Bob Warden, 44, announced his intentions in an e-mail Friday morning to media as well as to the city of Seattle, including the police and city attorney.
On Saturday, Warden walked into the Southwest Community Center at 2801 SW Thistle Street with a Glock-27 .40-caliber sub-compact pistol under a black jacket in a holster strap over his left shoulder. Parks Department employee Lisa Harrison asked him to leave, and he did.
“I'm not here as a Second Amendment activist,” Warden said. “I'm here as a citizen who believes in the rule of law.”
Warden, who said he's never discharged a weapon outside a firing range, added that the idea occurred to him in the past couple of days.
Media, Seattle Police and a handful of supporters were on hand. Warden sent out an e-mail Friday announcing his intentions.
“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,” Warden said in his e-mail. “I will be safely and securely carrying my holstered Glock pistol. I have a current valid State of Washington License to Carry Concealed.”
Bud Shasteen, 75, an NRA member member of the Second Amendment Foundation, was among Warden's supporters.
“I'm glad he is doing it,” Shasteen said. “I'm sorry I didn't think of it. I'd have done it myself.”
Alex Kaehler, 16, and his sister, Jeanmarie Kaehler, 20, were also on hand to support the move. Neither owns a weapon, but both said they want to.
“The mayor was definitely way out of line when he passed the law,” said Alex Kaehler, who lives in SeaTac. “I'm glad somebody is challenging him.”
Mayor Greg Nickels said the ban is intended to protect children. Warden objected to that reasoning.
“Nickels has never presented any evidence to suggest how responsible concealed-weapon carrying is a threat to children in a park,” Warden said.
Nickels said on Oct. 14 that guns would be banned on such city facilities as parks and community centers where children gather. Signs banning guns have been posted at city parks.
Late last month, gun-rights advocates sued, saying the ban violates state law. Read more