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Seattle parks gun ban "is constitutional"

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Chee-to, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/416554_guns12.html?source=rss

    Judge: Seattle parks gun ban is constitutional

    Friday, March 12, 2010
    Last updated 12:42 p.m. PT

    By CASEY MCNERTHNEY
    SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

    A federal judge has ruled Seattle's ban on carrying firearms in city parks and community centers is constitutional.

    Plaintiff Robert Warden, of Kent, sued the city and Mayor Greg Nickels, challenging the constitutionality of the rule created by the Seattle Parks Department that makes it illegal to carry concealed firearms or display firearms at certain parks facilities where "children and youth are likely to be present and . . . appropriate signage has been posted to communicate to the public that firearms are not permitted at the facility."

    The park rule was created after former Nickels issued an executive order on June 6, 2008, directing city departments to create rules and policies to "prohibit the possession of dangerous weapons, including firearms, on city property."

    Ont Nov. 14 -- a day after Warden e-mailed reporters and city staff members saying he intended to carry a handgun into the Southwest Community Center -- he did so with his Glock-27 .40-caliber sub-compact pistol.

    Parks Department employee Lisa Harrison asked him to leave, and he did.

    "I'm not here as a Second Amendment activist," Warden said that day. "I'm here as a citizen who believes in the rule of law."

    Warden had supporters, including National Rife Association members, who said Nickels was out of line with the gun ban, something prompted after a shooting injured two bystanders at the 2008 Northwest Folklife Festival.

    Nickels said the ban was intended to protect children. Warden objected to that reasoning.

    In her order dated Thursday, U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman granted a motion to dismiss the suit in full, writing that Warden's "Second Amendment claim fails for the simple reason that the Second Amendment does not apply to the City of Seattle under current 9th Circuit law."

    Pechman said Warden's equal protection claim is without merit.

    Warden's "state constitutional claim is flawed because (he) has not demonstrated why the regulation is not permissible under the prevailing state law," she wrote.

    Last month, King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled in favor of the Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Washington Arms Collectors, NRA and five individual plaintiffs, stating the gun ban is in direct violation of Washington state's firearm pre-emption law.

    Plantiffs say the statute is intended to keep local governments from trumping state firearms laws.
     
  2. JUSTIficatioN

    JUSTIficatioN Seattle, Wa Member

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    ok, just to clear it up, the civil suit was thrown out, but the ban itself is not in effect anymore, correct? or no?
     
  3. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

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    Yes...I think...

    I think what this means is that from constitutionally point of view the ban is ok but because of state laws, it is not. State law prohibits cities from trumping guns laws.

    I think Warden is not too upset. I don't think he was in it for the money. :) I am sure he filed months before the Superior court decision. What troubles me is that if Seattle wins its appeal, WA gun owners will lose big.
     
  4. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I still do not like it when a judge can make a decision like this that effects us all. It would be his/her opinion that the Constitution said this or that. I think the Representatives of the people should make laws, pass laws and remove old useless laws and remove laws that the people want removed. No disrespect to any Judges but I think they should enforce the laws that's in the law books not try and decide if the laws are Constitutional or not.
     
  5. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'll put it this way..It was unlawful for me to carry a handgun in the city limits of Washington D.C but now a group of judges says now I can. It is at this moment unlawful for me to carry a handgun in the city limits of Chicago. Soon we will here again from a group of judges if I can start caring handguns again in that city. In Washington state it is unlawful to carry a handgun in a city park. A judge decided again that it should be unlawful for me to carry there. Here in Portland Oregon it is unlawful for me to have a loaded magazine while in the public areas of the city limits. Are any of these Constitutional? Do we all as the Citizens of the United States of America continue to let a few citizens among us make the decisions for us all? And when they make decisions that we do not agree with, will we continue to let them not represent us, the Constitution or the Laws that WE believe? A JUDGE OR GROUP OF JUDGES ARE NOT THE ALL KNOWING INFALLIBLE KINGS AND RULERS OF OUR LAND! They are working for us. Right? Or do they rule the United States?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  6. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Exactly...not only that, when a FEDERAL SUPREME COURT JUDGE states that the providences cannot overrule the state- then they make a ban for the cities (which contradicts DC vs Heller) and then they state it IS Constitutional? When does a state judge ever overrule a federal supreme court judge?
     
  7. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    A federal judge has ruled Seattle's ban on carrying firearms in city parks and community centers is constitutional.

    However, city officials said guns are not banned in Seattle parks.

    Last month, a King County Superior Court judge ruled the gun ban is in direct violation of Washington state's firearm pre-emption law.

    Wow! Sounds like a bunch of foolishness to me. " yes its constitutional in city parks..well not there..its a direct violation..."

    This is exactually why I say the People should stand up and tell the Representatives to get to work!
     
  8. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

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    One other problem is all these cases move along the court system slower than molasses. I wonder if Judge Pechman took Judge Shaffer's decision under consideration, which is in complete contradiction with her opinion ("state constitutional claim is flawed because (he) has not demonstrated why the regulation is not permissible under the prevailing state law").

    I wonder what legal recourses are left to Warden disposal.
     
  9. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Like **** it is. :angry:
     
  10. slideglider

    slideglider PDX Member

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    This is a good reason to support the 10th amendment foundation(or equivalent)nullification and succession. As well as the Fire Arms Freedom Act. http://firearmsfreedomact.com/ In this instance, the State judge is abiding by the state constitution as well as the 2nd amendment. He is following both laws as written. The Federal judge is not. Which shows the federal disregard for state's rights and sovereignty. This falls under both the State law as well as the 2nd amendment. But the 2nd amendment trumps state law in this instance, as long as Washington stays in the Union and abides by that contract. Nullification and supporting the FFA would get rid of a bunch of hoopla.
     
  11. TCOV

    TCOV OLYMPIC PENINSULA Active Member

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    I don't see this FEDERAL COURT decision as anything to worry about. It just says that Seattles' ordinance did not go against FEDERAL LAW. I don't really understand why someone would have challenged the ordinance in FEDERAL COURT as a first move. The STATE COURT ruled the ordinance invalid because only the STATE LEGISLATURE can set gun laws. The STATE has jurisdiction here as long as they don't violate US CONSTITUTION which does allow for some regulation of firearms per the latest court decisions. There are cases going through the courts now that may clear things up, or not.
    The Seattle gun ban in parks is NOT IN FORCE at this time and is unlikely to be reinstated unless there is a successful challenge to the STATE COURT ruling which is not likely.
     
  12. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    One of the greatest flaws of the Republic is the inclusion of a supreme State/Federal judiciary

    Too much power over every aspect of our lives, given to a few traitors in black robes
     
  13. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    It is quite interesting that some among us that are judges attempt to legislate law according to their agenda. Activist judges are the problem and need to be removed from office.

    Citizens are attempting to reassert there Constitutional rights all across America because they are starting to see the danger of their gun rights being totally eradicated. We only have to look to the south of us in CA to see what is happening to a state that prided itself on being free and open to gun ownership.

    It is sad that we see most of the large metropolitan areas of the country that are the ones pushing ever increasing restrictions on firearms. In DC, NYC and Chicago for example they don't allow ownership of any handguns period. DC lost that battle but still have a massive structure in place to require you to register any handgun in the home and keep it locked up. There are not gun dealers in the District of Columbia so how do you buy that gun? Not many will jump through the hoops to get a permit to own a gun in the home only. You cannot carry a weapon in the district, they have no Concealed Carry Permit. Chicago is the same deal. They even require you to register your long guns each year I believe. In New York City if they find a handgun in your home you are gone!

    Once these laws are in place for a long time it is very difficult to reverse them and they almost become cast in stone.

    My point is its time to join in and stand up for gun rights to stop the erosion of those rights. We may be as large as 80 million strong, nobody knows for sure, but we sure need to stand shoulder to shoulder to recover what we have lost over time.
     
  14. Gray Peterson

    Gray Peterson Lynnwood, Washington Member

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    I am one of the plaintiffs in the State Court case in Seattle.

    I posted this in the OCDO forum to show the issue here. I will copy and paste it verbatim:

    That is also not correct. Every single individual plaintiff was ruled to have standing in the Chan case, including myself who didn't suffer the indignity of having to go through the hoop of "getting banned" from Seattle Parks facility, namely myself.

    Seattle only vigorously started going after the Chan plaintiff's standing after you so publicly and gratuitously questioned our standing and started stating that we did not have standing because of Heller (therefor assuming that the Navegar standard applied nationwide). If you were a good federal appellate attorney on constitutional issues, you would know that Navegar only applied to the District of Columbia.

    Seattle only started making noises about appealing the ruling you made "unpersuasive" arguments to Judge Pechman (her words, not mine) in your oral argument on 3/2/2010. Since I don't have the transcripts, perhaps you can answer this question: Did Judge Pechman indicate in court that she was going to rule against you on the state constitutional arguments from the way she was speaking with both parties?

    Also, an inquiry:



    There are only two states in the 9th Circuit (the highest point of guaranteed appeal for you, there is no such things as "guaranteed appeal to SCOTUS" in a case such as this) which doesn't have a good RKBA provision (California has none, Hawaii's is nominally bad). Since you have no guarantee that it will go to SCOTUS, have you considered the effects of your case on Sykes v McGinness, the current "Bear arms" case that's pending in the district court in California and will likely end up in the 9th Circuit?

    Have you considered, at all, speaking with the folks in California that may be adversely affected by a bad three judge panel deciding wrongly in your appeal that the cities have the right to regulate guns on their property under the US constitution? or perhaps declaring that there's no right to bear arms outside of the home, using your case as a vehicle to do this? Federal judges, like what Pechman did here, sometimes use cases such as this to try to stick in their personal prejudices and "make new law". Regardless of how wrong the decision is, there's no method of effective reversal after a bad 3 judge panel decision (en banc panels are rare, and SCOTUS reviews even more so), and it only happened in Nordyke because of Heller, which was our one and only shot of wiping the "collective rights" lie clean.

    Your case has a strong possibility of causing people in California and Hawaii being unable to have the capability of defending themselves effectively in the long term. Do you have the appellate experience to be able to stare down a 3-judge panel and basically by your very presence, tell the judges if they mess up by writing a bad decision, you can get to SCOTUS and embarrass the panel by an overturn, especially when your only two times you've asked for certiorari to the Supreme Court, it has been granted?