G&R Tactical
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Looking at moving to greater Seattle region, need guidance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,366
    Feedback Score
    19 (100%)

    Looking at moving to greater Seattle region, need guidance

    Hello-

    As the title says, my family is looking at moving to somewhere in the greater Seattle region, which for us could be anywhere from Enumclaw up to Bellingham, with our greatest focus at the moment on Snohomish County. Finding a job is not an issue (I have a portable business), nor is being within X miles of Seattle or any other particular city. We are basically lifelong Michigan residents and need a change. We also want someplace with a lot less winter and more outdoor and cultural opportunities than we have in the middle of farm country here. We have spent several weeks in the area over multiple trips and are heading that way later in March for serious scouting of places to live.

    I have some specific questions:

    1) What is the general situation in Washington state for gun owners? Is it one legislative week away from being a ban state, or is it safer than that? I understand that the state leans heavily Democratic, but has an independent and/or libertarian streak as well. I'm coming from a state that is on average Dem leaning, but also somewhat rural and conservative, where owning guns is generally accepted and not a legal hassle. (We have handgun registration, but otherwise are not too restricted, and our gun laws have dramatically improved in the last 10 years.) I would hate to move cross country and find myself facing bans on stuff I own.

    2) We have horses and chickens and want at least a couple acres to keep them at home, with a preference for 10-20 acres. What specific areas would you recommend I look at or avoid, that should be either within the I-5 corridor or in the outer reaches of the Seattle area (Monroe, Sultan, Duvall, Snoqualmie, etc.)?

    3) Assuming we get a couple acres in a rural area, is it commonly legal, and common, to have a private shooting range at home? This is something I have now and is legal and common here. Obviously your exact location and residential density factors in, but I would like to know if this is legal and common in more rural areas, or prohibited by all townships, or what.

    4) How easy or difficult is it join and regularly use a shooting club in that area? I'm under the impression that King County, at least, has a shortage of ranges relative to users. I would like access to nice range facilities (at least 200 yards) even if I can shoot at home, and of course that's essential if I can't shoot at home. Is there a better ratio of ranges to users as you go north of King County?

    I appreciate any other comments relating to this move.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________
    Use InfoGalactic instead of Wikipedia - avoid Wikipedia's left bias

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Main_Page
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Product reviews stating "Only 4 stars because I haven't used it yet" are an idiot's signature.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Sopines, NC
    Posts
    1,757
    Feedback Score
    52 (100%)
    I lived there from 2007-2013 and lived in Des Moines, Beacon Hill, and West Seattle. I lived in Tacoma from 1999-2004.

    1) There was some talk in 2010 or so about a CA style gun control bill but it dodn't even make it past the first stage. There are enough people with common sense in the non-Seattle part of the state to keep gun control pretty much in check. Suppressors are legal but not SBRs but I believe there are efforts to change that. CCW is just a matter of filling out a form, paying like $35 and waiting a couple weeks. No class is required.

    2) Not sure, but someone in West Seattle has a horse on their property and we kept chickens in our back yard. I had a friend that lived in Yelm and it was pretty decent but a pretty good ways from Seattle. Puyallup has good areas and bad areas.

    3) Shouldn't be a problem as far as I know. I knew plenty of guys that did what you're talking about. I'd read up on city and county laws.

    4) West Coast Armory in Bellevue is range I've been to. Matter of fact not having access to that place was my second biggest grumble about moving. They have a lifetime one-fee membership and you can shoot up to 5.56 or 7.62X39 indoors. They have a non-douchebag crew working there that includes some pretty knowledgeable and skillful shooters and a good smith on staff. There are a few shooting leagues and Insight training runs a lot of classes out of there. I'm not too sure about outdoor rifle ranges but there are a few. There's a decent one in University Place that's pretty nice but fairly restrictive. They're in constant danger of being shut down by encroaching residential zones.

    I would avoid anything close to I-5 or I-90 as if that's not obvious. Tacoma is pretty decent, cheaper, but stay in north of N 6th ave. Whatever you do check out Paseo in Fremont for the best sandwich you've ever had. Missing out on that place was my biggest grumble about moving away.
    Last edited by mkmckinley; 03-01-14 at 18:04.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    seattle(ish)
    Posts
    585
    Feedback Score
    1 (100%)

    Looking at moving to greater Seattle region, need guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by SomeOtherGuy View Post
    Hello-

    1) What is the general situation in Washington state for gun owners? Is it one legislative week away from being a ban state, or is it safer than that? I understand that the state leans heavily Democratic, but has an independent and/or libertarian streak as well. I'm coming from a state that is on average Dem leaning, but also somewhat rural and conservative, where owning guns is generally accepted and not a legal hassle. (We have handgun registration, but otherwise are not too restricted, and our gun laws have dramatically improved in the last 10 years.) I would hate to move cross country and find myself facing bans on stuff I own.

    4) How easy or difficult is it join and regularly use a shooting club in that area? I'm under the impression that King County, at least, has a shortage of ranges relative to users. I would like access to nice range facilities (at least 200 yards) even if I can shoot at home, and of course that's essential if I can't shoot at home. Is there a better ratio of ranges to users as you go north of King County?
    1) WA has written the right to an *individual* to bear arms into our state Constitution. While not perfect, overall I would say WA has very reasonable and pro 2A firearms laws. It is a shall issue state and has state preemption so cities and towns may not make firearms laws more restrictive than state law. There are no magazine restrictions or other such nonsense.

    The primary downside is you cannot currently own SBR or SBSs. There is an effort to change this but I don't know the odds.

    Some cities like Seattle proper are fairly anti-firearm and past Seattle mayors tried to ban carry in parks and the like, but state preemption prohibits that.

    As for how likely that is to change, it's hard to say. A lot of WA is more rural and tends to be strongly pro 2A (witness current laws). Some parts like Seattle tend to be anti but the balance of the state remains pro 2A, so outside of a significant event, I don't see things changing much in the near future.

    Of course you never know.

    2, 3) Dunno.

    4) There are no difficulties I am aware of joining ranges/clubs. Be aware density of ranges tends to provide only one or two options that are practical in a given location and in more populated areas you have restricted options for longer range rifles.

    For example the place I go to has a rifle range, but only 25 yards. There is another place nearby that has longer ranges, but I don't really like it. Other than that, I'd have to drive farther than is practical.

    Also note costs at a lot of these places can be expensive, although have reasonably nice facilities.

    FWIW, I'm in Sno Co. and prefer that to King.

    -john
    Last edited by bzdog; 03-02-14 at 03:28.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,366
    Feedback Score
    19 (100%)
    I appreciate the replies so far, and of course hope for more people to chime in.

    One thing I should add - does any club have F-class competition in the western half of the state, even if it's east of the Cascades or down by Portland? I like F-class, and I currently drive 1.5 hours for the closest one, so driving some is possible. If there's nothing within even that drive, where can I go and shoot 600 or 1000 yards within the region - Idaho, Oregon or whatever? Can you go out in the desert east of the Cascades on BLM land like you can in the Rockies?
    ____________________________________________________________________________________
    Use InfoGalactic instead of Wikipedia - avoid Wikipedia's left bias

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Main_Page
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Product reviews stating "Only 4 stars because I haven't used it yet" are an idiot's signature.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    PNW.WA.USA
    Posts
    1,825
    Feedback Score
    0
    Here's a couple of ranges that may be of interest to you:

    Cascade Shooting Facilities

    I believe this location holds F-Class Shooting Competition: TCSA - Tri-Cities Shooting Association

    More information and scheduled events from the WSRPA.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    284
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)
    I moved to Puyallup from CA almost two years ago. Good school district and my work is close. I forget the boundary but SouthSE of me is more rural and shooting/hunting on private land is allowed. I'm 45 min from nat forest land where shooting is allowed. Problem is the shooting spots become trash dumps. Compared to Cali, this is 2A heaven. With 5956 passing, soon we'll hopefully be allowed SBRs.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My 7 iron is more accurate than my capabilities. Same with my AR.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,366
    Feedback Score
    19 (100%)
    An update one year later for anyone interested. We had a difficult time getting our house sold but finally had it under contract in early November and it ultimately sold in mid-December 2014. Having the freedom to move almost anywhere in the lower 48 presented us with a huge decision problem and we chased our tail in circles several times. I even own some nice, undeveloped land in northern lower Michigan that we bought during a time when we thought that was the right answer.

    Shortly after my first post here we did serious work with a really good realtor in the King county area, going through lots of listings and getting an idea of what was available and what we could afford. We knew prices were higher than the midwest and land was limited. What we didn't know was just how limited the land was within any drive that could be called the Seattle region, and the near absence of public beach access. That latter fact is still weird to us (most beachfront on the great lakes is public). So after a month of intense focus we put this on the doesn't-work pile and refocused on Michigan options, despite winter and needing a change.

    It took many months and several false starts to get our house sold. During that time we had bought vacant land to build on, obtained approval, missed the short time window to build something that year before snow, taken a vacation, had various minor issues, and generally driven in circles. By September/October we were dreading another winter on the farmstead and reconsidering our options. Even knowing the prices and lack of beach access, we had refocused on Puget Sound, not as a certainty, but as a "hey, why not try it out for a few months and see". I was aware of the I-594 bill but didn't think it was likely to pass. We were planning to head out there once our house sold and do a short to medium term rental for several months to really get to know the area and find something to buy.

    So November comes around, we finally get a solid offer on our house that we accepted, and literally days later I-594 passes while I-591 fails. I was shocked. I spent several days reading every analysis I could find, and of course concluded - it's bad. Really bad. So, at that point, I brought up the issue with my wife, we discussed all our factors again, and slammed the brakes on the Seattle area plan. Meanwhile Michigan's election went reasonably well in the direction of common sense and freedom, better than I had feared.

    If it hadn't been for the passage of I-594, I would probably be writing a different story from somewhere between Issaquah and Duvall, trying to figure out what house to buy and whether I could really afford the ridiculous prices that would cost me in the area.

    We went in further circles but have now moved to Michigan's UP, a beautiful region of Lake Superior, mountains (small but steep and rocky), forests, rivers, and very few people. It's ironic given that a lot of our concern was "less winter" and we have moved somewhere that definitely has more, but at least my prior 900' driveway has changed to a 50' driveway so plowing for hours is now shoveling for maybe 20-30 minutes.

    In all the chaos of moving we took a long vacation and, among other things, spent a week in Oregon at the end of January, most of it at Seaside. Especially with this year's not-a-winter there, it's nice! We could easily see ourselves spending a part of each winter at the Oregon (or maybe Washington) coast. The traffic and roads of Portland were a borderline nightmare though. So much of the west coast is a beautiful and wonderful place, except for having so many people trying to enjoy it at the same time.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________
    Use InfoGalactic instead of Wikipedia - avoid Wikipedia's left bias

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Main_Page
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Product reviews stating "Only 4 stars because I haven't used it yet" are an idiot's signature.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    896
    Feedback Score
    5 (100%)
    I really miss the Seattle area, but, there isn't a chance in hell I will ever return to Washington state. Both Washington and Oregon have become Kommifornia lite and they are just getting worse. Thank the liberals, hippies, and hipsters.
    Dont sweat the small stuff.


    If youre not taking fire, its all small stuff.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •