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Non CCW Handgun Transport in WA

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by luvmystang67, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. luvmystang67

    luvmystang67 Everett, WA New Member

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    So here's my situation. I understand there is always a gray area, and that police are not lawyers. So my question is 2 fold. One side (most important to me) what is legal to the best of everyone's knowledge and the other is what is preferred/passable/harassment free.

    My situation is that I drive an extended cab nissan pickup. Nothing in the cab locks (except the doors) and everything is reachable from the drivers seat. It is small. Also, open bed and its raining outside (ie. nothing going in the bed of the truck.)

    Trying to take my handguns somewhere (revolvers, but it doesn't matter) I need to have them in the cab of my truck. I currently do not have cases for them, they are in holsters. So I take them unloaded and usually put them together in a box and throw a coat or something over them so in case I get out of my car I don't forget to hide them before I lock it and run into a gas station or something.

    I also have the ammo in the cab because again, its raining outside and don't really want to stick them in the open bed. My glove box btw is tiny and full of crap, none of this would fit in there even if it were cleaned out.

    So my question is how do i travel with my handguns? Is it LEGAL for me to have them unloaded and in the car, with a coat over them (in a holster) in a box and the ammo in my car. Is it legal for me to have them UNCOVERED in the car? Are both these options technically legal under WA state law?

    Also, what is advised given my situation. Cops don't always know all the laws and I don't want to have to deal with lawyers, so what would they PREFER to see in my situation so that I didn't have to go to court and could avoid it on the spot.

    I am interested in both questions, one because I want to know the FACTS and two because I would prefer to avoid trouble (but still know what is technically legal).

    It doesn't really clarify for the sake of this situation in the RCW. And dont tell me to get a CCW, I am planning to but haven't yet, the rules for that are clear. I'm concerned about this gray area that I have presented.

    PS Complete sidenote, but there are exemptions for going to or from shooing events, hunting, hiking and crap like that. Say I'm going somewhere for a weekend to see friends and do some of those things, and am on my way back to my house across the state after the weekend. I wouldn't be DIRECTLY coming to or from those activities, but they were performed in a small window and it was part of my intent of the trip... thoughts?
     
  2. NCW Ray

    NCW Ray Sunny Eastern Washington Active Member

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  3. zane

    zane Vancouver, WA Member

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  4. luvmystang67

    luvmystang67 Everett, WA New Member

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    Yes, I have read that. They have sections, but the only ones which regard vehicle transport WITHOUT a CCW AND unloaded are unclear.

    (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. - This is in regard to carrying on his/her person. Not what I'm referring to. And if having it concealed in a car is a problem then where does having it in a case come into that? Not saying its a bad idea, but where does it SAY it as mandatory.

    Everything else in that RCW has to do with either a loaded pistol or someone with a CCW and/or a loaded pistol. Except the last part which is referring to leaving it in assumed unattended, locked within a vehicle.

    Thanks though. I've read through all the firearm transport RCW's and didn't find an answer to my question.
     
  5. luvmystang67

    luvmystang67 Everett, WA New Member

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    This is as close to clear as I have seen, however it is in a section that is listing exemptions to the RCW 9.41.050 and this is one of them. But as far as I can tell what I would be doing isn't illegal under 9.41.050 and thus this exemption is unnecessary. Furthermore, if this is a list of exemptions for 9.41.050, it would then imply (which I know cannot be the case or legal) that if you have it in an opaque case you are exempt from 9.41.050 and can thus have it loaded in your car without a CCW IF it is contained in that opaque case. Again, I realize not technically true/bad idea. Just saying though...
     
  6. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    (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.

    Loaded is the key word here. You can do whatever you want with an unloaded pistol.

    Here's some more to back up my claim RCW 77.15.460: Loaded firearm in vehicle

    Key here is: (5) For purposes of this section, a firearm shall not be considered loaded if the detachable clip or magazine is not inserted in or attached to the firearm.

    I would actually suggest not throwing the coat over the box of guns. At least while your in the car. You tend to run into more issues with 'concealed' than simply having the gun.
     
  7. SheepDog223

    SheepDog223 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Get your Utah CC permit and don't worry about it.
     
  8. luvmystang67

    luvmystang67 Everett, WA New Member

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    Thanks... this from my original post though...
    "It doesn't really clarify for the sake of this situation in the RCW. And dont tell me to get a CCW, I am planning to but haven't yet, the rules for that are clear. I'm concerned about this gray area that I have presented."
     
  9. NCW Ray

    NCW Ray Sunny Eastern Washington Active Member

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    If the OP's profile is correct, it shows his/her city of residence of Everett, Wa.
    =====================================

    RCW 9.41.073
    Concealed pistol license — Reciprocity.


    (1)(a) A person licensed to carry a pistol in a state the laws of which recognize and give effect in that state to a concealed pistol license issued under the laws of the state of Washington is authorized to carry a concealed pistol in this state if:

    (i) The licensing state does not issue concealed pistol licenses to persons under twenty-one years of age; and

    (ii) The licensing state requires mandatory fingerprint-based background checks of criminal and mental health history for all persons who apply for a concealed pistol license.

    (b) This section applies to a license holder from another state only while the license holder is not a resident of this state. A license holder from another state must carry the handgun in compliance with the laws of this state.

    (2) The attorney general shall periodically publish a list of states the laws of which recognize and give effect in that state to a concealed pistol license issued under the laws of the state of Washington and which meet the requirements of subsection (1)(a)(i) and (ii) of this section.

    [2004 c 148 § 1.]
     
  10. CIPuyleart

    CIPuyleart La Center, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The key points (and it would have to take a pretty dumb-gum LEO or DA to claim otherwise) are unloaded and closed opaque case or secure wrapper. If you have them in an open-top cardboard box, that is no longer "closed" and opaque. If you have them in a pistol rug, inside of a duffle bag, or in a holster in a closed box, or tackle box, ammo can, etc., and unloaded you would have to have done a whole lot of other things to p__s off the LEO before they'd go after you for something like attempting to conceal. Throwing a coat over it to keep a looky-loo from deciding to smash and grab is just smart...so long as what the coat is covering is by itself a closed item. Keep the mags and ammo in a separate, closed, bag/box/range kit, and you'd have a hard time finding an LEO (or DA) that would state you were breaking the law.

    The fact you can reach everything in the cab with one arm while driving wouldn't be an issue. Think about the actions you would have to do to pull the gun and use - you would have to open what the gun is in AND open what the ammo is in AND THEN proceed to load the gun before you could use it. Unless you are in the process of doing that when the LEO walks up to your passenger window, I doubt you're going to raise any suspicions.

    Of course, my advice is worth what you're paying for it. ;)
     
  11. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Yep, Utah license doesn't do a WA resident any good in WA, you still need a WA CPL to carry.

    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
     
  12. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    My 3 bits worth. Gut a lockable tool box. Put mags and ammo in that. Problem solved.
     
  13. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Where is the WA law that says you cant have ammo/mags and a firearm in the same spot in a vehicle? Only law I can find is one that says you cant have a loaded gun..........
     
  14. cwegga

    cwegga Helena, MT Active Member

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    There isn't one.
     
  15. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    EXACTLY.........................
     
  16. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    not trying to be antagonistic but why don't you just get a CPL... it's cheap, it's easy and it allows you to have a loaded gun with you without any problems... this is a SHALL issue state, so unless you've got one of the disqualifying reasons, you will get it in 30 days....

    there's the law and then there's the cop's interpretation of the law...

    that being said I would put a lock on the box and that would limit search of the box without a warrant unless you voluntarily open it... by putting it in a tool box, most will assume it's full of tools... by locking it and keeping it unloaded you demonstrate good faith that you don't intend to have a readily useable weapon within your reach... having the bullets in a different box or the magazine unloaded would be better show of good faith...

    but legally you just need an opaque container... or a CPL...
     
  17. gogoDawgs

    gogoDawgs Federal Way, WA Active Member

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    You may carry UNLOADED handguns anywhere in your vehicle EXCEPT concealed on your person. You may have an unloaded pistol with the loaded magazine duct taped to the grip and duct taped to your forehead and that is legal. It may not be concealed on your person unless you have a CPL. You may have them on the seat next to you either in the open or a coat over them. I would recommend a duffle bag or something like that....
     
  18. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    So several good points above got obscured in this conversation. I am not a lawyer, but I have been carrying with a CPL for several years, I have made a prety intense study of the issue, and been through some formal education on it in NRA courses to become a pistol instructor and with lots of LE and other instructors.

    First, kudos for the second poster for posting directly to the controlling authority. These discussions mean nothing without citing the actual law and inviting people to examine for themselves.

    There is no law against transporting an unloaded firearm in a vehicle in Washington State. Unloaded means no round in the chamber, cylinder, and no magazine inserted. Long guns may never be transported loaded in a vehicle except during hunting season WITH A DISABLED HUNTER PERMIT (RCW 77.15.460: Loaded firearm in vehicle)

    The rule for carrying in an opaque container RCW 9.41.060: Exceptions to restrictions on carrying firearms. section (9) does not apply to vehicles, it's in reference to carrying a pistol on your person. This section is here so that you're not illegal carrying a pistol in a pistol case or otherwise in a state that is not ready to use, but not visible in public. In Mississippi, people have been prosecuted by over-zealous LE for carrying a pistol openly in a holster, because LE said the holster obscured a portion of the firearm and therefore it was "concealed". This section is here to prevent such trumped-up bullbubblegum.

    RCW 9.41.050: Carrying firearms. section (2)(a) says that you cannot place a loaded pistol in a motor vehicle (and from every bit of research I've done, this means on a motorcyle too) unless you have a CPL. (Some people believe this does not apply to an RV that is being used as a residence, but I cannot find an exemption in the law for that.) If you have a CPL there is absolutely no requirements on where the pistol is placed or displayed inside a vehicle while you are occupying the vehicle. If you leave the vehicle, it must be obscured from sight (no container required) and the vehicle itself (at a minimum) must be locked. There's no requirement for a locking container inside the vehicle. Locking glove boxes and center consoles are a joke anyway. It's more work to break into the outside of a vehicle than into these, and it's not bloody hard to break a window.

    If you do NOT have a CPL, then you cannot place a loaded pistol in a vehicle period. If the pistol is unloaded, there is no requirement as to how it is stored or displayed while occupying the vehicle. There is no requirement to empty magazines, as long as the firearm itself is unloaded. If you leave the unloaded pistol in the vehicle and exit the vehicle, the pistol must be stored out of sight and the vehicle must be locked. No special container or wrapper required. It simply must not be seen from outside the vehicle, same as a loaded pistol if you have the CPL.

    At no point is there a requirement to keep the pistol, ammo, magazine, anything out of your reach or out of sight while driving.

    The exemption to the rules on carrying concealed in RCW 9.41.060: Exceptions to restrictions on carrying firearms. section (8) do not apply to carrying a loaded pistol in a vehicle, they apply to carrying concealed on the person while engaged in lawful outdoor activivies. Thus you can conceal a pistol while hiking in the woods, and technically should be able to do so while walking in a park in Seattle for exercise, but I would be iffy on a LEO buying this in the forst case, and you're almost certainly getting arrested in the second case, since many LEO will hassle you for openly carrying in a park in seattle, even though it is perfectly legal and they've had lawsuits about this before.
     
  19. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Just get a CPL..............jk

    Yeah ,no real gray area,just like everyone else has put it out,as long as it aint loaded,you're good to go.
    Someone told me years ago the ammo needed to be in a separate compartment from the guns.
    Couldn't find it anywhere,which means it's legal in Wa law.

    I think a print out of the links mentioned should do the trick if you are worried about the policia wondering WTF you're doing.Then they can read it and see you are a legal eagle.
     
  20. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Not seeing where it make any determination or differentiates the two.
    It also would apply to the vehicle if it doesn't separate the two.

    Basically RCW 9.41.060 completely negates the prior RCW.