Seattle Mayor’s Plan Disregards State Law, AG Opinion

BELLEVUE, WA – A draft proposal issued Friday by Mayor Greg Nickels outlining his scheme to ignore state statute and state legislative authority over firearms regulation amounts to a slap in the face against more than 250,000 Washington state residents, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said in response.

“We’re going to review this draft proposal line-by-line,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “but even a cursory glance at the document released Friday by Mayor Nickels shows that he has chosen to arrogantly ignore the State Attorney General’s opinion. State statute clearly limits municipal authority, and the Nickels plan suggests he is attempting to be a little too clever in trying an end-run around the law.

“If Nickels pushes ahead with this scheme,” he added, “there will be two kinds of criminals in Seattle, thugs and those who win elections. Both seem to believe it’s just fine to ignore the law by playing the system.

“The outrage here is that the mayor is grossly overreacting to a single event,” Gottlieb stated, “and trying to push his personal anti-gun agenda by administrative rule, rather than submit this proposal to the city council. We believe such a rule is unenforceable and that it intentionally violates not only the letter of the law, but the spirit and intent of the law as passed by the Legislature more than 20 years ago.

“Legally-armed Washington residents, whether they live in Seattle or just visit there, have just as much right to be on public property as any other citizen,” Gottlieb observed. “Mayor Nickels cannot simply issue what amounts to an imperial edict that not only ignores the state preemption statute, but essentially strips these citizens of their state constitutional right to self-defense in places where they have a legal right to be, and the courts have already affirmed this.

“We will encourage gun owners to attend the scheduled Dec. 15 public hearing and remind Mr. Nickels that he was elected mayor of Seattle, not its monarch,” Gottlieb said.

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