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Open carry in Washington

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Newcastle, May 31, 2009.

  1. Newcastle

    Newcastle Newcastle Member

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    New member here, I had a question regarding open carry. I was in Kent a few weeks ago at a fast food restaurant and one of the customers was open carrying; is this legal in Washington? does it vary for each local municipality?
     
  2. whitecopter

    whitecopter WashingtonCounty Member

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    Washington is an open carry state. However I don't think you can open carry in your car without a permit. Some cities or counties may have laws against it but as the state as a whole it is Legal. Example: Oregon is open carry, but the city of Portland, and Beaverton have local laws prohibiting it. A good sight for information is opencarry.org. Hope this Helps.
     
  3. Turbone

    Turbone Bonney Lk, WA New Member

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    http://opencarry.org/wa.html

    Still under consideration.
    Sort of.
    Its all in the interpretation of the Law.
    Read some of the stories on the OpenCarry web site.
     
  4. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    Not in Washington. Washington has "pre-emption" and municipalities cannot make gun laws independent of the state legislature. What is legal regarding carrying firearms in one place in WA is legal in all as I understand it. For example, there is a well-known issue where Seattle's highly incompetent mayor, Greg "Small Change" Nickels, is trying to restrict carry on city property. The WA state AG has already publicly told him to go pound sand instead as it will be more effective. Washington's legislature has already and long ago enacted legislation that reserves making gun laws solely to itself, thus pre-empting local governments from violating the state constitution by enacting ordinances.

    Urban police training manuals I have seen train the officers to understand that open carry is legal and to not over-react when citizens open carry. This does not mean every officer in WA knows this, but it is the law. Sure, an occasional ignorant goof can hassle you, but that doesn't mean he/she is correct and they legally can't stop you as long as you follow the law.
     
  5. Newcastle

    Newcastle Newcastle Member

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    Well this has gotta scare the heck out of you to open carry:

    RCW 9.41.270
    Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm — Unlawful carrying or handling — Penalty — Exceptions.

    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

    I bolded the scary part... how this basically reads is if some anti-gun person doesn't like you carrying they can probably make something up against you, and who do you think the police are going to believe? This makes the case for carrying concealed in my mind.
     
  6. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    You have just (mis) quoted the law on brandishing a weapon. That has noting to do with open carry.

    What that law really says is you can not go around with weapons WITH THE INTENT of intimidating people, regardless of whether you use said weapon. This is how the law is understood and applied.

    Check out the open carry people. They will tell you what the law is. Yes, they sometimes bump into people who call the cops, and cops who don't know the law. This usually results in a much needed education for the idiot calling the cops and the police if they are not well trained. This is not a reason to just give up on a god-given right enshrined in both the US and the state constitution.

    There is confusion on this point, and that is understandable as our society has spent a good 30 or 40 years demonizing guns and we have been brain-washed to fear them. As thoughtful gun owners, I think we really have a civic duty to educate folks and carry the torch forward - and since the late 80s laws have been steadily moving in that direction. Heller is going to make for a sea-change in laws and attitudes over the next 10 to 20 years.
     
  7. Newcastle

    Newcastle Newcastle Member

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    That isn't a misquote, that is a direct quote taken from RCW; you probably mean mis-interpretation.

    Not splitting hairs here, and I'm in favor of carrying weapons, but isn't one of the purposes of carrying open intimidation? it might be intimidation against a criminal but it's still intimidation; I just don't trust the LE's to make the right decisions in this state... morover King County.
     
  8. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    Yes, sorry, I meant mis-interpretation. Correct. You were being too conservative in reading the law I believe.

    Um, to me it's about comfort and convenience. A 1911 in my pants is one thing I don't want in there! My belt is tight enough already!

    Seriously - think of it this way - why do soldiers carry their sidearms on the chest or hip? I mean, they have a rifle, or a tank - that's intimidating. The handgun is there because it's more convenient and comfortable that way.

    There may be people who would think of carrying a gun as an act of intimidation. And that would be wrong - but just like gun laws, you can't punish the law-abiding a priori because someone might be a jerk. you punish the jerks. Or at least, that's our theory of justice we try to live up to. Other societies most definitely do not follow that principle. And that is part of the reason, as much as I like the place, I won't move to British Columbia.
     
  9. slickx45

    slickx45 Seattle - Eastside Active Member

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    The key to that law is: warrants alarm for the safety of other persons. It does not say "causes" in fact I believe it was changed at some point to warrants. This is to make it clear that the person who is alarmed is justifed in their reason for being alarmed. Is the person who is OC acting in a threatening manner or making threatening statements? Is the person OC doing anything that warrants alarm? In cases where a person calls 911 to report a "person with a gun" most dispatchers in WA are trained to get more info as to if it's just someone who is OCing. Check out the opencarry.org site, it has great info.
     
  10. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    What about an Oregonian OCing in WA. state. Same law?
     
  11. stejben

    stejben Seattle WA New Member

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    So really the bottom line is that it, as most things, is up to the responding officer and then the DA in that area. So.....get a cpp and you won't have to worry about it ;)
     
  12. stejben

    stejben Seattle WA New Member

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    So really the bottom line is that it, as most things, is up to the responding officer and then the DA in that area. So.....get a cpp and you won't have to worry about it ;)
     
  13. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    You are free to do so, cc license or not.

    Uh, no. It appears you didn't read the thread, or go to opencarry.org? Let's reiterate that just for those who might wonder:

    Please note that statement is YEARS old and much has been done to reduce the misinformation. It is not up to local jurisdictions to decide state firearms laws. The AG has been quite clear on that in the last year. Most police are trained to know OC is legal. Those that don't generally get educated pretty fast.

    Get a cpp if you want to conceal, or feel free to open carry where legal and within the law without hindrance. It's your call, not the local cops or DA.
     
  14. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    Main reason I can see to OC in Washington is if one does not have the CPL.

    My biggest fear in OC, though, is some smart clown getting huffy, trying to provoke me or panicking and calling in the constabulary to adjudicate my intentions. Of course, with the new "anti-discrimination" categories recently enacted, I can only see it as a matter of time until someone in one of the new "categories" unilaterally defines my intentions as hostile against them on the basis of their "category".

    best is to get the stupid unconstitional permit and avoid a LOT of hassle. Some places, I can easily imagine walking down the street almost like the Pied Piper, a train of gawkers following.......
     
  15. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    You made lots of quotes, including "anti-discrimination", "categories", and "category". Presumably you know that they have some new legal meaning we and the police do not and that should make us worried about some new enactments?

    Or are you just being another fear-monger and not able to find a real legal precedent that validates your paranoia? I don't mean to be nasty, but if you want to be a fear-monger, I'm going to insist you point to a single legal case where the general public needs to actually have fear; and just not listen to guys on the internet not accountable for their words.

    Please point to one case that supports your version of paranoia instead of the published law and public experience?

    Man, I hate to be a stiff-one, but I insist people who want to tell us how to live and interpret the law actually point to real law when interpreting it. Let's base our arguments on real law, not armchair bs.
     
  16. JMH1969

    JMH1969 Tacoma New Member

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    What restaurant was it? That might have been me! :D I've been OCing ALOT this last few months and I spend alot of time in the Kent/Covington area. I notice people giving me double takes and side ways glances. :paranoid: The reason that I have been OCing is to help educate people that its ok to carry a gun and that there is nothing to fear from someone just because they have a gun. I am prepared to have any conversations that someone may want to start with me and yes, that includes any LEO's. :thumbup:

    Up to this point I have only had posative interactions with others about me OCing. One day when I went to the dump down in Sumner the guy next to me says, "I bet no one tries to steal your garbage!" :laugh: We talked for several minutes and he said that he has a gun but hasn't made the decision to carry yet. I encouraged him to think about doing it.

    I'm not saying that we should OC all the time, however if people started seeing more gun owners OCing then maybe people would start to get a more posative outlook on gun ownership and carrying. JMHO
     
  17. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    It was mentioned early on that carrying pr possessing a LOADED weapon in a vehicle is illegal unless it is either locked in the trunk, for example, or the one carrying/possessing it has the CPL. It must NOT be accessible to the driver whilst the vehicle is moving... unless he has the CPL. Trunk is OK. Gun in one container, ammo/clips in another, OK. Both together, or reachable by the driver, NOT OK without the CPL. Just thought I'd clarify. SO-- if you do OC, when you return to the car the weapon must be cleared, locked in the trunk, of another locked container inaccessible to the driver. (and maybe passengers as well... not certain on that one) So, don't OC at the dump, then hop in your trusty pickemup with the piece on your hip, then drive off into the sunset. BIG bust if they find you.
     
  18. JMH1969

    JMH1969 Tacoma New Member

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    tionico, you are correct that you do have to have a CPL/CWP to have a loaded gun in the car with you. I'm covered! :thumbup:
     
  19. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    One of the main reasons I wanted my own CPL.... I can imagine having a hunting or target pistol on my belt, tired and a bit rummy from a long day, hopping into the car and forgetting about the niggly details of the law (meant to "protect" us, you know.... by making a lot of innocent people into criminals. Right, I feel VERY protected...) then, somewhere down the road, having some LEO get a bit huffy (oh, THAT"S neber happened before, either, right?) and then I find myself a criminal, right to keep and bear arms removed..... for doing something I never would have thought twice about.

    Of course, there are other advantages to having the CPL..... but to keep myself out of a lot of legal trouble is high up there on the list.
     
  20. Right Wing Wacko

    Right Wing Wacko Snohomish County, WA New Member

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    From State vs Casad, where the a conviction was thrown out because the police initiated a terry stop simply because their suspect was carrying a weapon (In this case a rifle).

    This appeals court opinion quotes State vs Spencer which states: