Firearms Banned in Public, Not Government, Facilities in Spokane

By John Vlahovich/Paige Browning

Spokane’s updated firearms ordinance — passed unanimously last (Monday) night by the city council — now matches state law. The measure adds the state mandated exception to gun bans in public facilities that had been missing in the city ordinance. This means people with concealed weapons permits could legally bring a firearm to a city hall meeting, but not to an event in the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

That exception applies to government facilities, but not to publicly owned buildings like the Arena. The Arena, the INB Performing Arts Center, the Convention Center, and Joe Albi Stadium, are operated by the Public Facilities District, a proprietary agency that sets its own weapons policies.

Councilman Jon Snyder tried to explain the difference:

Jon Snyder: “We rely on their governing bodies to set those policies. It’s not something that we create up here. And what we’re doing tonight reiterates what the exceptions are, reiterates what the policy areas are.”

The original ordinance forbade bringing guns, cans and bottles, knives, alcoholic beverages and controlled substances into city public gatherings. It did not, however, contain the state concealed weapons permit exception.

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