I am writing to express my deep disappointment in the City of Battle Ground and their response to petitioners asking the city to establish an ordinance wherein our city would ignore the new gun ownership requirements that became state law through the recently passed Initiative 1639.
Joey Gibson and his group, Patriot Prayer (PP), have been touring our state, inciting small groups within cities and counties that they do not reside in, to protest this new law. This protest is not originating from citizens of our own city, but from an outside group intent on influencing our city government (Gibson resides in Camas).
Clark County Sheriff Atkins and our own Battle Ground PD Chief Bob Richardson have commendably and responsibly stood by the new law, and publicly stated that they will enforce the law, until such a time as it may be found unconstitutional (there are already court cases in effect). They are doing their jobs, and I thank them heartily for this.
When Gibson and PP took to the City of Washougal to petition that city council to ask for the same oversight of state law, the Washougal City Council wisely referred the request to their city attorney, who came back and said that their city would be following state law. Bravo to Washougal.
Why has our own City of Battle Ground not done the same? Are they seriously considering flouting state law? In the meantime, by sitting on their hands and doing nothing, they have encouraged a series of “marches” every Sunday by Second Amendment extremists, protesting this new law and asking our city to do the same. Every Sunday in March, Gibson and his PP followers have been meeting in the center of our city at Kiwanis Park, armed to the gills with guns of all makes and models — this in a place where many Battle Ground residents take our children to play on the playground, splash pad, and big grassy field. Main Street has been lined with 40-60 folks from who knows where, gathering to flaunt their guns, blocking our sidewalks, and rattling the general public.
So, City of Battle Ground, I implore you: please find it within you to publicly tell Joey Gibson, PP, and the Second Amendment extremists they’re attracting to our city that we will not consider their petition, that the City of Battle Ground will follow state law. Give us back our peaceful Sundays in our quiet city.