On Friday, February 12th, the rule banning firearms in Seattle parks was tossed out by King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer. The judge said the city cannot pre-empt state law. Washington State laws RCW 9.41.290 and RCW 9.41.300 say that there are certain places that cities can enact local laws to prohibit possession of firearms, but City property and parks are not included in that list.
On February 16, the issues was brought up at the city council meeting by a Mountlake Terrace resident. The man had noticed that the dog park has sign prohibiting firearms as well as other things such as food and smoking. Mountlake Terrace city code currently prohibits possession of firearms in the dog park.
A total of 2 Off Leash Dog Park rules and regulations signs are located at the entrance areas to the park and references prohibiting “firearms” have since been removed from the signs. The next step will be to amend the city code to remove the references to “firearms.”
UPDATE 3/11 12:00PM: Today a federal judge
upheld the ban (the judge actually only said the ban was constitutional, the city still cannot regulate firearms more restrictively than the State does) on firearms in Seattle parks and community centers. It is unknown if this will have any affect on the City’s decision to remove the ban on firearms in the dog park. I have a question in to the City and will update this when I hear back.
UPDATE 3/11 3PM: Here is a quote by Mountlake Terrace City Manager John Caulfield on the isse:
It is anticipated that the parties in this case will be appealing to higher courts and once all appeals have been exhausted and case law has been established, we’ll be able to take action to ensure we are compliant with whatever the courts determine.John CaulfieldCity Manager
[image courtesy Mykl Roventine]