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Seattle Mayor Taking Away Gun Rights

The mayor of Seattle has decided to assault the rights of law-abiding citizens who own legal handguns. He has issued an executive order prohibiting citizens from bringing their firearms onto city property.

Mayor Greg Nickels issued the order back in June. The executive order, which did not require city council approval, called on city employees to draft administrative rules creating a “gun-free policy” on city property.  Those policies are now set for a December 15 public hearing after which the policy will become effective once signed by all relevant city officials.

In the meantime, controversy surrounding the proposal prompted state legislators to seek an opinion from the Washington state Attorney General, Rob McKenna, on the legality of the Mayor’s proposal.  That opinion was offered on October 13 and explicitly said that state law”preempts a city’s authority to enact local laws that prohibit possession of firearms on city property or in city-owned facilities.”

While attorney general opinions are technically non-binding, they have generally been assigned great weight by Washington state courts.  Despite this, the opinion evidently has not dissuaded the Mayor from pursuing the ban.

According to Rick Story, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), “we don’t want to start going down a slippery slope where a city decides that it can disregard state law. You never know where that can end up, but it’s unlikely to be a good place.”

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