Holmes Appeals Parks Gun Ban Ruling

By Erica C. Barnett December 1, 2011

City attorney Pete Holmes is asking the state supreme court to reverse a ruling that struck down the city of Seattle's ban on guns in city parks, community centers, and other places where children are likely to be present, saying the city was looking out for all jurisdictions across the state that might want to enact their own restrictions on guns in publicly owned facilities in the future.

The city banned guns in parks and community centers in 2008, and from places where kids are likely to be present in 2009. In response to a lawsuit by six individuals with concealed weapons permits, a King County Superior Court judge ruled, and an appeals court subsequently affirmed, that state law prohibits cities from enacting laws regulating gun possession.

Holmes argues that the appeals court "misread earlier holdings of the Washington Supreme Court," and said in a statement, "The notion that Seattle can’t protect their most vulnerable residents on the City’s own property is inimical to the principles of local autonomy.  Every Washingtonian should be alarmed that state law has been interpreted to prevent such reasonable common-sense local controls.”

Holmes' petition also notes that Seattle's gun ban includes no criminal penalty.
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