Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Legislature's Gun Ban Problem.

I knew it would be a matter of time until various municipalities popped up and asked the rhetorical question:

If you can ban open carry... then why can't we?

Well, the answer is simple: legally speaking, the Legislature can't arbitrarily rethink an already existing rule and then magically find a definition in there that doesn't exist because they don't like the method of protest.

People need to remember what started this: Jim "Molehill" Moeller stupidly and arrogantly stated that he, on his own authority, "... refuse to conduct the business of the state as long as any "open carry" gun nuts are in the gallery."

Had he kept that asshole of a face shut, none of this would have happened.

So, in response to the natural fallout of Moeller's stupidity, those of us concerned about our Constitutional Right to carry, pushed back.

As a result of that, those running the Legislature illegally banned open carry in the gallery.

I have a concealed weapons permit... in fact, I have permits for some 40 or so states, or at least that are recognized in 40 or so states.  That said, the offended sensibilities of our "precious" legislators is no more a justification for banning open carry than their more idiotic legislation is a reason to ban the legislature.

If a city were to sue the legislature, say, Seattle, what would their justification be for extending a power to "protect" themselves that they then fail to extend to the various municipalities watching this unfold?

None.  They would have none.

The stupidity and idiocy of this ban is obvious: someone armed with a weapon or weapons could easily hide said weapons, go into the gallery, pull said weapons out and start shooting.  The false sense of security this administrative and likely illegal ban provides is misplaced and artificial:  those intent on committing a crime ARE going to commit a crime... bogus ban notwithstanding.

This sort of thing doesn't happen in a vacuum, Brad... Frank... your nonsensical decision to lump guns in with "protest props" notwithstanding,

If Jimmy gets his panties in a bunch because someone exercising their constitutional rights in this state is in the gallery openly carrying, that's his problem.  But then, his arrogance also speaks to cowardice as far as that goes, so it's not altogether unexpected that he's throw a fit in the presence of guns at that.

Meanwhile, I suggest you take another look at this and find a different, better way... if you must.  Because I know damned well that if I were, say, the Seattle City Attorney, I already would have hauled your hypocritical butts into court over this.

The mere presence of a weapon does not in any way interrupt the operation of either the House or the Senate.  A weapon sitting there is silent, doesn't make a sound by it's mere presence, and doesn't cause any disruption of any kind that you, yourselves, don't enable.  It's a tool, like any other.  And my guess is that if someone were carrying a large open-end wrench, that wouldn't bother you in the least.
Originally published February 10, 2015 at 8:44 PM | Page modified February 11, 2015 at 11:35 AM

Battle brewing between cities, state over gun-carrying law
It’s not just the gunners upset at the sudden ban on the open carrying of firearms at the state Capitol. Some cities are saying: “Hey, why can’t we do that, too?”

Seattle Times staff columnist
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When lawmakers unexpectedly banned the open carrying of guns in parts of the state Capitol recently, some gun owners were upset. But they weren’t the only ones.
Gun-control advocates were also irked. Though for an entirely different reason.
“It’s ironic, isn’t it?” said Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell. “We can’t as a city do what the state just did. Why? Because they won’t let us.”
When about 20 protesters went into the House viewing gallery in Olympia last month and waved around their rifles and pistols, our typically pro-gun Legislature suddenly got very uncomfortable. Both the House and Senate abruptly banned the open display of firearms in their chambers and hearing rooms (concealed carry with a permit is still OK).
“I don’t want the people who are on the floor being fearful of doing their jobs,” said Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, who runs the Senate.
That seems like kind of a no-brainer. Citizens shouldn’t be allowed to stand over elected officials with guns anymore than your boss should stand over you with one, while you work. Most state capitols don’t allow any guns inside, unless carried by law enforcement.
But because the Legislature did this by private rule, it applies only to them. Anyone is still free to sling a semi-automatic rifle over his or her shoulder and head on into a meeting of the local city council, planning commission or library board.
“What the Legislature did is the height of hypocrisy,” says Scott Missall, a lawyer for Short, Cressman and Burgess in Seattle, who works as a contract city attorney for some small cities around the region. “If it’s so obvious that guns have no place in the House or Senate, how is it any less obvious in our local city and county council meetings?”
It’s not a purely symbolic issue. In 2013, a dozen citizens armed up for some meetings of the Oak Harbor City Council, standing in the back with M1 rifles and the like while lawyers told the council it had no authority to do anything about it. State legislators can be “fearful of doing their jobs.” The rest of you just have to man up.
Seattle City Hall especially is face-palming over this. In 2008, then-Mayor Greg Nickels barred guns from the city’s public buildings and parks.
That order also covered concealed guns, so it admittedly went farther than the recent Capitol ban. But when it was thrown out by the courts, the judges said the reason was that only the Legislature can give the city the power to pass a gun restriction, which it has not done.
Harrell tried to be diplomatic about how lawmakers now are doing for themselves what they won’t let Seattle do. Gaining the “ability to regulate firearms in public places” is listed as the city’s No. 1 legislative priority this year.
“I don’t know, maybe this will open a new avenue of dialogue,” he said. “Maybe now they’ll be able to see our point of view?”
But probably not, he guesses. The Legislature has long refused to live by rules it writes for others. State legislators convene secret meetings every day that violate the Open Meetings Act — or would if they hadn’t exempted themselves. Ditto with the Public Records Act.


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