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Open Carry in vehicle WA laws

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Chick Holsters, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Chick Holsters

    Chick Holsters WA Member

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    Question for all you savvy people out there...

    I've heard of a couple of incidents where a WA resident was open carrying while driving a vehicle in state. When pulled over for something like speeding, they apparently were cited for (not sure what technical section of the law was used) basically improper transportation or maybe exposure of the firearm.

    Now my understanding from the laws is that if they had placed the firearm in the seat next to them or the center console, then maybe they could have gotten cited under the transportation law (mag should have been separated from the gun etc). But if the gun was physically on them in carrying form, I can't come up with a valid citation from what I read in the laws.

    Anyone know of a piece of the law that might indicate otherwise?

    Gracias in advance
     
  2. bwells

    bwells Longview Member

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  3. Chick Holsters

    Chick Holsters WA Member

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    Thank you.

    Yes, I'm sorry I failed to mention that I was told one guy did have his permit. BUT I didn't hear if he had it on him at the time and I would imagine that would make a difference. :)
     
  4. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider Tacoma, Wa Member

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    In Washigton state, if a gun is being open carried... the minute you get into a vehicle it is being concealed.

    ...I think you have to hold it out the widow while you drive... if you wanna stay on the up and up with the law :p
     
  5. Chick Holsters

    Chick Holsters WA Member

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    Haha Nice--I will have to try that should I forget my permit some day :thumbup:
     
  6. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    maybe hang it from the rear view like fuzzy dice
     
  7. Tactical SS

    Tactical SS Washington Member

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    So if I was OC'ing, and I got in my car, I would CC'ing? Then once I get out, I am OC'ing again?

    So anyone with a CPL is okay to OC when they are going in and out of a car?
     
  8. Chick Holsters

    Chick Holsters WA Member

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    So I assumed "yes" to your question, until I start hearing about people getting citations. Thus my own original question. But as bwells pointed out--without the permit it's illegal, so maybe the citations i hear about didn't have permits with them??? I hope that's the case.
     
  9. Chick Holsters

    Chick Holsters WA Member

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    I like it! :thumbup:
     
  10. supergenius

    supergenius 206 Active Member

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    Heres a recent experience with the Brier PD.


    I got pulled over (reason not important). I have a CPL, and carry it in my wallet. My (loaded) weapon (SC pistol) was in a holster between my pass seat and my console. My wallet is under my computer bag on my pass seat.

    Normally if I would have had my pistol on me, i wouldnt disclose unless asked... But I always keep my hands on the wheel as an officer approaches until were both comfy. This time was no different, however when the officer asks for my licence and reg etc... I informed him that I had a loaded firearm and its location (Which if he watched me grab for my wallett he would have seen) as I had to pass over it to get my wallet which was in very close proximity to the gun under the case. Also informed him I have a CPL in the wallet. I then asked him how he wanted to proceed...


    He had me get my wallet slowly with my left hand under my right.... Which I did. He was relaxed and dindt even hav his hand near his sidearm...I gave him my licence and reg out of the glovebox... Then offered my CPL (he didnt ask to see it)... He had me sit in the car with both of my hands out of my window (LOL). After the stop, he thanked me for being forthcoming, but "informed" me (incorrectly i believe) that I cannot legally have my pistol where it was... He informed me he would not be ticketing me for it, but that he "could"....Rather than start an argument, I said ok. Asked him if it was OK to get out and stuff it in my waistband, he said yes, and took off.

    I was under the impresion with a CPL in a car you could do no wrong.... as long as you are IN THE CAR with the gun.


    I weigh each time I have an interaction with LEO as to how (or IF) I disclose.... I think every situation is different, and some dont warrant me informing at all, but sometimes its in everyones best interest.
     
  11. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider Tacoma, Wa Member

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    haha!

    even if the gun is strapped to your forehead, its still concealed once it enters that vehicle.

    Like I said, previously... the only way is to wave the gun out the window while driving. Makes for better cooperation from other drivers as well. :)

    ...ever pulled up to a 4-way stop with a gun out your window?? No one else seems to mind if they stopped first, or who has the right of way... you just go first! :D
     
  12. Tactical SS

    Tactical SS Washington Member

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    I have informally asked the WSP about a similar situation, and was told that as long as it wasn't concealed (if you didn't have a CPL) if was okay, if you had a CPL, you could do no wrong. Again, this was an informal inquiry and SHOULD NOT be taken as fact.
     
  13. Tactical SS

    Tactical SS Washington Member

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    You mention exposure of a firearm which leads me to believe that the officer/trooper was implying concealed carry. However since open carry is legal in WA, it also leads me to think that no matter what if you are in a car when you are opening carrying, that's automatically concealed carrying even if it is in plain view... according the the officer stating exposure of a firearm. You can't expose a OC firearm because, well it's always exposed.

    I would really like some certainty on this one, if only for peace of mind since I do have a CPL.
     
  14. HahnsXD

    HahnsXD Battle Ground WA Active Member

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    Seems many cops are misinformed and need the read the RCW. As long as you have a CPL, your gun can be anywhere in the vehicle, it doesn't need to be on your person or concealed, I don't know how this comes into play when you have passengers without a CPL, but I haven't found anything addressing that issue.
     
  15. ChicagoGuy

    ChicagoGuy Woodinville, WA Member

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    I could see a reason why this isn't clear to a LEO based on the wording in the RCW:

    I think you could reasonably interpret that to mean I need to have the pistol in a hoslter (open or concealed), not in the passenger's seat or an open center console. That may also explain the officer's comment that having it between the seats could be a ticket but stuffing it in your waistband would make it ok.
     
  16. Tactical SS

    Tactical SS Washington Member

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    So that also means that having it in the glove box, I do not do this however, is not okay?

    Does this mean that the pistol has to be in a locked car, or that it has to be in some sort of locked compartment within the car?
     
  17. oasis618

    oasis618 Tacoma, Wa Active Member

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    This is just about the conclusion I've come to as well. Walk around open carrying a gun on your belt all day but when you get in your car you'd better hide it. :nuts:
     
  18. Chick Holsters

    Chick Holsters WA Member

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    I think maybe it's ok in glove box as long as you are there with your chl and/or you've left it in the glove box and locked the vehicle. If the vehicle is locked and gun is not in view (so not sitting on the seat), then I think you're ok. Not ok if you don't have a chl.

    But then again, heck if I know. I just don't leave it. :)
     
  19. HahnsXD

    HahnsXD Battle Ground WA Active Member

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    Even the Attorney General voiced his opinion on the wording of the RCW.

    I got this from another member on here, no online link for it so here's a screenshot.

    atgy.jpg
     
  20. ChicagoGuy

    ChicagoGuy Woodinville, WA Member

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    That's a great letter. Thanks.

    It still doesn't make any sense to me, because even with OR as the conjunction, that second statement doesn't make any reference to physical location not being on my person, just that I need to be in the vehicle with the handgun OR it needs to be locked up out of sight when I'm not.

    But hey, the AG said that I'm clearly wrong. Which is cool, especially since I typically drive with my 1911 in a holster I sewed into the seat and NOT on my person. :laugh: