BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today warned Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels to heed the public rejection of a proposed gun ban at city parks facilities or face the consequences in court.
SAF obtained information from the mayor’s office that the overwhelming majority of citizens living both inside and outside the city turned thumbs down on the mayor’s plan to ban even legally-carried firearms in city parks facilities. Nickels has already been advised by Attorney General Rob McKenna that the city has no authority to enact such a ban, which would be illegal under the state’s preemption law.
Only 8 percent of Seattle residents commenting on the idea support it, according to figures from the mayor’s office. Ninety-two percent of Seattleites who opined rejected the idea. Only 2 percent of respondents who live outside the city support the proposed ban, and 98 percent oppose the idea. Deadline for comments was last Sunday. SAF has learned that the city received 1,088 comments via e-mail, and only 44 supported the mayor’s proposal. Ten more telephone comments were received, with only one favoring the ban.
“This is a crushing defeat for Mayor Nickels,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “His office has argued that nobody would be prosecuted specifically for violating the ban, but only be charged with criminal trespass if they refuse to leave a facility after being told to do so. That is disingenuous. It is still a ban and it is still a violation of state preemption.”
SAF has also learned that the mayor’s strategy now is apparently to have such a ban enacted by order of the director of Parks and Recreation.
“This controversy began with Nickels threatening to issue an executive order banning guns from all city property,” Gottlieb recalled. “He has now backed away from that, and apparently thinks he is being clever by having a surrogate sign an order to post city parks off limits to firearms. If that is the case, the chicken has, indeed, come home to roost.”