of you popped up in my headlines on msnbc.com! Here's the link, it includes a quite dignified-looking picture.

    http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/south_ki...ate=03-14-2011

  10. #10
    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post

    A couple of additional shots at the meet.
    Last edited by DEROS72; 03-21-2011 at 09:03 PM.

  11. #11
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    This fire chief is really quite the [interesting character].

    COMMENTS EDITED BY ADMINISTRATOR: Gracious in victory we should be (in his best Yoda voice)
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    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Does anyone ever notice that no matter what county ,town,city etc that these issues come up its always OCDO folks that show up to deal with it.Iv'e never seen any other gun group ever show up to help deal with these issues.

  13. #13
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEROS72 View Post
    Does anyone ever notice that no matter what county ,town,city etc that these issues come up its always OCDO folks that show up to deal with it.Iv'e never seen any other gun group ever show up to help deal with these issues.
    Thats because we are geeks........

    Just ribbing Gray a bit from his posts in California.

    I agree Jim, I think it is because we live it, the 2A is real to us, it isn't a licensed privilege it is our right as humans.
    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)

  14. #14
    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Thats because we are geeks........

    Just ribbing Gray a bit from his posts in California.

    I agree Jim, I think it is because we live it, the 2A is real to us, it isn't a licensed privilege it is our right as humans.
    Exactly ,it is not a right someone can bestow or take away as some think.I would like to see some others join us in living this as we do.Or maybe there are and we just don't see them.

  15. #15
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEROS72 View Post
    Exactly ,it is not a right someone can bestow or take away as some think.I would like to see some others join us in living this as we do.Or maybe there are and we just don't see them.
    Oh way more people carry guns both legally and illegally than the so many of the anti's think.

    I know several people who don't have CPL's but they carry. I have no problem with it.
    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)

  16. #16
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Follow up...

    while out and about running errands today I stopped by the S. King Station #68 building and verified that the no guns sign was removed!
    Live Free or Die!

  17. #17
    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    while out and about running errands today I stopped by the S. King Station #68 building and verified that the no guns sign was removed!
    You mean they didn't just change it to "no unlawful weapons". Crazy!
    Guns don't kill people, bullets do!

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    You mean they didn't just change it to "no unlawful weapons". Crazy!
    Yep completely removed. I was actually surprised.
    Live Free or Die!

  19. #19
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    Yep completely removed. I was actually surprised.
    Did you go inside and visit with the firemen while OC'ing.
    "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?"

  20. #20
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Did you go inside and visit with the firemen while OC'ing.
    No. I was driving by on my way home and wanted to confirm the removal of the sign.
    Live Free or Die!

  21. #21
    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Showing up at these things makes a difference big time.

  22. #22
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    Awesome win, guys!
    "If you don't want to be shorn, don't be sheep!"

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