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Exposed Carry Rules in WA State - New Resident

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by redbos99, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. redbos99

    redbos99 Seattle Member

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    Hi All,

    I am a Massachusetts transplant , wife is from WA. I am a gun guy, own rifles, shotguns and pistols like any other person. Bought some guns in WA also, love it here and love the laws........

    Anyways, In MA I had to have a permit to Carry. I know WA is a "Right to Carry" state. SO, what are the rules if I dont get a Concealed Permit? Just have to have my WA Drivers License with me? Have to tell you the first few times in the grocery store when I saw a few guys carrying exposed, it made me turn my head, just not use to it yet.... Has anyone ever got hassled or questioned from Police, etc?

    I know certain places are no go, like schools, banks, etc. Also, I know if you are involved in a traffic stop, you need to tell the police officer that you are legally armed of course.... Just want to know the rules because I would like my Glock 21 with me for my walks with the wife.....

    Thanks
    Will Z
     
  2. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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  3. redbos99

    redbos99 Seattle Member

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    So, if I carry ( not concealed) I can not have it in my holster in the car loaded?

    I am confused.
     
  4. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Jim posted a great link for you.

    There have been reports of a few people getting "hassled" in some of the more urban areas. Know your rights and know the laws here, Chapter 9.41 RCW: FIREARMS AND DANGEROUS WEAPONS Just because you open carry does not mean you give up your 4th Amendment rights. LEO's can not stop or detain you ONLY for OC, they have to suspect or have report of you committing a crime. Obviously a good attitude on both sides generally helps the matter but KNOW your rights.

    In WA you are NOT required to disclose that you are carrying (or even if you have any firearms in the vehicle) either open or concealed. I know many people choose to tell the LEO's since somehow they think it makes them safer or feel better. During a LEO interaction that has NOTHING to do with firearms, like a traffic stop, I will NOT be the one that "brings" guns into the situation. If the LEO asks then I have to tell them. Also if in the process of the traffic stop the gun will become and issue I disclose at that time. For example I am carrying and I have to reach past my gun, OC or CC, I will advise them I am carrying. My last traffic stop I had to get into my center console for papers and I had a gun in there so obviously I told the LEO there was a gun in there. Then I made sure by asking that she still wanted me to open it and get the paperwork.
     
  5. redbos99

    redbos99 Seattle Member

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    So, in my vehicle, would i have to unholster and put my Glock in glove? I just am unsure and am from a very unfriendly gun state.....
     
  6. peetar

    peetar Kitsap County Active Member

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    No you would not have to do that. It is prudent to inform the officer if the gun is going to be near your hands.
     
  7. redbos99

    redbos99 Seattle Member

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    So, open carry is open carry. In the car, out for a walk, going to the grocery store. Just don't go to "prohibited places" with it.... So my firearm must be showing on my hip, just s strong side belt holster and I am good to go?
     
  8. accessbob

    accessbob Molalla, OR 2A Supporter

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    From this I don't think you can have it loaded in the car unless you have a CPL.


     
  9. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Some time this evening hermannr should be on. He can give a much more accurate description of exactly how that part all works then I can.
     
  10. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Washington is a Shall Issue state.
    YOu may open carry anywhere it is lega;
    You may only carry a loaded pistol in your vehicle if you have a CPL (concelled pistol lincense)
     
  11. redbos99

    redbos99 Seattle Member

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    So, when in my car, unload and unholster? Then, as leave my car, load and holster.......
     
  12. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you got it. but you can keep the holster on.
     
  13. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    As I said before hermannr will come on and explain it better, he is well versed in this section of our laws.

    In WA the term loaded is defined as RCW 9.41.010: Terms defined.

    (10) "Loaded" means:

    (a) There is a cartridge in the chamber of the firearm;

    (b) Cartridges are in a clip that is locked in place in the firearm;

    (c) There is a cartridge in the cylinder of the firearm, if the firearm is a revolver;

    (d) There is a cartridge in the tube or magazine that is inserted in the action; or

    (e) There is a ball in the barrel and the firearm is capped or primed if the firearm is a muzzle loader.


    So even IF you can not carry a loaded handgun in the vehicle in your case, you can still carry your gun in the holster as long as it is not loaded as defined above. In WA there are no laws that say things like "locked container" or "inaccessible to driver".
     
  14. redbos99

    redbos99 Seattle Member

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    So it sounds like I just pop out my mag, take my round out of the pipe and throw the mag in the glove and reholster until exiting( carry an empty gun, in a holster, while in the car).... I will wait for more news later, thank you guys. This is an education for me, just dont ant to do anything that is not by the book and get in trouble.
     
  15. Botte Hork

    Botte Hork Camas WA Well-Known Member

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    This is where you can get in a little mess, as you should unload before getting in the car, and load after getting out of the car. But that brings the joy of being a bit more in public and people might get alarmed over someone loading a mag and racking the slide.

    It's a typical "let's annoy the good guys" set of legislation, I think.
     
  16. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Why throw it in the glovebox? Keep the mag in your pocket or in a magazine carrier on your belt where it is useful......
     
  17. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    Hej Will.

    I OC all the time. I OC'd in WA (and OR, and ID) unlicensed from 1970 to 1994. I now have a CPL, which will help if you get one. $52.25 for 5 years at your local Sheriffs office. No government mandated training required, no references, just Fill out the paperwork, get fingerprinted and depending on the county, you can have your CPL that day...or it could take up to 30 days...

    two major advantages to a CPL: You no longer have to unload when in a vehicle (general carry), and you do not have to wait when you purchase a new toy.

    but until you break down and get a CPL, you MUST understand RCW 9.41...050, 060, 270, 280, 290, and 300 especially. link here: Chapter 9.41 RCW: FIREARMS AND DANGEROUS WEAPONS

    You MUST understand .050. It is the list of general prohibitions (like general CC without a CPL) then you need to read the exceptions to .050 in .060

    Loaded OC (or CC) anywhere, including in a vehicle, is legal, without a CPL, if you qualify for an exception granted in RCW 9.41.060. The exception in .060(8) is very broad, and very useful. There are other useful exceptions in .060 depending on what you are doing, or who you are, also, but (8) is the broadest. LE is fairly lenient on their interpretation of what is an "outdoor recreational activity" as long as you are being reasonable. "I'm going hiking" while in a Tux might be questioned. But then legally, you do not have to answer their questions anyway.

    OC, what can you do in a vehicle? (general carry, not meeting an exception) Unload you pistol. Once it is unloaded you can do anything you want with it. I always kept my carry in the holster, and the holster on my hip. Then when you get out of the car you reload. I would strongly discourage you leaving any weapon loose in a moving vehicle...it could become dangerous if you were in an accident (a missile). Also, held properly in a holster is less likely to draw unwanted questions.

    BTW: This unloaded garbage goes for long guns too (rifles and shotguns) F&W rules..no ammo in a long gun, chamber or magazine, ever, even if you have a CPL, in or on a vehicle. (lame anti-poaching rule) Only exception here is if you have a disabled hunter's license, or you are LE.

    OK, now general OC on foot. You can OC, loaded, unlicensed pretty much anywhere, yep, into a church, store, bank, library, park, city council meeting, the state capitol building, exceptions to general carry are in RCW 9.41.280 (schools) and RCW 9.41.300 (bars and what local governments can restrict,,,not much) If an establishment has a sign posted by the liquor control board as restricted to "21 and over only" (generally called a "bar") you cannot carry in that posted area, CPL or no CPL. If the establishment is a restaurant that serves alcohol, maybe it even has a posted bar attached, you can enter the restaurant and eat and drink...you however cannot enter the bar section armed. (that section will be prominently posted "21 and over only". no kids or guns allowed in posted bars.

    May I suggest you visit the Washington forum on OCDO: Washington (OCDO has a forum for MA too...but it is not very active)

    Lots of good people over there on that forum that OC on a regular basis. Lot's of meet and greets, where people have been, businesses that are friendly to OC, and those that are not. It is an active board, you will learn a lot. There also is a sticky that will answer most of your questions.

    OK, now for general considerations: LE cannot legally ask you for ID, your CPL, or your weapon unless you are suspected of some specific possible criminal activity. Random stops by LE for a licensed activity (like just to check your DL) are illegal per US Supreme Court, and roadblock stops in WA, OR and ID are illegal per the state Supreme Courts. LE MUST have a reasonable reason to stop you. Your properly (in a holster, not in your hand waving it around) carried OC weapon is not a reasonable reason to stop you here. They cannot ask you for a CPL because none is required. OC (and CC in certain situations) is a legal activity, no license required.

    There are a couple people over on OCDO that have won 1983 civil rights law suits against officers/jurisdictions that did not follow the law. It is people like that, that make it easy to OC for the rest of us. They took the fight to the anti's and won.

    I would suggest you don't inform when stopped, as being armed has nothing to do with the contact (unless you are suspected of being involved in a CRIME) You do not have to tell an officer you are armed at any time. That said, I keep my DL/insurance card and registration in my center consul. Should I be stopped (doesn't happen often, but it does happen) I pull over, put the car in park, turn off the engine, and retrieve the pertinent information (DL/IC/REG) from the center consul and have it ready for the officer, my hands on the wheel, the information in my hand.

    I have carried (vast majority of the time OC) for 43 years. I have never been asked for my CPL, and I have never been disarmed. I have had contact with LE in that period of time. Your mileage may vary.
     
  18. dejure

    dejure New Member

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    Just a bit of input:

    I note someone indicated federal law prohibited carrying in a school zone. Washington law aside, the case of United States v. Alfonso Lopez, Jr., 514 U.S. 549 (1995) made clear such laws overstepped Congressional authority. I've been out of the loop a while, but if someone knows of more recent changes, please let me know.

    For reference, the Revised Code of Washington [RCW] is not the law. It is what is called prima facie evidence of the law. The importance of this rests in that the Code Revisor, when codifying Washington law, sometimes makes mistakes. Of course, it just may be the legislators wanted to hide the actual law.

    Consider, for example, Washington Supreme Court's rule CrRLJ 7, for courts of limited jurisdiction. It says, essentially, an inferior court must amend or remove any court rule which conflicts with the Supreme Court Rule to avoid being in contempt of the Supreme Court. This rule was never done away with, but hasn't been published since around 99.

    From the foregoing, it's obvious it can benefit to look into the actual law and compare it to the code. Here is another example:

    Washington's Public Records Act [PRA] was put in place in 1972. It addressed matters pertaining to election campaigns, business dealings of public officials after elected and the public's right of access to it records (we are the government, them others, they be the "representatives"). In the last decade, the legislature altered the code so that the public records portion was found under a new code, chapter 42.56 RCW, while campaign finance's and business dealings remained under chapter 42.17 RCW.

    Even attorneys now, erroneously, believe the two code sections indicate the relative laws are separate. However, they are not, since the legislature only changed the code and not the law. As such, administrative remedies, when agencies fail to comply with the laws on disclosure of public, found under the old code section still apply.

    Now, back to the matter of the PRA. It is one of the most remarkable and powerful tools at your disposal. Unfortunately, few attorneys understand its power. Using it, you can request records (you cannot ask questions, so convert them to records requests) and the agency MUST respond within five business days. Exceptions to that would include, for example, the laws referenced at chapter 42.56 RCW that require local agencies to "prominently display" policies and procedures. Obviously, requests for them should not require five [business] days when you make an oral request for them directly to the agency.

    Using the Act, you can request of local police and sheriffs their policies and procedures regarding open carry. Clearly, doing such can set the stage, if you are harassed open carrying. Using the agency's [mandatory] response, you can show willful intent that could be devastating to the agency.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  19. GunRightsCoalition

    GunRightsCoalition Vancouver Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Drivers license is not needed unless you are driving. Carrying a firearm has no bearing on it.
    I Open Carry in public at all times (with the exception in the laws) and have never been hassled by LE. At most they ask what I am carrying.
    Schools are a prohibited place, banks are not, I open carry in the local bank once every month or so.
    There is no requirement to notify LE that you are armed. If open carrying then they will likely see it but you need not tell them unless they ask.
    Carrying your Glock on a walk with your wife would qualify as an outdoor activity and therefore an exception which would allow you to choose your method of carry. (Concealed/Open your choice)

    No. In a vehicle loaded requires a CPL.

    No, it just needs to be unloaded. Does not need to be un-holstered or in your glove box.

    Open Carry just means it must be visible. If your coat covers it then it is concealed. Strong side holster that is visible and your good to go.

    Technically you cannot have it loaded in the vehicle. Practically it is doubtful they will mess with you if you do so immediately on entering or before leaving. If your doing so out in the open then it puts you in a tough spot as it could be taken as an act that could alarm others. IMO, choose one or the other and if questioned stand on your right and make them aware that you are doing your best even though you are in a position where there is no way to meet both requirements without giving up the right. (Which is not a reasonable option)

    That works though it isn't necessary to throw it in the glove box. that just puts it that much harder to get if you need it.
     
  20. GrpCapMandrake

    GrpCapMandrake Vancouver Active Member

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    Now I am curious...

    Does the entire holster have to be visible to count as OC? If I typically carry concealed with an IWB holter and it gets warm out can I remove my jacket and then be considered OC'ing my pistol? Or would it still be considered concealed because of the IWB carry?

    I suppose I could just get a different holster but that Milt Sparks holster was not real cheap and took a long time to get so I intend on using it till the gun or it fall apart.