State law does not address the use of metal detectors in city parks. However, there are state statutes and regulations related to the use of metal detectors in state parks. For example, the State Parks and Recreation Commission must allow the use of recreational metal detectors within a certain minimum acreage of state parks. See, e.g., RCW 79A.05.190 and RCW 79A.05.195. And WAC 352-32-235 provides administrative rules regarding the use of metal detectors in state parks.
Whether and how metal detectors may be used in city parks/public property will be a matter of local policy. The city is not required to allow use of metal detectors on city property. Conversely, if the city wanted to allow use of metal detectors in such areas, the city could do so but should establish clear guidelines regarding their use.
Below are some examples of local regulations related to use of metal detectors on city property:
- Buckley Municipal Code Sec. 10.84.195 – Metal detectors are limited to daylight hours and with registration.
- Burien Municipal Code Sec. 7.30.010 – A permit is required, unless the device is used on unimproved park lands.
- Jefferson County Municipal Code Sec. 12.25.210 – Allowed in certain parks with a permit.
- Port Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 12.04.140 – Coin recovery allowed with a permit.