SEATTLE - A King County Superior Court judge ruled that the city of Seattle ban on guns on city property is illegal, effectively ending the ban.
"It shows how strong our case was," said Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation. "Politicians in Seattle have to get over their anti-gun bigotry and realize that we have certain laws and protections and freedoms in this country, and they need to stand up and protect them, not attack them."
The Second Amendment Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and several individuals, including a gay rights activist and a Department of Corrections worker, sued the City of Seattle and former Mayor Greg Nickels in October. They demanded the city repeal a controversial ban on guns in places like parks and community centers.
The individual plaintiffs say they're suing not just on principal, but because they now "fear for their safety", according to their lawsuit.
King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer issued the ruling Friday afternoon after the plaintiff’s filed a motion for Summary Judgment and prevailed.
Mayor Mike McGinn has supported the ban, and was eventually named in the lawsuit instead of Nickels, said Gottlieb.
Late Friday, McGinn issued the following statement:
"I am disappointed in today's ruling. Cities should have the right to restrict guns in playgrounds, pools and community centers where children are present. The court's ruling was based on a state law, RCW 9.41.290, which preempts Seattle from regulating the possession of firearms. It's time for the state Legislature to change that law."
The plaintiff's attorney, Steve Fogg of Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner and Preece, said the win is a statement that municipalities, like Seattle, are not above the law.
"This is a great victory, not just for law-abiding gun owners, but also for the rule of the law. Judge Shaffer's order makes clear that just like any citizen, the City must follow the law," said Fogg.
One example used by those who pushed for the gun ban -- a May 2008 incident where a man shot and injured three people with one bullet at Seattle's Folklife Festival.
Two of the victims in that shooting, Sarah Thorsnes, 22, and Josh Penaluna, 20, spoke out today against the ban, saying they believed the ban was more about politics than public safety.
"I'm very glad there are enough smart people out there, and not let some selfish politician get his way," said Penaluna. "There's nothing you can do about someone who's going to shoot you from the back."
According to the judgment, the city must stop enforcing the gun ban by Feb. 17. They also have 30 days to take down the "No Guns" signs posted at parks and community centers around town.
"We will comply with the court order, and we're weighing our client's options for an appeal," said Kathy Mulady with the Seattle City Attorney's office.