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Mill Creek City Council repeals ban on firearms in Mill Creek parks

The Mill Creek City Council voted unanimously to repeal an ordinance banning firearms in Mill Creek City parks at their July 23, 2013 regular meeting.
Washington State law significantly restricts cities' authority to regulate firearms. Photo credit: News of Mill Creek.

The Mill Creek City Council voted unanimously to repeal an ordinance banning firearms in Mill Creek City parks at their July 23, 2013 regular meeting.

This action was taken at the advice of Shane Moloney, Mill Creek City Attorney, in order to avoid possible legal action and to better conform to Washington State law.

A previous Mill Creek City Council made it unlawful to carry a firearm in any park as an effort to increase public safety.

Maloney said that Washington State law RCW 9.41.300, “significantly restricts cities’ authority to regulate firearms. The only places a city may, by ordinance, restrict possession of firearms are stadiums or convention centers operated by such city.”

Moloney explained Mill Creek’s ban on carrying firearms in parks is, “constitutional under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, in 2012, the City of Seattle lost a case challenging the legality of its ban on firearms in city parks… Shortly after the conclusion of the Seattle case, one of the plaintiffs sent warnings to dozens of cities with similar firearms bans threatening legal action if the bans are not repealed.”

“The City of Mill Creek has broad authority to regulate public safety and welfare matters within the City. Its authority to regulate public health and safety is generally limited only by the Washington State and federal constitutions and any specific restrictions placed on its authority by state law. In this case, state courts found that RCW 9.41.290 and RCW 9.41.300 preempt the field of firearms regulation in the State of Washington, which prevents cities from restricting possession of firearms beyond those allowable restrictions in RCW 9.41.300.”

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