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Legal opinion on handgun carry in a vehicle in WA

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by deen_ad, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    If anyone remembers: several weeks ago I posted that I had a determination from the WA AG's on guns not needing to be on your person while in a car.

    I was sorting papers today and found a copy.

    Here's the link


    8 US Presidents have been NRA members
    80 MILLION gun owners didn't shoot anyone today, a few criminals did!!

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    The "Feedback Score" is low by 4, not everyone posts it I guess.

    Deen
    NRA Benefactor/Recruiter
    Washington Arms Collector member
    Arms Collectors of South West Washington member
     
  2. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    From what I read of that a loaded, locked within the vehicle weapon is OK as long as the owner has a CPL

    This is how I understood the law for years now, and this allows you to have a primary or second (etc) handgun in a bag or case, readily available for self defense
     
  3. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Saved to my computer.
    The local ex-sheriff/gunstore owner says it has to be on your person,that's what he was taught!

    I'll have to show him this.

    Oh and thanks
     
  4. Spad

    Spad Kennewick,WA, the desert side Active Member

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    Letter is dated 1987, is it still valid?:paranoid: I hope so.....changes some things. Last class I was at(less the 6 months ago) the instructor was of the opinion the firearm had to be kept on your person in a vehicle. Washington State. Spad
     
  5. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    OK let me throw out some food for thought, the statute RCW 9.41.050 does not specify a valid Washington permit but only a valid weapon permit so.......?
     
  6. cwegga

    cwegga Helena, MT Active Member

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    Well, the RCW hasn't changed and the rules of grammar haven't changed. So I'd say your instructor needs to work on his English skills. As far as I'm concerned the meaning is obvious when reading RCW 9.41.050 2a. The letter was just a lawyer agreeing with how I've always interpreted it.
     
  7. Spad

    Spad Kennewick,WA, the desert side Active Member

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    The instructor was a retired Chief of Police, so I think his bona fides to make the statement carry some weight. Seems the obvious is who stops you and his interpetration at that time will take precedence. Maybe someone with a Washington State legal background could comment. Spad
     
  8. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    The paragraph just below the RCW ,on the first page,is the one that explains it all the best
    Its a picture so I can't copy the text.

    Trlsmn.... huh?
     
  9. Spad

    Spad Kennewick,WA, the desert side Active Member

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    The letter about the gun in the car not on person.Look who was the Deputy A.G. at the time, our present Governor, Christine. So I'm gonna make a copy of this and stick it in all my cars. Ha. Works for me. I think the interpetation is correct. Obviously the instructor was erring on the safe side,that is my thought. Thanks for all the information,now I'm gonna stick that holster set up back in my vehicles. :thumbup:Spad
     
  10. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    anyone know how to mount a holster in a xar without damaging the car?
     
  11. Spad

    Spad Kennewick,WA, the desert side Active Member

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    Think it depends on a lot of things. Weight and size of pistol. One of the ones that I did was with velcro.Got a small camera type bag from Wal-Mart, clued velcro back of the bag. And clued the other Velcro side to the tranny tunnel with Model airplane epoxy.You can get industrial grade velcro that is pretty strong.Alsothe material you have inside your car makes a difference In my truck coupla screws in the transmission tunnel, just screwed the holster into the tunnel, if you take the screws out you really can't see where the holes are. I'm gonnachange that now and bolt it in.Going to probably bolt the other cars too now. Both cases this was for a Makarov 9mm.Use you imagination,you might come up with something.;)Spad
     
  12. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to cop bash here but this is the WORST source of legal information ever.

    RCW 9.41.050
    Carrying firearms.


    (1)(a) Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, a person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his or her person without a license to carry a concealed pistol.

    (b) Every licensee shall have his or her concealed pistol license in his or her immediate possession at all times that he or she is required by this section to have a concealed pistol license and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or to any other person when and if required by law to do so. Any violation of this subsection (1)(b) shall be a class 1 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW and shall be punished accordingly pursuant to chapter 7.80 RCW and the infraction rules for courts of limited jurisdiction.

    (2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.

    (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.

    (3)(a) A person at least eighteen years of age who is in possession of an unloaded pistol shall not leave the unloaded pistol in a vehicle unless the unloaded pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.

    (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.

    (4) Nothing in this section permits the possession of firearms illegal to possess under state or federal law.



    (2)(a) States in plain english that you can have a "loaded pistol" in a vehicle IF you have a CPL and it is on your person OR, you are in the vehicle, OR it is locked and out of sight if you are away from the vehicle.

    , = or, it does not = and. As long as you meet ONE of the three conditions it is legal. If , = and you would have to meet all three requirements and it is pretty hard to be in and out of your car at the same time.......
     
  13. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    REMEMBER The gun can only be accessible TO YOU and probably should be within arms length so you have "control" of the gun. So unless you passenger has a CPL,they cannot have access to the gun.

    Nwcid?

    And then if you read the next RCW ,it almost negates everything this RCW states
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.060
     
  14. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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  15. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    No I was asking you to confirm the "in reach" part
     
  16. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Sorry. In my opinion, and it is just that but based on law, I would think it would not be too much of an issues unless maybe, and I do mean maybe the passenger is a felon. No matter how "safe and rule following" you are if you get the wrong LEO on the wrong day that just wants to be a pain you can be 100% right and still be wrong till you go to court. I have met that guy from time to time and been to court over stuff that was blatantly obvious to everyone but the LEO at that moment, but the judge made it clear to the LEO in court.

    In the case of drugs found in a vehicle they are the person in control of the vehicle unless you can prove otherwise. As the operator of the vehicle you are "responsible" for the vehicle and everything in it. So to me it would stand to reason (and I see no law against it) the gun could be anywhere in the vehicle and still considered "yours and in control. Even with my NFA stuff "in control" simply means I am there with the item even if someone else is using it at the moment. Now if you were riding around and your passenger had the pistol concealed on him without a CPL that would be an issue.

    The major part of most laws like this is that if you are not doing anything wrong in the first place you have very little chance of this even being an issue. Another example is the Silencer law in WA. It is poorly worded, no exemptions, and no prosecutions on anyone in LEGAL possession of one. You have very little risk an LEO causing you problems if you are just out plinking. Now if you are doing something else illegal or extremely dumb you have a very high chance of having an issue.

    Hopefully my opinion, based on what I know, helps.
     
  17. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Yeah ,it just may come up if you had a kid in the car and the gun siting there next to him.
    Again the ex-sheriff/gun store owner said the gun in the glove box is NOT in your control....If the passenger door is locked and no passengers,how is it not "in your control?

    And again don't ask a cop for legal advice.
     
  18. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    So a gun in the glove box is not in your control but according to the law you are in control of a minor to make them wear their seat belt cause they can not be in control of that. Or if you have a gun anywhere in your house then you kid would suddenly be in control if it there too... The logic just doesn't stand up to me.

    Also the law says nothing about control, it simply say "in a vehicle"..............

    EXACTLY
     
  19. TCOV

    TCOV OLYMPIC PENINSULA Active Member

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    I keep a copy of the AG letter in my vehicles. The confusion with older and retired officers is that prior to the current RCW it was required to have the weapon on your person when in the vehicle. It seems a lot of police don't keep up to date when changes to the law are made and sometimes pass on out of date information. I was stopped a few years ago by WSP and my pistol was not on my person and he had no problem with that.
     
  20. WIRED tactical

    WIRED tactical Snohomish County, WA Member

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    Now I know that in Alaska you have to declare you have your concealed pistol with you in the car AS SOON as the officer makes contact with you. Although I believe this is due to Alaska not requiring a CPL to conceal.

    Is this the same way with WA state? I don't want to have my handgun confiscated because I didn't let the officer know right away that I have a CP in the car with me. (I'm referring to that Alaska State Troopers episode where this happens)