Buckley repeals firearm restrictions for city parks, parking lots and youth center

Buckley's City Council has revised the section of its city code preempting firearms possession in city parks, parking lots and the youth center.

Carrying a gun onto such city property was previously a misdemeanor crime under the municipal code. However, the state laws concerning firearms state that localities may only enact restrictions in compliance with state policy, and may not conflict with or be more restrictive than state law.

Those sections of state law were upheld in the recent court case 'Chan v. City of Seattle.' The court struck down Seattle city policy prohibiting possession of firearms at parks department facilities where minors were likely to be present, even when there was signage communicating a firearms restriction.

Seattle's policy was restricted to specific locations, but the court nevertheless issued an injunction preventing its enforcement. This, as well as related complaints by citizens and visitors to Buckley, led the Ogden Murphy Wallace—the city's contracted attorney's office—to issue a memorandum recommending the city's firearms restrictions be repealed.

By 5-1 vote—seventh councillor Randy Reed was absent—the council removed the firearms section from the code and revised the section concerning misdemeanor crimes to remove a reference to the now-absent firearms section.

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