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Washington: Seattle Rule on Guns in Parks Struck Down

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In a clear victory for Washington state gun owners, the Superior Court of King County, Washington, on February 12 struck down a Seattle City Parks and Recreation rule banning firearms from city parks, including possession by right-to-carry permit holders.

In her ruling, Judge Catherine Shaffer concluded that “the City of Seattle's authority to regulate the possession of  firearms in City parks and recreation facilities during public use of those facilities is preempted by state law, and therefore Seattle's Department of Parks and Recreation's Rule/Policy Number P 060-8.14 ('Firearms Rule') violates Washington law and, on that basis, is null and void.”

NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation were joined in the lawsuit by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Washington Arms Collectors and five individual plaintiffs.

The ruling is an important victory not only for gun owners, but also for the rule of law.  The ruling upholds the state of Washington’s preemption statute, which was written specifically to prevent cities and counties from enacting their own patchwork of gun laws, as the City of Seattle attempted to do in this instance. Protecting state preemption statutes is an important goal of NRA-ILA, which has brought many lawsuits in many states challenging local gun restrictions.

“This ruling is a great victory for Washington gun owners,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “The court followed the law and upheld the preemption statute, which is one of the most important protections for gun owners’ rights at the state level.”

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.