Judge restricts firearms training to employees only

PORT TOWNSEND — Security Services Northwest can continue to use a firearms range at Fort Discovery Training Center to train its own employees, but for now that is where it ends, a Jefferson County Superior Court judge ordered Monday.

Ruling in Jefferson County’s motion for a temporary restraining order against Gardiner-based Security Services, Judge Craddock Verser said that the company can still use a “firing range in the inland portion of Fort Discovery” for state-required recertification of its security guards.

Weapons or other training activities for military, paramilitary operatives or law enforcement officers remain prohibited under the judge’s order.

In his stop-work order against Security Services, county Community Development Director Al Scalf in August determined that such activities were in violation of the county code.

Verser’s order Monday expires in 14 days or upon a Jefferson County hearing examiner’s decision regarding a stop-work order issued by the county Department of Community Development.

Nov. 17 session

The hearing examiner on Nov. 17 is scheduled to address nonconforming zoning uses at Fort Discovery, such as homeland security training and support facilities on a Discovery Bay site the county zoned a “rural residential” use.

The temporary restraining order’s language was specified at the request of Seattle attorney Glenn J. Amster, representing Security Services Northwest and the company’s president, Joe D’Amico.

“We appreciate the judge’s recognition that my client needs to maintain his business and maintain the high level of qualifications of his employees,” Amster said Monday after the order was filed.

“We certainly appreciate him taking out a lot of the slanted language that was included in the county’s position.

“It only goes part of the way, but it is an important part.”

Seattle attorney Mark Johnsen, representing the county, also expressed some satisfaction with Verser’s order, saying: “He didn’t give us everything we asked for, but all in all I felt it was a fair-handed decision.”

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