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Supreme Court holding will not advance Seattle Mayor’s proposed gun ban

June 27, 2008

The Supreme Court has not legitimized Seattle Mayor Greg Nickel’s executive order to ban guns from city property, though he evidently thinks it has. Unlike the situation in Washington, D.C., what snares Nickels’s aspiration to disarm his city is Washington state law, Western to the core in its ethos, and more protective of its citizens’ right to keep and bear arms that the Second Amendment. Washington state law preempts all local law in the state. 

Another minor hindrance, over which Nickels could probably more easily exert influence to change, is the Seattle Municipal Code.

I don’t think it likely that Mayor Nickels will persuade the Washington State Legislature to alter state law so that people with CPLs cannot carry their firearms in Seattle parks. Restrictions on carrying in public buildings are specifically enumerated in the state statute.  Hint:  Seattle City Hall is not included in the no-guns-allowed list.

I suspect Mayor Nickels will only seriously annoy state Democrats if he attempts to incite an overhaul of state law. Even liberals in Washington state know their populist roots and are responsive to gun advocates. The ban is a bad idea whose time is nearly up. But I don’t think the mayor will take no for an immediate answer.

Mayor Nickels’s arrogant “so sue me” attitude affronts taxpayers. Sue him, sure; it’s not his money. We can hope no one will have to sue to prove state law means what it says it means, even as the Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment means what it says it means.

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One Comment
  1. June 27, 2008 8:21 am

    Good collection of resources. Once again I’ll repeat from the statute you linked to that restrictions, even in convention centers, etc., do not apply to people with CPLs:

    “(2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:
    . . .
    (b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:

    (i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060. . .”

    It doesn’t matter what the US Supremes say in this case. Washington state law and Constitution control, even for those who can’t read plain English.

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