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WA and OR open carry question

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by sneakboxer, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    I would like to double check my understanding of the open carry laws for hiking and other outdoor/wilderness activities. First off, hold CPLs for both states and have been caring concealed for years now. I intend to carry a GP-100 up and down some hiking trails in the Mount Saint Helens and MT Hood areas this week. The way i read the law i'm good to go hiking with an exposed firearm in both states, forest service, state park, BLM whatever. Maybe not in their buildings but on the trail/in the woods. I plan to talk to the rangers tomorrow but would rather not leave a gun in my truck if i don't have to. Oh yea i don't want to go to jail any time soon.
    Any help or references would be appreciated,
     
  2. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    Both WA and OR are open carry states...not sure about specific regulations concerning federal lands, but I recall a recent court ruling that lifted the ban on firearms in national parks.
     
    glockman99 and (deleted member) like this.
  3. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    you can carry on federal lands, but not in federal buildings such as the ranger station
     
  4. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Vancouver Well-Known Member

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    I would be curious to hear your experience and encounters with civilian and law enforcement, as. I plan to do much the same. Legal is one thing, it's not worth it if you are being harassed while you do it.
     
  5. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    Fast Eddy, I chickened out and kept my 40 inside my belt. There were zero "no gun" signs on the trails i hiked. I tried to find a ranger but never bumped into one. I'm about 99% sure you would be good to go outside of the buildings. If you find anything else out please report back. I will be spending more time up there, that mountain is pretty cool.
     
  6. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Having taught LE's about open carry in the past, here's my training in a nutshell;

    Here's a guideline for open carry in WA State;

    Scenario:
    Officer Smith sees two men walking down a sidewalk, the men appear to be talking as they cross the street. One of the men greets a lady as they pass. Officer Smith notices everyone is taking a second look at the men. Officer Smith sees both men are carrying what appear to be semi-auto pistols on their belts. It doesn’t appear the men are trying to hide the guns.


    QUESTION #1:
    Have the men committed a crime by carrying their guns where everyone can see them while in public?

    The correct answer: No
    Washington is an “open carry” state for firearms. This means there is a presumption that carrying a handgun in an exposed holster, for instance, is legal except where it is specifically prohibited. Open carry does not require a license.

    QUESTION #2:
    RCW 9.41.270 states “It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm 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 others.”

    Can the men be charged?

    The correct answer: No
    In this law, mere possession of an openly carried handgun is not prohibited. In order to support an enforcement action under this law, the officer must be able to articulate (describe in a convincing manner) malicious intent by the suspect or circumstances that reasonably cause alarm to the public. In either case, because open carry in Washington is presumably legal, the articulation must include something beyond mere, open possession.
     
  7. gunjunky

    gunjunky Arlington, WA Active Member

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    What wichaka said.

    In the woods I bet you will not get a second glance. However, in the city I patrol the scenarrio described would (and has) garner 911 calls.
     
  8. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    I have opened carried for several years in the mountains in both states. No one makes an issue of it, ever. It's fairly common. Shooting on FS land is also totally fine, just away from roads and buildings and safely. I usually take some ammo and targets in the saddle bags for that, too. This is not OK on NP land, but is fine and commonly done on USFS and BLM land.
     
  9. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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  10. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I carry, at least in WA. I don't really decide to CC vs OC most of the time. Lots of times I do both back and forth, more so in the colder months. When I have a coat or something on, then it is CC, when I take it off then I am OC.

    I do live on the east side of the state where the sight of a gun does not freak people out. But I work in Yakima and OC here. I make many trips to the west side of the state and occasionally OC there. Again it just depends on how I am dressed and what I am doing.

    When I got to OR I HAVE to OC since I don't have a CPL down there, someday I need to fix that. GF and I did a 3 day trip down to central OR 2 years ago. We both OC the whole time. We took the motorcycles through Crater Lake and a couple of the other parks. Did not have one bit of trouble. Had a few people politely ask about them, not being aware of the law. After I explained it they said they would be brining theirs next time.