Good guys – Guns = Safer?

New CenturyLink gun policy riles law enforcement

CenturyLink management has decided that off-duty officers going to events at CenturyLink as fans can no longer bring guns through the gates.

As an alum of the University of Washington, I have season tickets for football. We played the 2011 Apple Cup and the 2012 season at CenturyLink Field, as the UW is renovating Husky Stadium. I carried my Glock 26 at every game. I do not go into mass crowds without it. At the 2011 Apple Cup, security was actually “wanding” people. I didn’t notice until it was too late for me to turn back. So the minimum-wage temp agency employee (that’s who actually works “event security”) ran the wand on my right hip and it flashed red. He waved me through, as he had done to the hundreds of others in his line.

My immediate thought was, “It would be pretty easy for someone who shouldn’t be carrying to get through.”

In the comments of the linked article I found this:

Washington State Public Stadium Authority to oversee public ownership of the venue and since the Stadium is public owned and operate they cannot restrict firearms per RCW 9.41.290 though in RCW 9.41.300 provides for the city to restrict firearms to those who exempted RCW 9.41.300 (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances: (b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to: (i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060

Can anyone familiar with Washington Code enlighten me on this? Does this mean that they cannot restrict CCW holders and off duty law enforcement from concealed carry since it is a publicly owned venue?

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6 Responses to Good guys – Guns = Safer?

  1. Mollbot says:

    I would be interested in this info as well. I have carried at Mariners games in Safeco Field before. It is somewhat of a legal gray area, from what I’ve read. I made sure not to avail myself of any alcoholic beverages while there as that would propel the legal question from gray to black-and-white fairly rapidly.

  2. Phssthpok says:

    CHL holder’s are exempt. ‘Off-duty’ officers are not (unless they are a CHL holder as well). Unlike many other state’s laws, Washington’s firearms regulations are quite plainly written and easy to understand. They are also quite minimal.

    The ‘grey’ area surrounding Safeco field is that it is leased and operated by a private company who, through said lease, gains some limited ‘property owner’ rights…among them the ability to set terms of trespass. While it is not a crime in and of itself to posses a firearm there (assuming valid CHL), they CAN (as private property owners) ask you to leave if you are armed. Failure to do so opens you to criminal trespass. As for deciding to not “avail [your]self of any alcoholic beverages”, it is black and white, but not in the way you (seem) to think. Like I said, WA firearms laws are plainly written and simple in nature. You are only prohibited from carrying in “That portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under twenty-one years of age”. [RCW 9.41.300 (d)]

    Buying is not illegal. Possessing is not illegal. Consuming is not illegal. The only illegal act would be to enter into a designated area that has been posted as ’21+ ONLY’ by the WSLCB. State law also requires that such areas be prominently posted, so there is no mistaking the restricted areas.

    In short…if it is legal for a child to be in an area where alcohol is, then it’s legal for your sidearm to be in that same area. Applebee’s is a perfect example. Children are allowed in the building, but not in the lower ‘bar’ area. The WSLCB signage is not at the front door, but at the entrance to the separated ‘bar’. See also liquor stores: it’s perfectly legal to carry there as under 21 are not prohibited from entering, though generally they are required to be accompanied by an adult.

  3. Phssthpok says:

    Bah!…Botched the ‘bold’ tags in my previous post. There wasn’t supposed to be so much text bolded…

  4. Scott says:

    Thanks for your comments, Phssthpok. I knew about bars, but the “publicly owned” stadiums is a new one for me. I assumed that I was not breaking any laws, but just violating the stadium rules.

    Like Buffalo Wild Wings — it is not illegal to carry there, but they have a sign posted saying no guns, not even concealed.

  5. Phssthpok says:

    Yeah…you’re getting into private property rights with things like BWW. However, signage is NOT binding in WA, so the worst that could happen is you ‘get made’ and are asked to leave. Ignoring the sign in the first place =/= trespass, but refusing to leave when directly asked, is. Some folk go with the mindset of ‘concealed means CONCEALED’ and are willing to risk the worst case scenario of having their dinner ‘ruined’ by having to leave mid meal, rather than risk being unarmed.

    It’s a personal choice.

  6. Rivrdog says:

    From my copping days, it IS a defense to “dine and dash” charges if it is the Management which asks you to leave…if half the place is packing, it’s not likely that Management is going to ak them all to leave. Gives me a Devil of an idea though….

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