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Thread: School events at parks.

  1. #1
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    School events at parks.

    My wife and I decided to go to the park and go for a walk after breakfast yesterday. As we pulled into the park, there was some of the road blocked off and school busses parked in the parking lot, and kids everywhere. Some salmon event for the Pasco school kids. I drove down further to get away from the kids for a few then we took our walk, ( I was open carry). I was just wondering if the school can lease a public park, (Columbia park in Kennewick is actually leased from the army corps of engineers from the way I read the sign)? I didnt want to take a chance on being within 1000 feet of a school function. I need to do some research / homework.
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  2. #2
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    This is the only place in the RCW's where I feel you may have trouble, if you were to carry in the area around the students attending this function.
    "or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools"
    Of course we all know it will come down to how the courts will view this.

    RCW 9.41.280
    Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities Penalty Exceptions.

    (1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:
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  3. #3
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Good point NavyLt, that post made me look up the definition of facilities. It looks like it has to be a structure of some sort. And doesn't not mean the open ground. Never thought about it that way.

    http://www.businessdictionary.com/de.../facility.html
    facility
    Definitions (3)
    1. General: Permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary commercial or industrial property such as a building, plant, or structure, built, established, or installed for the performance of one or more specific activities or functions.

    2. Banking: Arrangement under which a bank or supplier extends an advantageous service (such as an overdraft or deferred payments) to a customer.

    3. Lodging: Accommodations, bars, restaurants, meeting rooms, and other core physical features attached to a hotel.
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    I would think the key word there is "Exclusively". In other words, did the school lease the entire park and close it down to the public in general. A school can lease public places for the exclusive use of the school where you have to be part of the school activity to enter the "Facility" but I think in your case they were on a field trip to the park and it wasn't reserved exclusively for the school. I think legally you could have walked right through the whole crowd of kids and be fine.

  5. #5
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Here is a couple and take away what you want but still as I have stated before, it will be left up to the judge likely to determine if this park area is considered a facility.

    I know numerous people refer to using the facilities as using the bathroom, shower, baseball, football, track or soccer fields so in light of this if this park had any amenities and the school at that point in time while being used exclusively by public or private schools.
    I do not know this event nor have attended it so others that have will have to describe it to see if it fits or not.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/facility

    facility [fəˈsɪlɪtɪ]
    n pl -ties
    1. ease of action or performance; freedom from difficulty
    2. ready skill or ease deriving from practice or familiarity
    3. (often plural) the means or equipment facilitating the performance of an action
    4. Rare easy-going disposition
    5. (Military) Military an organization or building offering supporting capability
    6. (usually plural) a euphemistic word for lavatory
    [from Latin facilitās, from facilis easy; see facile]

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/facility

    facility (Institution), noun agency, bureau, establishment, foundation, institute, organization, organized society, sodalitas
    Associated concepts: reinsurance facility
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  6. #6
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    AGO opinion 1994_No_001

    For these reasons, we believe the term "used exclusively" in RCW 9.41.280 refers to sole use, possession, or control of a facility, regardless of the duration of the use.
    Yours very truly,
    THORNTON WILSON
    Assistant Attorney General



    AGO_1994_No_001
    http://www.atg.wa.gov/AGOOpinions/op...rchive&id=9238

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1Gunr View Post
    AGO opinion 1994_No_001

    For these reasons, we believe the term "used exclusively" in RCW 9.41.280 refers to sole use, possession, or control of a facility, regardless of the duration of the use.
    Yours very truly,
    THORNTON WILSON
    Assistant Attorney General



    AGO_1994_No_001
    http://www.atg.wa.gov/AGOOpinions/op...rchive&id=9238
    In the circumstance you described it was a shared use...not "sole use"
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  8. #8
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1Gunr View Post
    AGO opinion 1994_No_001

    For these reasons, we believe the term "used exclusively" in RCW 9.41.280 refers to sole use, possession, or control of a facility, regardless of the duration of the use.
    Yours very truly,
    THORNTON WILSON
    Assistant Attorney General



    AGO_1994_No_001
    http://www.atg.wa.gov/AGOOpinions/op...rchive&id=9238
    Good find.
    Last edited by BigDave; 05-05-2011 at 12:01 AM.
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  9. #9
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    On the issue of exclusive, one would think if they reserved the park for this event then it would apply along with if it was found to be a facility.
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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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  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    On the issue of exclusive, one would think if they reserved the park for this event then it would apply along with if it was found to be a facility.
    http://forum.nwcdl.org/index.php?act...downfile&id=67

    Does "exclusively" mean prolonged exclusive use as when a school rents a building
    for an extended period solely for school activities, like an off campus classroom, or
    does it include sporadic use of a multi-use facility such as the Kingdome during the
    football playoffs?

    We conclude that the term "used exclusively" refers to uses where the school or schools have
    sole possession, control, or use of an area of a facility. It is not limited by the duration of the use.

    snip

    "Exclusive" is defined as "excluding or having power to
    exclude" and "limiting or limited to possession, control, or use (as by a single individual or
    organization or by a special group or class)". Webster's Third New International Dictionary 793
    (1981). Thus, if the school can exclude other potential users of a facility, the school has "exclusive
    use" of the facility. The definition, of itself, implies no limit on the duration of the exclusive use.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    there werent any signs. A few barackades closing off roads. Parents were there, and we could drive around most of the immediate area where the kids were. It looked as though the kids had displays up for the public to view. I have a CPL, but I didnt have my jacket, and my IWB holster is very irritating with no shirt between it and skin. We just wanted to walk and I didnt want to go out of my way, and change carry, I was already openly carrying, so we found a spot further down the road. Besides we had more fun watching the geese waddle around vs a bunch of kids we dont know.
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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Something to consider here as the event ran by the school at a local park so likely it was reserved for their event.
    The reason I say this is if someone was creating an annoyance that was disrupting the event and the police were called, would he or she be removed from the event?
    Roads being closed off, booths set up would indicate they have complete control over that portion of the park but likely not all of the park so exercising your right to open carry as you did I would see as being well with in your right, but if you were to join their activity then one would be in violation of state law.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    Something to consider here as the event ran by the school at a local park so likely it was reserved for their event.
    The reason I say this is if someone was creating an annoyance that was disrupting the event and the police were called, would he or she be removed from the event?
    Roads being closed off, booths set up would indicate they have complete control over that portion of the park but likely not all of the park so exercising your right to open carry as you did I would see as being well with in your right, but if you were to join their activity then one would be in violation of state law.
    While the roads were blocked, were there any other barricades to indicate the space was for the exclusive use by the School function? Ropes or fencing to prevent pedestrians from entering the area unless they were part of the function? Any signs indicating the "exclusive use"?

    Absent any of those it would be hard to make a claim of exclusive use although one might have to prove his point in court. THAT is the real issue.

    Frankly, the last place I would choose to go if I wanted a relaxing walk would be anywhere near a bunch of school kids. Not so much that the kids would be the problem, but their parents and the school staff. I find them all to be annoying.
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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Are we getting tied up into exclusive use as keeping out others or restricting them from entering? I do not think that this would be the case but more toward the exclusive use would be as in making a reservation or rental of that space making it exclusive for their purpose and use.
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    I keep reading people post about staying "1000 ft" away, but I don't recall seeing this requirement anywhere in the RCWs.

    Everything in 9.41.280 talks about being on "public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools." Either you are on the school's grounds, transportation, facilities, etc... or you aren't. 1 ft or 1000 ft outside makes no difference. So long as you aren't on/in the school's area, you're fine. Right?

    If I'm mistaken PLEASE let me know.
    Last edited by cbpeck; 05-05-2011 at 01:25 PM.

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    It is in Federal Law.

    18 USC 921 Definitions
    (a) As used in this chapter—
    (25) The term “school zone” means—
    (A) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or
    private school; or
    (B) within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of
    a public, parochial or private school.

    (26) The term “school” means a school which provides
    elementary or secondary education, as determined
    under State law.

    18 U.S.C. 922(q)
    2)(A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to
    possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects
    interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual
    knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.

    (B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a
    firearm -

    (i) on private property not part of school grounds;
    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do
    so by the State in which the school zone is located or a
    political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or
    political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains
    such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or
    political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified
    under law to receive the license;
    (iii) that is -
    (I) not loaded; and
    (II) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is
    on a motor vehicle;
    (iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school
    in the school zone;
    (v) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into
    between a school in the school zone and the individual or an
    employer of the individual;
    (vi) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official
    capacity; or
    (vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while
    traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to
    public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school
    premises is authorized by school authorities.
    (3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), it shall be
    unlawful for any person, knowingly or with reckless disregard for
    the safety of another, to discharge or attempt to discharge a
    firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or
    foreign commerce at a place that the person knows is a school zone.
    (B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the discharge of a firearm
    -
    (i) on private property not part of school grounds;
    (ii) as part of a program approved by a school in the school
    zone, by an individual who is participating in the program;
    (iii) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered
    into between a school in a school zone and the individual or an
    employer of the individual; or
    (iv) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official
    capacity.
    (4) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as preempting
    or preventing a State or local government from enacting a statute
    establishing gun free school zones as provided in this subsection.
    Last edited by BigDave; 05-05-2011 at 02:03 PM.
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    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

  17. #17
    Regular Member Lammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbpeck View Post
    I keep reading people post about staying "1000 ft" away, but I don't recall seeing this requirement anywhere in the RCWs.

    Everything in 9.41.280 talks about being on "public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools." Either you are on the school's grounds, transportation, facilities, etc... or you aren't. 1 ft or 1000 ft outside makes no difference. So long as you aren't on/in the school's area, you're fine. Right?

    If I'm mistaken PLEASE let me know.
    Federal law. 18 US Code 921(a)(25)(B): http://law.justia.com/codes/us/title18/18usc921.html

    PS - - BigDave beat me to this while I was looking it up.
    Last edited by Lammo; 05-05-2011 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Internet too slow this morning.
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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reminder, guys. The law is negated for those of us who carry our CPL, so it skipped my mind entirely.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    Are we getting tied up into exclusive use as keeping out others or restricting them from entering? I do not think that this would be the case but more toward the exclusive use would be as in making a reservation or rental of that space making it exclusive for their purpose and use.
    Wouldn't it be hard to make a case for exclusive for their purpose and use if they allowed the general public to wander in and out at will?
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  20. #20
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Wouldn't it be hard to make a case for exclusive for their purpose and use if they allowed the general public to wander in and out at will?
    Boils down to the definition of exclusive, is it exclusive if the school reserved the park area for an event put on by the school and invited the public.

    Definition of EXCLUSIVE
    1
    a : excluding or having power to exclude
    b : limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
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  21. #21
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    My personal opinion is it boils down to Cops and prosecutors and judges "interpret" which is not their job. We need to fight this type of thinking that there is "leeway" in the law.

    The law was intended to be used as a protection for the people against their government not the other way around. And if modern people in the judicial system would stick to our original intended legal system none of these conviction could or should ever be made.

    Where's the "mens rea"? Josh's case is a perfect example of how f'd up and tyrannical our system has become. You used to have to prove criminal intent. Ignorance is no excuse is not a justified offense in prosecuting. That is a Benthamite line of thinking which many communistic, socialistic, and autocratic societies subscribe to. This has been brought about by both the "authoritarian" conservative party and the "big government" liberal party.
    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)

  22. #22
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    My personal opinion is it boils down to Cops and prosecutors and judges "interpret" which is not their job. We need to fight this type of thinking that there is "leeway" in the law.

    The law was intended to be used as a protection for the people against their government not the other way around. And if modern people in the judicial system would stick to our original intended legal system none of these conviction could or should ever be made.

    Where's the "mens rea"? Josh's case is a perfect example of how f'd up and tyrannical our system has become. You used to have to prove criminal intent. Ignorance is no excuse is not a justified offense in prosecuting. That is a Benthamite line of thinking which many communistic, socialistic, and autocratic societies subscribe to. This has been brought about by both the "authoritarian" conservative party and the "big government" liberal party.
    +1
    If there was a penalty or some kind of recourse for a wrongful accusation, and judgement, they might be more apt to understand and follow the law. Like termination or being disbarred, and losing their seat on the bench.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    Boils down to the definition of exclusive, is it exclusive if the school reserved the park area for an event put on by the school and invited the public.

    Definition of EXCLUSIVE
    1
    a : excluding or having power to exclude
    b : limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group
    This is exactly it. There are very few times that schools actually rent places, it is just too expensive for them, but when they do I can assure you that the general public is excluded. Graduations are a good example of time when a facility is used exclusively by a school.

    Most field trips, which is more than likely what the OP stumbled across, are at places that are open to the public at the same time. I go every year to the Museum of Flight with a high school NJROTC class and it is certainly OK for anyone not on the field trip to carry a pistol during the time that the students are there. Same would go for the zoo. Schools simply go as a educational group but rarely rent a place exclusively for themselves. One year I drove myself to the zoo to chaperon my sons field trip to the zoo and since I wasn't riding the bus I CC'd. It was certainly lawful but I guarantee I would have been excluded on all future trips.

    There was only two trips per kid that was unlawful for me to carry, even if I did drive, and that was at a nature center called Camp Lively that was owned and operated by the school district for nature education of the kids.

    Hell you should try and go on a school field trip by school bus to Sub Base Bangor or Naval Whidbey. I would probably get in trouble for even wanting to carry during those two trips.
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