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Open carry on motorcycle?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by hapuna, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. hapuna

    hapuna Seattle, WA Member

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    Ok this came up in a discussion on another forum and I just wanted to know if it is definitely legal?
    Since OC is legal in WA is it OK to wear your gun on your hip while riding a motorcycle???? Other than School Zones I can't think of why it wouldn't be. We all kind of guessed it was OK but just wanted to see if anyone actually knows its legal
     
  2. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    I think you need to see what the RCW has to say about vehicle carry. You can't carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle without a CPL, openly or concealed.

    It would be my suspicion the same law would apply to a motorcycle. If you do not have a cpl, this would be an area to be very careful about because of Washington's specific vehicle carry law.
     
  3. badclam

    badclam willapa bay Sunny SW WA Active Member

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    ORO is correct. No carry of loaded pistol in or on any motor vehicle without CPP.
     
  4. hapuna

    hapuna Seattle, WA Member

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    See you cheated. It doesn't mention "on" only within.
    Here is an opinion I got from a ccw forum. I also agree that this is to find the correct answer not to go riding with OC on my motorcycle.

    "I don't think the all-inclusive definition of vehicle as defined in
    RCW 46.04 would apply in this scenario. There is not a specific
    reference to Title 46 in 9.41.050. Even within Title 46 the
    definition changes several times. I would want to research case law. I
    think the prepositions "in" and "within" are what make this an
    interesting discussion. Some research of the original bill might show
    more on the legislative intent."
     
  5. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    Yeah, don't push it. People can argue about prepositions all they want, but let's think of it like this. Most gun people want to take the position of intent when analyzing the Constitution. They insist it was, and I agree, the intent of the framers to give individuals the right to "keep and bear" arms, regardless of that "militia"' bit up front. We can read about what their "intent" was and we insist on following it.

    I seriously believe that any judge confronted with this issue is going to look at the RCW and see the clear intent was to prevent open carry of non-licensed individuals when using motor vehicles. I seriously doubt he or she's going to make a carve-out of the law for motorcyclists - of which I'm one so I'm not against motorcyclists! That interpretation is contrary to the intent of the law and I think that kind of legal-weasling by gun-owners is shameful and hypocritical.

    BUT - I can see a counter-argument:

    Hmm, now here's an interesting scenario. Last year at a holloween event, my partner and I were open carrying on horseback. Now we weren't on public roads (much), but we were a little. Now I have a CPL, but she doesn't. I hope they don't read the statute to include "any conveyance!"

    Actually, that brings up a good angle - when on the public roads, what's the functional difference between a horse and a motorcycle, really? The operator/rider is open to plain view, and no reasonable method of open carry would in any way be concealed.

    So was the intent of the law to prevent "obstructive concealment" - e.g., you can't see a person's waist and weapon when seated in a vehicle. But you certainly can on a motorcycle (or horse).

    So what was the real intent of the law? Probably to protect LEO's approaching vehicles where an openly carried weapon could easily be concealed? Or to cover all conveyances on public roads? Or just motor vehicles?

    I dunno. Guess it's time to read the law.

    OK, here's a question. Where in the RCW is a specific prohibition on handguns in vehicles? I found this one on long guns, but I can't find the bit on hand guns:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=77.15.460
     
  6. badclam

    badclam willapa bay Sunny SW WA Active Member

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    hapuna,
    "I think the prepositions "in" and "within" are what make this an interesting discussion."

    I agree it is an interesting discusion,but,I would personally not test the theory myself. Not even on a logging road because I think your motorcycle has to be licenced to run around on logging roads making it a motor vehicle.And around we go again.
    I think legal or not you would be stopped and at least hassled,if not having your weapon taken or worse.
    When I carry a rifle on my motorcycle I carry it in a completly enclosed plastic case. I've not been stopped yet, but I get some horrified look's from motorist that I assume are from the city.
    (Not that all city people are gun hating liberal's,but a pretty good majority come from the city).And a lot of city people are not used to seeing gun's on the highway.
     
  7. hapuna

    hapuna Seattle, WA Member

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    ORO,
    Folks ususally pick one side of an arugument to defend/argue against. You have cleverly argued BOTH sides of it. You now see that it isn't clearly one or the other hence why I asked the question in the first place. Hey and as far as I am concerned a horse IS a vehicle.
     
  8. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    Yeah, the more I looked at it, the more you couldn't just be sure, so I outlined both ideas that I could see for each side. I try to be open minded until I get enough facts.

    I usually find that in most all cases, you can go read the law and it makes plain sense if you spend time thinking about it. In this case, it is indeed confusing and there isn't a clear answer.

    After sleeping on it, I'm of the opinion the law was intended to prevent open carry in a situation where a trooper or other person could be surprised - i.e., the gun was obscured. So going on "intent," it seems OC on a motorcycle, bicycle, or horse, heck even in a horse-drawn wagon, ought to be legal.
     
  9. gunnails

    gunnails Hillsboro Active Member

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    ========================================================

    I don't know much about law but I do know that a hore is not a vehicle, A horse is a horse, of course, of course
     
  10. cwegga

    cwegga Helena, MT Active Member

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    The RCW about not carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle is RCW 9.41.050

    (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.

    I don't know where I fall on this issue. I don't want to be the one to test it. Most likely they law was just created to make things awkward for us like the ridiculously oversized CPL that doesn't fit in any pocket of my wallet, except the paper money section. :laugh:
     
  11. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    then why can the give you a ticket for dui on a horse? Had a bud in colo get one and it stuck when he went to court on it.
     
  12. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    an exato knife trims it very well.

    I ride an never OC when riding. Simple reason. I don't want rode dirt in my gun. Besides it tends to bunch my leathers. I u\carry my 380 in some pocket and my 40 in a shoulder harness. Will do the same with 45 when i get the harness.
    I will ask a lawyer tomorrow for her opinion.
     
  13. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    But you can ride them for a price! :thumbup: