Seattle mayor moving forward with gun ban

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<broken link removed>
NICKELS’ PROPOSED GUN BAN WILL BE CHALLENGED, SAF, CCRKBA PROMISE
For Immediate Release: 3/24/2009

BELLEVUE, WA – Once again when faced with a controversy, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is reviving his plan to ban legally-carried firearms from city property, and the Second Amendment Foundation today promises once again to immediately take him to court.

“This time around,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “Mayor Nickels needs to raise this issue to distract public attention from the political smell arising from the snow plowing investigation. We remind the mayor that his office has been warned by Attorney General Rob McKenna that neither he, nor the city, has the authority to enact such a ban under state preemption.

“Mayor Nickels thinks he can enact this ban merely by executive order,” Gottlieb observed. “He’s not even thinking of putting this before the city council as a proposed ordinance, because he knows it would never pass. Greg Nickels is the mayor of Seattle, not the emperor of a city-state.”

Nickels’ plan was revealed by the Seattle Weekly Tuesday morning. A spokesman for the mayor’s office told the newspaper that the ban “is expected to begin sometime in May.” Gottlieb said SAF expects to be joined in a legal action by other gun rights organizations.

“Mayor Nickels evidently believes he is above the law, and that ‘if the mayor does it, it is not illegal’,” said Joe Waldron, legislative director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “You might as well call him ‘President Nixon’.”

“At the public hearing on this issue in December,” Gottlieb recalled, “people were literally lining up to be involved in a lawsuit. Nickels and his staff are trying to portray the opposition as coming from outside the city, but that argument is specious at best. Whether people just visit the city frequently, work in Seattle or live there, they have every right to expect Seattle to comply with state statute.

“If the mayor thinks this will divert attention away from the snow plowing controversy,” Gottlieb said, “he’s mistaken. This ploy won’t cure that headache. It will only give him another.”
 
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It's a win-win for him: either he ultimately prevails in court and gets his ban, or he fails and "at least he fought the good fight" in the eyes of those who typically vote for him. Plus, he'll use the loss to "prove" to Olympia that a legislative solution is needed (or, that's how he'll spin it down there).

I could also see a strategy where they use this as a tool to trespass (remove) people w/ guns from parks/city property, but never actually file any charges. If charges get dropped, do pro-2a advocates have a case to chase through the legal system? I don't know - not a lawyer.

I could also see this never getting used at all, but simply put out there for show or maybe used at some future date when people aren't paying attention.

I spoke w/ Joe Waldron about this at the WAC show last weekend. They're plan is apparently to take this up in Federal Court. Not sure if I agree with that since I think they have a stronger case in State Court, but I imagine they're trying to build Federal case law for other purposes.

Anyway, we'll see.
 
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From the <broken link removed> :

Mayor Nickels Moving Forward With Gun Ban

By Don Ward in City of Seattle
Tuesday, Mar. 24 2009 @ 4:37AM

Mayor Greg Nickels is going forward with a controversial executive order which would ban "dangerous weapons" - including firearms - on Seattle owned parks and properties. An exact date has not been set yet for when the ban will go into effect. However, a spokesman for the Mayor's office said the ban is currently expected to begin sometime in May.

Coincidentally, this places the time somewhere around the one-year anniversary of the freak shooting incident at Folklife, last year, that left two people injured and was the casus belli for the order.

The move also comes in spite of legal concerns questioning whether the city can unilaterally prohibit firearms owners, particularly those possessing Concealed Pistol Licenses, from exercising their legal rights.

Since announcing his intentions to eliminate the possession of firearms on city-owned properties, Nickels' gun ban has slipped in and out of the shadows of public attention. Carefully worded media releases and televised press conferences are followed by a hail of invective aimed at City Hall from local and national talk show hosts, political bloggers, pundits and defenders of the Second Amendment.

On Dec. 15, months after the initial furor over the ban had died down, and after most political experts had concluded the weapons ban was a dead end, the City held a public meeting to solicit input from the public after Mayor Nickels had surprisingly reiterated his intent to proceed.

The meeting was attended by several department heads of the City but not the Mayor.

Over 150 citizens showed up, most of whom were opposed to the ban. And far from being the stereotypical gathering of right wing out-of-towners that the city tried to portray the crowd as, at least half or more were Seattleites and many of them were self-described liberals, women or sexual minorities.

The State Attorney General's Office has repeatedly warned the City that Nickels was treading on a legally hazardous path with the executive order, citing the concept of pre-emption. When informed, last week, of the Mayor's plans to move forward, Attorney General Rob McKenna's office released this statement.

"Our office's opinion clearly states that state law pre-empts a city's authority to enact local laws that prohibit the possession of firearms on city property or in city-owned facilities. Moving forward with the firearms rule could subject the city to legal challenges from private citizens."

The Mayor's office has its own legal interpretation stemming from a variety of city firearms ordinances across Washington and also a State Supreme Court ruling allowing the City of Sequim to prohibit a gun show on city property.

Whether the Mayor or AG is correct, when the executive order goes into effect, it is likely the courts will have a say. However, there was one final venue where the conflict over interpreting pre-emption might have been bypassed.

The State Legislature this session could have stepped forward with a bill that would clarify the issue and officially negate any remaining legal difficulties.

According to the Mayor's spokesman, Alex Fryer, the odds of that legislation being passed look slim at the moment. Chatting with him, last week, Fryer said the city has so many more pressing issues facing it in Olympia, such as obtaining funding for the Viaduct Tunnel and Mercer Mess, that its lobbyists don't have the time to press for additional favors.

What was unsaid was the lobbyists haven't been able to press legislators for a favor as politically explosive as gun control. At any rate, legislation from Olympia or no, it looks like Mayor Nickels is moving forward with the ban.
 
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You know, the City of Miami have such a reputation for doing things THEIR way it is often referred to as "the Republic of Miami". Seattle is so "other", even when compared to the radical Pacific Northwest, perhaps it should be a candidate for its own moniker. Something like "The United Emirates of Seattle", perhaps even "the Kingdom of Nickels"
 
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Have there been any "peaceful demonstrations" involving open carry over Czar Nickels' attack on our Constitutional Rights? When Nickels' last disrespected us with this attack, I wrote the Governor asking that she have him arrested.

perhaps it should be a candidate for its own moniker
Since the 1940s the moniker Soviet Seattle has been pretty popular..
 
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I've been trying to find supporting documentation on my Soviet Seattle comment and came up with this...

Communism made a larger impact on Washington than almost any other state. "There are forty-seven states in the Union, and the Soviet of Washington," Postmaster General James Farley joked in 1936. The remark, for all its exaggeration, had some foundation.
 
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I sent Seattle's Mayor Nickels a letter explaning why his idea to ban guns from city property was a bad one.

This is the Mayor's reply:


Thank you for your correspondence regarding a “gun free” policy for city property.

The gun regulations in our state are some of the weakest in the country. While we have severe penalties for those who commit crimes with guns, state laws do very little to prevent convicted felons, children and the mentally ill from obtaining firearms. For many years the legislature has failed to pass common sense legislation that would protect our citizens by keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. For example, our state allows mentally ill persons who have been involuntarily committed for fewer than 90 days to purchase and possess firearms. This year, the City of Seattle and the State Attorney General supported legislation that would have closed this mental health loophole, but the legislature failed to act on it.

The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that cities may impose conditions related to firearms use on city property. The court held that certain types of firearms regulations related to city-owned property do not violate the State’s preemption statute.

I have directed city departments to adopt rules and policies related to firearms and other dangerous weapons that are permitted under the state’s preemption law. These rules do not infringe on Second Amendment rights nor do they violate the state’s laws and ordinances regulating firearms. While these new rules may inconvenience some gun owners who wish to bring their guns on city property, they will result in safer activities and events for all residents and visitors to our city.

We are currently studying how to appropriately enforce this order, beginning with signage and other notices of the rules. No rule, policy or regulation can stop all violent acts from occurring. However, we do know that by reducing the number of guns and dangerous weapons that are brought onto city property, the less chance there will be for violence to occur.

Thank you again for contacting the City of Seattle.

Sincerely,

GREG NICKELS
Mayor of Seattle

This is my reply:


Dear Mayor Nickels:

Thank you for your reply to my inquiry regarding your recent Executive Order establishing “gun-free” zones on city-owned properties.

I must ask on what data do you rely for your conclusion that gun laws prevent violent crime? I have diligently researched this issue as objectively as possible, and have found nothing credible to support such a theory.

Simply put: Violent criminals do not respect gun laws or any other laws – and responsible citizens do not commit violent crimes. You write that “…state laws do very little to prevent convicted felons, children and the mentally ill from obtaining firearms.” That is correct – at least as far as it goes. I would assert that NO laws can prevent such things from occurring.

Felons will obtain firearms as long as there are firearms on the planet – regardless of the law. Children must be prevented from handling firearms unsafely by their parents – not by any law. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if the state is truly interested in protecting children, they would initiate firearms safety courses in the public schools. Just as teaching “safe sex” practices presumably does not encourage children to engage in sexual acts – neither would learning about firearm safety encourage the use of firearms. However it would make children safer if and when they did encounter a firearm. There is already a policy in effect to restrict persons with mental illness from obtaining firearms. A court-ordered involuntary commitment of more than 14 days will disqualify them from legally possessing a firearm. If they chose to commit an act of criminal violence, they can still obtain a firearm illegally – just as any other criminal can. Keep in mind also that horrific criminal violence can be committed with any number of other weapons: from axes to sharp sticks.

Laws restricting law-abiding citizens from possessing firearms have never – and never will – eliminate or even reduce instances of criminal violence. One need only look at the crime statistics for cities such as Chicago and Washington D.C. – cities that have had laws on the books for decades banning responsible citizens from protecting themselves in their own homes – to see that gun laws simply don’t work. Since the gun bans went into effect in those cities, violent crime has escalated significantly, while in most other cities it has gone down.

If you can produce one iota of credible evidence these new rules “…will result in safer activities and events for all residents and visitors to our city…” or that “…by reducing the number of guns and dangerous weapons that are brought onto city property, the less chance there will be for violence to occur…” - I will join you in your crusade.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, it can be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that an increase in the number of firearms available in a community has no negative correlation with the level of violent crime. In fact, the opposite appears to be true based on several large-scale studies of the subject. Although I will not make the claim that more guns in a community are responsible for reductions in violent crime; I can say that in most every city in which concealed permits are issued on a “shall issue” basis – violent crime has gone down – not up

On the other hand, if you cannot provide any evidence to the contrary – you should immediately cease and desist from infringing the rights of the citizens of our beloved city by making it illegal to defend oneself against criminal violence on city-owned property.

Respectfully yours,

Robert Gallaher
 
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I never received a response from the mayor to my response. And I'm not suspending my respiratory functions while waiting for one. He (they) gave their prepared stock answer. They are apparently unable to think beyond that.
 
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So he bans weapons in the city.

So what?

Not a lawyer, but I would imagine you can appeal, to the state, and charges will be dropped. Then counter-sue for false arrest, etc etc.

No?


Obviously looking past the inconvenience of being arrested and held, for any length of time, before that happened.
 
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From today's Seattle-PI article:

If you are elected again, what would your No. 1 goal be for the next four years?

I've set out four priorities. Those have been very consistent from day one. The fundamental job of city government is protecting the public. The neighborhood policing initiative that we've started is a way to take what is already a very safe city -- I think it was Farmer's recently called us the safest big city in America -- we have the lowest crime rate in 40 years and yet there are communities you go to and the don't feel safe. … We need to keep our kids safe, change the culture of violence that is affecting far too many of our kids and seeing them be victims of gun violence. That's job number one -- the safety of the city.
 
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Well...it's hard to argue with that...as long as it doesn't involve restricting the self-defense rights of those who are legally armed.
He's shifting rhetoric on this issue. Another example is the Chamber's trip to Montreal. These trips usually focus on a number of topics in the host city and the original trip description included this topic:

Gun Control in a Major Metropolitan Environment
Latest trip description changed to this:

Preventing Youth Violence and Reducing Street Gang Crime
The question is whether he's changing the subject to throw-off gun rights advocates or to lower expectations for gun control advocates given the difficulties he'll face in enacting a gun ban on City property. We'll see.
 
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The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that cities may impose conditions related to firearms use on city property. The court held that certain types of firearms regulations related to city-owned property do not violate the State’s preemption statute.
Really? Then why has the State Supreme Court told Major Five Pennies that what he is doing is illegal?

I have directed city departments to adopt rules and policies related to firearms and other dangerous weapons that are permitted under the state’s preemption law. These rules do not infringe on Second Amendment rights nor do they violate the state’s laws and ordinances regulating firearms. While these new rules may inconvenience some gun owners who wish to bring their guns on city property, they will result in safer activities and events for all residents and visitors to our city.
Again, really? Tell me how disarming a legal citizen makes parks safer for all residents and visitors? I can not carry my legal firearm that I have a state authorized CPL with me onto a Seattle owned park whereas criminals, that don't obey laws, are able roam at will.

Last... stay tuned for the lawsuits the minute he signs the papers.
Let's see, the city has to defend themselves in court with taxpayers money trying to do something that is illegal to start with. Yup, makes sense to me. :nuts:
 

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