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Thread: Violation of Preemption?

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    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    Violation of Preemption?

    Twice in the past two weeks I have encountered signs at parks indicating that possession and/or use of firearms is prohibited. One was at Rattlesnake Lake and the other was at a park in Mountlake Terrace where I am currently living. It is my understanding that WA state preemption laws prohibit cities from enacting stricter rules than the state and this is an example. I remember the mayor of Seattle being ridiculed for trying to enact and enforce similar legislation there. I can provide pictures for one of the parks in a day or two. Feedback?

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    Yes that would be a violation of preemption if the parks are city owned. Several of us have been down that road. First you'll want to find the city ordinance that is banning firearms from parks. Then start a letter writing campaign. Contact the mayor and city counsel first. I had to go to a friendly local senator in order to be heard. Others have also gone to public meetings when they wouldn't respond to them. Either way it is a tedious process, but is achievable. I wouldn't worry about the pictures, rather find the laws that are being preempted and get to work.

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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayd1981 View Post
    I wouldn't worry about the pictures,
    You remember the ole saying about pictures? Just me, but I would take the pictures, you never know when they will come in handy, prove a point, be introduced as evidence, or a nice 8x10 visual aid at a council meeting showing all how the council insists on willingly defying state law.
    I say document with pictures.
    Last edited by jbone; 06-20-2011 at 12:35 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Do they enforcethe rule? Have you approached the park people and asked about the validity of the sign? I have been told that some parks cannot or will not replace the sign due to finances. My park (bloedell-donovan, it is across the street from me), has a sign with "Not Permitted" sign that lists all kinds of crap. One line has been painted over, the line that USED to say, "No Firearms". It is an easy fix.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    We're going to see signs out there for years to come that are outdated and have bad info on them. There's NO MONEY in anyone's budget in times like this for replacement of every incorrect sign.

    I have a better question, "Has anyone received a citation for just carrying a firearm in a park in the last year?"
    "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 tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    Do they enforcethe rule? Have you approached the park people and asked about the validity of the sign? I have been told that some parks cannot or will not replace the sign due to finances. My park (bloedell-donovan, it is across the street from me), has a sign with "Not Permitted" sign that lists all kinds of crap. One line has been painted over, the line that USED to say, "No Firearms". It is an easy fix.
    I personally don't care if they're enforcing it. If the sign is there 20+ years after it was repealed by the state, they are just using finances as an excuse to coerce those ignorant of the law from doing what is legal. At some point it may be necessary to prosecute those that are blatantly ignoring state law in an attempt to misinform the public and create an illusion of a ban on firearms.
    Guns don't kill people, bullets do!

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    Regular Member Lante's Avatar
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    As far as there being no money for signs Seattle has shown everyone the way with there new parking hours and rates"signs"
    What they have done is print stickers with the new information and stick them over the old information.. when told there is no money for new signs this should be the valid alternative.

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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    If the sign is there 20+ years after it was repealed by the state, they are just using finances as an excuse to coerce those ignorant of the law from doing what is legal. At some point it may be necessary to prosecute those that are blatantly ignoring state law in an attempt to misinform the public and create an illusion of a ban on firearms.
    Well said!

    I wonder how much tax payer cash has been spent across the state printing and posting illegal bans, since preemption. I wonder how many completed work orders are on file across the state that prove monies spent on printing and post of illegal bans, since preemption.

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    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    Yes that is definitely a violation all the sings really do is deter people from open carrying who don't know any better. Kitsap county where I am still has a few of theses sings up ever after the county announced they would be removing them a few years ago. I recently saw a few still posted at island lake in silverdale and when I asked they parks department why they had not been removed I was told because they didn't have a big enough budget to pay anyone to go around and remove all of them.

    RCW 9.41.290 State preemption.

    The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.
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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=fire suppressor;1556846they didn't have a big enough budget to pay anyone to go around and remove all of them.[/QUOTE]
    Call them out! them them you know folks that will volunteer to hang them for free, and what day can you stop by to pick up the signs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbone View Post
    You remember the ole saying about pictures? Just me, but I would take the pictures, you never know when they will come in handy, prove a point, be introduced as evidence, or a nice 8x10 visual aid at a council meeting showing all how the council insists on willingly defying state law.
    I say document with pictures.
    At this point he hasn't even posted if there is a law in violation yet. Worrying about pictures before finding the law is kinda like putting the cart before the horse. Atleast to me that is.

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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayd1981 View Post
    At this point he hasn't even posted if there is a law in violation yet. Worrying about pictures before finding the law is kinda like putting the cart before the horse. Atleast to me that is.
    The OP is saying they will take I picture of your (cart) why discourage, let picture be taken. The order in which the OP tackles the issue at this early stage is not dependant on the horse coming first. It appears to be very preliminary fact finding anyway. Nothing unorthodox about retrieving the cart and attaching the horse later.

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    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    Mountlake Terrace City Code

    My first impression is that the signs are outdated the information that I have found in MLT's City Code pertaining to firearms only regulates DISCHARGE in city parks -- which is within their rights according to WA's preemption law:

    Mountlake Terrace City Code Chapter 12.10.I (Parks and Recreation, Rules and Regulation): Conducting or participating in activities on public park grounds that may be harmful or injurious to individuals or park property, i.e. model airplane flying, archery, shooting firearms, tackle football, golf, playing baseball in undesignated areas, igniting or discharging common or special fireworks as classified by the State Fireworks Law, or other hazardous activities, shall be prohibited, unless approved, authorized and supervised by the Recreation and Park Department.

    The city recognizes RCW 9.41 as the legal authority pertaining to firearms based on the code itself. I will follow up with both the city council and the police department (as to if the signage is actually enforced, not its legality). My source can be found here: http://www.mrsc.org/mc/_toc/mountlaketerrace.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by acmariner99 View Post
    I have encountered signs at parks indicating that possession and/or use of firearms is prohibited.
    Use of firearms can be legally prohibited. Possession cannot.

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    Well it sounds like there is no preemption violation. Write letters (emails) to the city parks department to let them know their signs are outdated and misleading. Hopefully this can be rectified at a fairly low level if they are willing to coorperate.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayd1981 View Post
    Well it sounds like there is no preemption violation. Write letters (emails) to the city parks department to let them know their signs are outdated and misleading. Hopefully this can be rectified at a fairly low level if they are willing to coorperate.
    And then we'll just have to wait until they have money to make new signs so they can be replaced (or altered which also costs money).
    "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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    When a citizen makes a mistake the goverment entity does not give us much time to pay the fine or fix the problem. It does not seem to mater to the goverment if you are out of work, broke or your car just broke down. They should have to remove or repair the signs in a reasonable time frame. By allowing the goverment to get away with more than they allow a citizen to get away with we are giving the goverment agency more power over the citizens. It needs to be the other way around every time we do this it empowers them more. The signs are wrong take them down.

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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orphan View Post
    When a citizen makes a mistake the goverment entity does not give us much time to pay the fine or fix the problem. It does not seem to mater to the goverment if you are out of work, broke or your car just broke down. They should have to remove or repair the signs in a reasonable time frame. By allowing the goverment to get away with more than they allow a citizen to get away with we are giving the goverment agency more power over the citizens. It needs to be the other way around every time we do this it empowers them more. The signs are wrong take them down.
    Well said. I think 20 years is more than enough time.
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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    This is the sign at the entrance of Boedel-Donovan. In pic two you see the quick and easy fix. If you have a problem with your sign, maybe a "local vandal" would volunteer a bit of tape or paint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    However, there is a coercion violation.
    Not saying I disagree with you as I definately see this as coercion too. But I cannot find any precedence or even a city or official being charged for a similar crime.

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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayd1981 View Post
    Not saying I disagree with you as I definately see this as coercion too. But I cannot find any precedence or even a city or official being charged for a similar crime.
    Maybe it's about time we made an example of one. I vote Puyallup. They seem to be really into coercing the public with statements like "we don't think that right now is a good time to be reviewing firearms laws". As if their stupid laws weren't already repealed by the state.
    Guns don't kill people, bullets do!

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    Maybe it's about time we made an example of one. I vote Puyallup. They seem to be really into coercing the public with statements like "we don't think that right now is a good time to be reviewing firearms laws". As if their stupid laws weren't already repealed by the state.
    Why waste the time and effort? The State already did the job for them when they passed "preemption". You know, that part where all local laws were rendered repealed.

    I'd rather see a concerted effort on either getting ".270" repealed, re-written, or have some definitions added so gun owners can no longer be intimidated or coerced by LEO's and Prosecutors.

    I ask again, has anyone actually received a citation in any of these parks for carrying a firearm in the last couple of years? If not, then it's just a sign that has no meaning. .270, on the other hand, has claimed a victim or two and needs the attention.
    "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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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Serial Misinformation.

    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Why waste the time and effort? The State already did the job for them when they passed "preemption". You know, that part where all local laws were rendered repealed.

    I'd rather see a concerted effort on either getting ".270" repealed, re-written, or have some definitions added so gun owners can no longer be intimidated or coerced by LEO's and Prosecutors.

    I ask again, has anyone actually received a citation in any of these parks for carrying a firearm in the last couple of years? If not, then it's just a sign that has no meaning. .270, on the other hand, has claimed a victim or two and needs the attention.
    Why? Serial Misinformation.

    The longer these types of signs exist, the longer the general public (including the CC only crowd who does not frequent the expertise on this site) believes that it is illegal to carry in a park. I would venture to guess that 75% or more of gun owners have been duped by the local governments by leaving these types of signs in place.

    Scenario...

    8 year old boy is taught right and wrong by his parents. See's sign in park.
    12 year old boy playing in park see's the sign.
    16 year old boy is taught in school that guns are bad. See's sign in park during summer.
    21 year old man buys first handgun, joins the NRA and gets his CPL. See's sign in park.
    22 year old man still believes that the sign is correct 14 years after he first saw the sign.

    If you see and official government sign over and over through the years you will generally believe it is legitimate. Not everyone who owns a firearm is as educated as those of us who frequent this forum.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    Why? Serial Misinformation.

    The longer these types of signs exist, the longer the general public (including the CC only crowd who does not frequent the expertise on this site) believes that it is illegal to carry in a park. I would venture to guess that 75% or more of gun owners have been duped by the local governments by leaving these types of signs in place.

    Scenario...

    8 year old boy is taught right and wrong by his parents. See's sign in park.
    12 year old boy playing in park see's the sign.
    16 year old boy is taught in school that guns are bad. See's sign in park during summer.
    21 year old man buys first handgun, joins the NRA and gets his CPL. See's sign in park.
    22 year old man still believes that the sign is correct 14 years after he first saw the sign.

    If you see and official government sign over and over through the years you will generally believe it is legitimate. Not everyone who owns a firearm is as educated as those of us who frequent this forum.
    I don't disagree with your premise. The point still remains that these signs will remain until such time as they fall down, are burned down, defaced beyond recognition, or otherwise just disappear. With the financial state every level of government is in these are the last things they will be spending ANY money on. We can want them changed all we want but just remember the old saying about "wishing in one hand and @#$%ing in the other". Those signs will be there long after your "wished in hand" ever fills with anything.

    You also fail to give the person in your example credit for having a brain. That same person probably read the news or saw the Seattle Park's controversy on TV and realizes that the "sign" means nothing more than "don't shoot in the park". If they're not smart enough to figure that out do you really want them in the park? They might well be the type of person that isn't smart enough to realize that you can't shoot at the group next to you because their radio is too loud and they're having too much fun.
    "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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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    I don't disagree with your premise. The point still remains that these signs will remain until such time as they fall down, are burned down, defaced beyond recognition, or otherwise just disappear. With the financial state every level of government is in these are the last things they will be spending ANY money on. We can want them changed all we want but just remember the old saying about "wishing in one hand and @#$%ing in the other". Those signs will be there long after your "wished in hand" ever fills with anything.

    You also fail to give the person in your example credit for having a brain. That same person probably read the news or saw the Seattle Park's controversy on TV and realizes that the "sign" means nothing more than "don't shoot in the park". If they're not smart enough to figure that out do you really want them in the park? They might well be the type of person that isn't smart enough to realize that you can't shoot at the group next to you because their radio is too loud and they're having too much fun.
    I am giving them credit for having a brain. This scenario (albeit simplified) is one I encounter at every gun show that I sit behind the OCDO table and talk with regular gun owners.

    Thinking outloud....where do I get a high quality metalic tape (in brown and white) that would be sufficient to last on a metal sign in adverse weather? Hmmmm
    Live Free or Die!

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