KITSAP COUNTY, a political subdivision of the State of Washington, Respondent,
KITSAP RIFLE AND REVOLVER CLUB, a not-for-profit corporation registered in the State of Washington, Appellant. IN THE MATTER OF THE UNPERMITTED SHOOTFNG FACILITY locatedat the 72-acre parcel at Seabeck Highway NW, Bremerton, Washington, viz Kitsap County Tax Parcel ID No. 362501-4-002-1006.
10.25 of the Kitsap County Code (KCC) requires all shooting
facilities to obtain an operating permit. The Kitsap Rifle
and Revolver Club (Club), which operates a shooting facility
in Bremerton, refused to apply for a permit. The County filed
a complaint against the Club, seeking a declaratory judgment
that KCC 10.25 was a valid ordinance that was enforceable
against the Club. The trial court granted summary judgment in
favor of the County, ailing that KCC 10.25 was enforceable
against the Club and that the Club was required to obtain an
operating permit for its shooting facility.
Club appeals the trial court's summary judgment order,
arguing that KCC 10.25 is invalid or unenforceable on various
grounds. In the published portion of this opinion, we hold
that (1) RCW 9.41.290, which provides that the State has
preempted the entire field of "firearms regulation,
" does not preempt KCC 10.25 because the challenged
portion of that ordinance is not a firearms regulation; (2)
KCC 10.25 falls within the exception to preemption in RCW
9.41.300(2)(a), which allows ordinances restricting the
discharge of firearms where there is a reasonable likelihood
that humans, domestic animals, or property will be
jeopardized; and (3) KCC 10.25 does not infringe on the right
to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States
Constitution or article I, section 24 of the Washington
Constitution. In the unpublished portion of the opinion, we
reject the Club's additional challenges to KCC 10.25.
we affirm the trial court's summary judgment order and
its ruling that KCC 10.25 is enforceable against the Club.
Club has operated a shooting facility in the same general
location in Bremerton since 1926. In 2011, the County filed
suit against the Club, alleging that the Club had
impermissibly expanded its nonconforming use as a shooting
range, engaged in unlawful development activities, and
conducted activities that constituted a noise and public
safety nuisance. Kitsap County v. Kitsap Rifle &
Revolver Club, 184 Wn.App. 252, 265, 337 P.3d 328
(2014), review denied, 183 Wn.2d 1008 (2015).
bench trial, the trial court ruled that (1) the Club's
activities constituted an unlawful expansion of the existing
nonconforming use, (2) the Club's use of the property was
illegal because it had failed to obtain required permits for
the development work, and (3) the Club's activities
constituted a nuisance because of noise, safety, and
unpermitted land use problems. Id. at 266. The trial
court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting use of the
Club's property as a shooting range until the County
issued a conditional use permit. Id.
Club appealed to this court. Id. at 266. This court
affirmed the trial court on almost all issues, including the
finding of a public nuisance based on excessive noise and
unsafe conditions. Id. at 303. However, the court
reversed the trial court's ruling that the remedy for the
Club's conduct was termination of its nonconforming use
status and remanded for the trial court to determine the
appropriate remedy. Id. at 262, 303-04. This court
issued its opinion on October 28, 2014. Id. at 252.
of KCC 10.25
September 2014, the County adopted Ordinance No. 515-2014.
The ordinance added a new chapter to the KCC entitled
"Firearms Discharge, " which was codified as
chapter 10.25 KCC. The effective date was December 22, 2014.
10.25 required all existing and proposed shooting facilities
to obtain an operating permit and provided that the failure
to obtain a permit would result in closure of the facility.
KCC 10.25.090(1)-(2). In addition, the ordinance required
shooting facilities to meet detailed standards. KCC
10.25.090(2) required all existing shooting facilities to
apply for an operating permit within 90 days after the
December 22 effective date. The Club did not submit an
application for an operating permit by the deadline and
informed the County that it did not intend to apply for a
permit. The Club asserted the position that KCC 10.25 was a
zoning/land use ordinance that did not apply to its existing
shooting facility, which had vested nonconforming use rights.
March 31, 2015, the County filed a complaint for declaratory
and injunctive relief against the Club to enforce KCC 10.25.
The County sought a declaration that the Club was in
violation of KCC 10.25 and an injunction to prevent the Club
from operating its shooting facility until it received an
operating permit. The trial court issued a preliminary
injunction enjoining the Club from operating its shooting
facility until it submitted a complete application for an
operating permit in compliance with KCC 10.25.
March 16, 2016, the Club filed, under protest, an application
for an operating permit under KCC 10.25. The next day, the
Club filed a motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction.
The trial court granted the motion and dissolved the
preliminary injunction on April 7.
trial court subsequently granted summary judgment in favor of
the County. The court ruled that RCW 9.41.290 did not preempt
KCC 10.25 because the ordinance was not a firearms regulation
and because the preemption exclusion of RCW 9.41.300(2)(a)
applied. In a footnote, the court summarily rejected the
Club's argument that KCC 10.25 violated the right to bear
arms. The court concluded that KCC 10.25 was enforceable
against the Club's shooting facility and that operation
of the facility without an operating permit was a violation
of KCC 10.25.
Club appeals the trial court's summary judgment order.
Standard of Review
review a trial court's order granting summary judgment de
novo. Lyons v. U.S. Bank Nat'lAss 'n, 181
Wn.2d 775, 783, 336 P.3d 1142 (2014). We view the evidence in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Lakey v.
Puget Sound Energy, Inc., 176 Wn.2d 909, 922, 296 P.3d
860 (2013). Summary judgment is appropriate where there is no
genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. CR 56(c).
interpretation and application of a statute is a matter of
law that we also review de novo. Blue DiamondGrp., Inc.
v. KB Seattle 1, Inc., 163 Wn.App. 449, 453-54, 266 P.3d
Provisions of KCC 10.25
10.25 KCC, which is titled "Firearms Discharge, "
contains two articles. Article 1 is titled "No-Shooting
Areas." The provisions in that article prohibit the
discharge of firearms in certain areas, but they also provide
an exception for the discharge of firearms on a shooting
range complying with Article 2. KCC 10.25.020, 030. Article 2
is titled "Shooting Ranges, " and requires that all
existing and proposed shooting facilities obtain an operating
permit and provides that the failure to obtain a permit would
result in closure of the facility. KCC 10.25.090(1)-(2). The
Club challenges only the provisions of Article 2, which
encompasses KCC 10.25.060 -10.25.140.
10.25.060 provides that the purpose of KCC 10.25 "is to
provide for and promote the safety of the general public by
establishing a permitting procedure and rules for the
development and operation of shooting range facilities"
and that the adopted standards "are intended to protect
and safeguard participants, spectators, neighboring
properties and the public."
10.25.090(1) states that shooting facilities must be
authorized and operated in accordance with a County-issued
operating permit. Under the permitting scheme, no existing or
proposed shooting facility is allowed to operate without an
operating permit issued pursuant to KCC 10.25. KCC
10.25.090(1). The owner or operator of a shooting facility
must apply for and obtain an operating permit. KCC
10.25.090(2). Failure to obtain a permit will result in
closure of the facility until a permit is issued. KCC
receive an operating permit, shooting facilities are required
to submit an application that includes (1) the facility's
safety plan, (2) the shooting facility layout and design, and
(3) an expert evaluation of the safety plan and facility
design performed either by a National Rifle Association (NRA)
shooting range advisor or an engineer with expertise in the
design of shooting ranges. KCC 10.25.090(5). In reviewing a
permit application, the County is guided by the NRA's
"Range Source Book." KCC 10.25.090(3).
10.25.090(4) outlines the specific standards for shooting
facilities, which are meant to ensure containment of
projectiles and to minimize noise disturbances. The standards
include general requirements for containment structures. They
also include requirements that shooting facilities have a
safety officer present when open to the public, but at times
when the facility is not open to the public, a staff member
trained in the range's safety plan is sufficient. KCC
10.25.090(4)(d). Finally, KCC 10.25 provides time and
frequency limits for certain uses and activities. KCC
10.25.090(4)(f), (g), (1).
Applicability of State Law Preemption
Club argues that KCC 10.25 is unenforceable because it is
preempted under RCW 9.41.290, which provides for state law
preemption of firearms regulations. We hold that (1) RCW
9.41.290 does not apply here because KCC 10.25 is not a
firearms regulation, and (2) even if RCW 9.41.290 did apply,
KCC 10.25 falls within the exception to preemption in RCW
9.41.300(2)(a) for "where there is a reasonable
likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be
Police Power Authority of Local Governments
article XI, section 11 of the Washington Constitution, a
local government has authority to "make and enforce
within its limits all such local police, sanitary and other
regulations as are not in conflict with general laws."
Similarly, RCW 36.32.120(7) authorizes counties to
"[m]ake and enforce, by appropriate resolutions or
ordinances, all such police and sanitary regulations as are
not in conflict with state law." Local governments have
"considerable latitude in exercising police powers,
" and a regulation is reasonable "if it promotes
public safety, health or welfare and bears a reasonable and
substantial relation to accomplishing the purpose
pursued." City of Seattle v. Montana, 129 Wn.2d
583, 591-92, 919 P.2d 1218 (1996).
a local ordinance will be deemed to conflict with state law
when the legislature has stated its intent to preempt the
field on a particular subject. See State v. Kirwin,
165 Wn.2d 818, 826, 203 P.3d 1044 (2009). In that situation,
local ordinances on the subject are preempted and rendered
invalid. Id. We must interpret an express preemption
clause narrowly but fairly. See Nw. Wholesale, Inc. v.
Pac Organic Fruit, LLC, 184 Wn.2d 176, 184, 357 P.3d 650
(2015) (addressing federal preemption of state law),
cert, denied, 136 S.Ct. 1453 (2016).
Preemption of Firearms Regulations
9.41.290 expressly provides that state law preempts all local
firearms regulations, including those involving the discharge
The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and
preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within
the boundaries of the state, including the registration,
licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer,
discharge, and transportation of firearms,
or any other element relating to firearms or parts
thereof, including ammunition and reloader components.
Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact
only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are
specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and
are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall
have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local
laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more
restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law
shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed,
regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule
status of such city, town, county, or municipality.
noted in RCW 9.41.290, certain exceptions to preemption are
provided in RCW 9.41.300. One exception applies to the
discharge of firearms:
(2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may
enact laws and ordinances:
(a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of
their respective jurisdictions where there is a
reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or
property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances
shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by
Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms
in defense of self or others.
RCW 9.41.300(2)(a) (emphasis added).
a statute has preemptive effect is a question of law that we
review de novo. Law son v. City o/Pasco, 168 Wn.2d
675, 678, 230 P.3d 1038 (2010). The purpose of statutory
interpretation is to determine and give effect to the
legislature's intent. Gray v. Suttell &
Assocs., 181 Wn.2d 329, 339, 334 P.3d 14 (2014). To
determine legislative intent, we first look to the plain
language of the statute, considering the text of the
provision, the context of the statute, related provisions,
and the statutory scheme as a whole. Id.
statute is unambiguous if the plain language of the statute
is susceptible to only one reasonable interpretation.
Id. When a statute is unambiguous, we apply the
statute's plain meaning as an expression of legislative
intent without considering other sources of such intent.
Jametsky v. Olsen, 179 Wn.2d 756, 762, 317 P.3d 1003
Preemption Under RCW 9.41.290
Club argues that RCW 9.41.290, which provides that the state
has preempted "the entire field of firearms regulation,
" preempts KCC 10.25. We disagree and hold that KCC