Lisa Harris, Security with Seattle Parks Department asks Bob Warden to leave since he was carrying a weapon on Parks Department property in violation of the ban against firearms on Park property.
Gun ban in Seattle Parks protest becomes media event
Attorney Bob Warden asked to leave
Bob Warden, a local attorney intentionally entered the Southwest Community Center today just after 12 pm carrying a concealed weapon purposely to challenge the Seattle Parks and Recreation Rule banning firearms on Park property. He was asked to leave by Lisa Harris who was handling security for the Department.
Warden had sent a letter out to numerous media outlets and admitted he was surprised by the response. Several television stations were on hand as well as numerous still photographers and other writers. In fact his planned entry time was delayed as he conducted an impromptu press conference on the walkway outside the center.
Police were on hand to arrest Warden if he did not comply with the rule. Warden pointed out that State Attorney General Rob McKenna has stated that state law pre-empts local authority to adopt firearms regulations, unless specifically authorized by law.
Warden, who is a certified, trained pistol instructor himself also has grown children and would, "have no problem with them" carrying a concealed weapon. "They were trained by the same person who trained me. They know how to safely handle a pistol. They are not radical gun toting goofballs if that stereotype even exists."
Warden said, "I support all the amendments, not just the 2nd Amendment.... "My intent was to either enjoy the dog show ...(going on at the center today)...or be asked to leave and thereby have legal standing to challenge the rule."
The letter he sent to the media follows:
"As a courtesy, this is advance notice that at noon tomorrow, Saturday, November 14, I plan to exercise my legal right to bear arms in Seattle’s Southwest Community Center, 2801 SW Thistle Street. I will be safely and securely carrying my holstered Glock pistol.
I have a current valid State of Washington License to Carry Concealed. I am an attorney licensed to practice in Washington since 1991.
I have carefully reviewed the issues, and I concur with and am relying on AGO 2008 No. 8.
Put bluntly, Seattle Parks and Recreation Rule P 060 – 8.14 was promulgated in knowing and blatantviolation of state and federal law. In 1991, I took the Oath of Attorney just like every attorney licensed in Washington. In doing so I solemnly declared, among other things, that I would “support the constitution of the State of Washington and the constitution of the United States,” and that I was “fully subject to
the laws of the State of Washington and the laws of the United States and will abide by the same.”
As mayor of Seattle, I believe Greg Nickels was required to take an oath with similar pledges. Unlike Mr. Nickels, I take mine seriously. Please understand that I am not looking for, nor do I want there to be any kind of uncivil confrontation.
I will fully and peacefully comply with any instruction given to me tomorrow at the Southwest Community Center by law enforcement personnel and/or any City of Seattle official acting within the scope of his or her official capacity and presenting proper identification credentials.
I will be wearing a Tacoma Rainiers baseball cap for easy identification should anyone wish to speak to me tomorrow. The cap is navy blue, with the stylized capital letters T and R in predominant silver on the front."
"My concern is that the plaintiffs in the attached complaint (see attached PDF) won't have legal standing and that the complaint will be dismissed since none of them has ACTUALLY been denied access to any park property. I expect I will be denied access tomorrow, and thus will have legal standing. If I'm not denied access, then the rule can be exposed as nothing more than a paper tiger."
Warden makes reference to a recent complaint filed by other parties against the ban in the attached PDF file. Warden said, "Numbered paragraphs 16 though 24 (pages 6-9 of the PDF file) detail the legal argument against the new rule. The rule itself is pages 18 through 22 of the PDF. The Attorney General of Washington opinion is pages 27 through 37. That AG opinion leaves absolutely no room for the Parks Department "rule".