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Thread: Possession of a Pistol in a Vehicle

  1. #1
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    Possession of a Pistol in a Vehicle

    I am twenty years old so I cannot obtain a CHL as of yet, but I do not want to give up my right to protection because of this. I always choose to carry my pistol everywhere I go since we are an open carry state. When I travel through cities that have loaded bans, I always unload the gun but not the mag. I understand Portland has a loaded magazine ban as well but do not believe the city can do this under ORS 166.170 and ORS 166.173. However, my concerns lie with how to properly have my pistol while driving.

    My previous understanding was that the pistol needed to be in plain sight since I do not have any locking compartments (I.E. glove box). While I was driving through North Portland last night, I was pulled over due to a broken head light. I immediately told the officer I had an unloaded handgun on my passenger seat. The pistol was visible and was clearly distinguished as unloaded. I voluntarily stepped out of my car and soon three other officers arrived. Upon talking to the officers, they told me very condescendingly that I was wrong. I was told several different versions of the law by each officer. One told me that I was unable to own a pistol at the age of twenty which I knew was erroneous. Another told me that I could not even have bullets in my possession even if they were not in the gun or magazine. A third officer told me that I could not carry the gun in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. I was even told I was committing a felony offense. Officer Klundt (#32398) even told me that he could possibly shoot me if he saw me with a gun on my hip walking down the street; I told him he didn't possess proper trigger control then. They all told me there was no reason to even carry a weapon because only people become victims because they are looking for trouble. As a US Marine, I could not believe the amount of professionalism these officers were lacking. In the end, I did not receive the "felony" charge they were talking of, but I did have my pistol taken from me and put into safe keeping.

    I do know I was in violation of the Portland City Code for having a loaded magazine outside of the gun.
    However, my question is this, how can I properly carry my firearm in the vehicle?

  2. #2
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    To answer your question, you were properly openly carrying your pistol by placing it in the passenger seat of the car. Alternative methods would be to have it in your belt holster or to have it on the dashboard (but that might have it slide around and be impractical).

    As far as your police encounter goes, I'm assuming you didn't have an audio recorder on you. If I were you I'd file a public records request for their squad car video, the officer's audio recordings, any memos or reports written about the encounter, any department memos or training those officers had regarding open carry, and the dispatch recording during your encounter.

    Sorry to hear about the cops harassing you. Stay sharp and welcome to opencarry.org.

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    To be frankly honest, Officer Klunkhead (Klundt) cannot legally shoot anyone without provocation unless he wants to risk his badge and his freedom, not to mention a murder charge for shooting an innocent person. Just as with a person, an officer would have to have justified provocation in shooting someone (I.e. a holstered firearm does not qualify). I am assuming also that you did not have a recorder with you at the time of the encounter.. A statement like that one probably would have cost him his badge anyway.. For illegally threatening to kill an innocent citizen. I don't know enough about your laws on "open carry" to make any supposition about the legal "carry" of a weapon in your car. But, if you're going to "open carry," my suggestion would be to have the weapon properly holstered on your hip when driving the car instead of laying it in the seat. That's only a suggestion, but would probably save you from a headache like this happening in the near future.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    First learn from your mistakes...

    first mistake...doing something that could get you stopped...

    second mistake, you weapon should have been on your hip..ORS 166.250(3) (it is not safe, if you have an accident, to have your carry anywhere except on your person...no CHL, the only place allowed is on your hip)

    third mistake, telling the officer that you had the pistol in the first place.

    You did nothing "unlawful". ORS 166.173 does not allow for local governments to regulate ammo when it is not in the weapon. Why did they sieze you weapon? Did you get it back? If you did not get it back you really need to talk to a lawyer, and also file a formal complaint with the police department.

    Theft of a firearm is a felony...as these officers illegally siezed your weapon, it is theft of a firearm...you need to take care of that part NOW.

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    Another person that should have educated themselves on the laws and proper handgun handling before touching a gun.
    Scott

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  6. #6
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottE View Post
    Another person that should have educated themselves on the laws and proper handgun handling before touching a gun.
    Who are you talking about? The cops? This young man did nothing illegal.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    second mistake, you weapon should have been on your hip..ORS 166.250(3) (it is not safe, if you have an accident, to have your carry anywhere except on your person...no CHL, the only place allowed is on your hip)
    ORS 166.250(3) doesn't say the only place allowed is on your hip. It just says that openly carried firearms in a belt holster aren't considered concealed. Presumably there are other ways to openly carry a firearm. But you are correct (in my opinion) that carrying in a holster is always a good idea.

    I'm also interested in what happened to your firearm. Please let us know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottE View Post
    Another person that should have educated themselves on the laws and proper handgun handling before touching a gun.
    ScottE, I am hoping that you are referring to the police officers, as they did not know the laws yet they carry handguns themselves. But if you are referring to me, then you are making assumptions. I have read through ORS 166 many times, and that is why I was carrying my pistol the way it was. So if you are questioning my intelligence I say that you rethink yours. Under ORS 166.250 (b) it states it is unlawful to "Possesses a handgun that is concealed and readily accessible to the person within any vehicle." This means I can legally have my pistol on my seat.

    I do mostly carry my pistol in my hip holster, but I just did not have my holster with me that day. I totally agree that I shouldn't have told them by pistol was there and that I had rounds separate. Just as a common courtesy I usually tell the officer, but this is because there really are some trigger happy officers like Officer Chuckle-nuts mentioned above.

    I will surely try to obtain a copy of the video tapes if I am able to, bigtoe416. I am heading down there tomorrow to get my weapon back and check in on the videos. I will post an update after that. Thank you all for your advice.

  9. #9
    Regular Member J1MB0B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nystrom View Post
    but I just did not have my holster with me that day.
    How were you carrying before you got into the car?

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    Quote Originally Posted by J1MB0B View Post
    How were you carrying before you got into the car?
    I would suspect in his hand. Depending on the readiness condition of the firearm there is nothing illegal about that.

    Or, he could have hand it stashed gangsta style.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member J1MB0B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    I would suspect in his hand. Depending on the readiness condition of the firearm there is nothing illegal about that.

    Or, he could have hand it stashed gangsta style.
    Correct me if im wrong but I don't think its legal (think: brandishing) to "open carry" a pistol in your hand. If he had it "stashed gangsta", it would have been concealed.

    I'm also curious if you got your gun back or not.

  12. #12
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J1MB0B View Post
    Correct me if im wrong but I don't think its legal (think: brandishing) to "open carry" a pistol in your hand. If he had it "stashed gangsta", it would have been concealed.
    I believe that the act of brandishing requires one to be threatening with a firearm. You can brandish a firearm with it still in your holster if you want, just say something sinister and pat your gun or flash it if you are carrying concealed. Although, having said that, I couldn't find an Oregon statute on brandishing, so it might just fall under assault with a deadly weapon. There's actually a video on youtube of a guy open carrying an old revolver through a town in Tennessee (or somewhere near there?) in his hand through town. I believe the police stop him but soon realize that he's not violating any law.

  13. #13
    Regular Member J1MB0B's Avatar
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    Illegal or not, I wouldn't want to be the guy to find out what happens when you are open carrying a pistol in your hand. If I was a judge or a cop or on a jury, I would say that carrying a pistol around in your hand in public is cause for alarm. Just the simple act swinging your arms too far while walking could cause you to point your gun at someone.

    Either way the kid doesn't sound like someone that is ready to handle a gun.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J1MB0B View Post
    Correct me if im wrong but I don't think its legal (think: brandishing) to "open carry" a pistol in your hand. If he had it "stashed gangsta", it would have been concealed.

    I'm also curious if you got your gun back or not.
    Never hand my gun "taken".
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  15. #15
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J1MB0B View Post
    Correct me if im wrong but I don't think its legal (think: brandishing) to "open carry" a pistol in your hand. If he had it "stashed gangsta", it would have been concealed.

    I'm also curious if you got your gun back or not.
    There is no brandishing statute in Oregon. We have a "Menacing" statute (ORS 163.190) but that requires intent to menace so simply carrying is a no go.

    "Stashed gansta" if it's still visible is Open Carry.

    Hell with a cap and ball pistol you don't even need a CHL to have it concealed in a vehicle (but not on your person whether in the vehicle or not). ORS 166.210 in conjunction with 166.250. Still have to decap it or something in a "ban" city though.
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
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    Nystrom, Welcome to OC. 1st thank You for your service, We-The-People on this Oregon forum is also a Devil Dog.

    My suggestion is to become a cop then You will be one of the few who know what it was like to be harassed by power tripping wannabee lawyers with badges.

    ( I am super pro cop ) but police officers are some of the WORST people to ask about the law, usually they know about a few traffic ordinances , city , state and a couple federal statues and that's it.

    There is another law which is the law of the cop or cop's who stopped you , once You are pulled over and / or detained you are then / now in 'street court' and the judge ( officer ) can and will judge advice you of Yuor LACK of rights. it's kind of like the Miranda warning but on it's head it silently goes something like this>

    " Mr Smith I have found You to be in violation of my ( police officer ) my personal ethic, taste, mood, perpensaity, predilections, bias , predisposition, prejudice, and ignorance if You say or do anything that I just don't care to hear about truth or lie Mr Smith, I will also hold You in contempt of my high authority and charge You with personal civil offense of breathing spent oxygen in my direction the penalty which can be prescribed and carried out immediately via a arrest for Disorderly Conduct or if I so deem to be carried out commensurate with fist / or Taser for my sheer dislike of Your cologne and for You driving a car I cannot afford and for my lack of sleep , food , sex life or personal validation as a superior to You Mr Smith ".

    So always be prepared for something out of left field > " Mr Smith you are in violation of _______ ordinance 007 carrying a black gun with a in a brown holster " and You will almost choke on the absurdity of there blatantly UN-lawful recitation of an imaginary or butchered ordinance and so I advise You carry a fold out pamphlet with every OR State Statute pertaining to lawful legal carry, then become a cop and change the system from the inside.

    Till then check Your auto's lights and don't stick out till you can afford the hassle .

    PS: 98.9 % of the cops I know are heroic good guy's and great neighbors of mine who love the Constitution , and the small percentage of angry anti social power hungry cop creeps make all the majority good guy/ gal cop's who know the law and state - founding federal Constitution look real real bad.

    Cheers.

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    Make a complaint to the police department - police officers unaware of preemption and making very concerning statements as if they were criminals or had dimentia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J1MB0B View Post
    How were you carrying before you got into the car?
    I went from my house to my car holding my pistol; it was in my hand while I was outside for all of about five feet. I never got out of my car until the traffic stop.
    So I wasn't carrying my weapon Dirty Harry style or "gangsta" style.

    However, I was able to retrieve my pistol back from the PPD. I had to go into their evidence division and show them the paperwork I received from the officers. The funny part was the staff at the evidence building asked me how I was going to carrying the weapon home. I told them openly on my hip...they replied with "Ok, just as long as you have a CHL, that'll be fine." I laughed and told them I don't need a CHL to do that...It seems ignorance of the law is everywhere.

    I am still in the process of trying to obtain a copy of the audio and video recording of the traffic stop. I have been getting the bureaucratic run around and no one seems to answer the phone. Have any of you tried to get these things before?

  19. #19
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nystrom View Post
    I am still in the process of trying to obtain a copy of the audio and video recording of the traffic stop. I have been getting the bureaucratic run around and no one seems to answer the phone. Have any of you tried to get these things before?
    I've done it quite a few times. You either get one of their forms requesting the information and turn it in to the appropriate person/department or if they don't have such a form then mail (with some sort of tracking to ensure it arrives) or hand deliver a hand written Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) or Oregon Public Records Law request. They have 30 days to respond and if they don't you can file a federal lawsuit to get a judge to force them to produce the documents you request. There are FOIA letter generators online if you want an idea as to what they should look like. Here is one for example.

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    Hi guys, new to forum. It appears in most smaller towns the cops are not as paranoid. The locals here especially the Sheriffs respect the CHL's for being responsible and getting training to carry. I am not saying that one should not carry legal in Oregon I am saying the CHL tends to put some cops at ease. The cops I talk with are pretty clear, you don't have to tell us you are carrying with your CHL but we appreciate it and have an idea you know what you are doing. With a CHL the police know that you know something about the law. To pass the classes you must know the laws.
    If a person is military I still encourage the class as I find some military CHL holders I know do not know the CHL laws.
    I think in this case the cops were a tad over the top. It was not like you pointed it at them or tried to hide it. As mentioned at least in the town area I live in there is a double standard of respect for those with CHL's and those without. In most cases I have seen those without the CHL usually ended up with the firearm taken in to the station for later PU. I can not recall any time hearing of a CHL being detained or harassed. I say double standard because honestly everyone deserves to be treated according to the law by police officers, however that said my experience is they are sometimes more at ease with CHL holders, because the usually have knowledge will not put at risk their CHL as they are highly valued !

    Nice forum great information here.

    Sig !

  21. #21
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SigsP229 View Post
    Hi guys, new to forum. It appears in most smaller towns the cops are not as paranoid. The locals here especially the Sheriffs respect the CHL's for being responsible and getting training to carry. I am not saying that one should not carry legal in Oregon I am saying the CHL tends to put some cops at ease. The cops I talk with are pretty clear, you don't have to tell us you are carrying with your CHL but we appreciate it and have an idea you know what you are doing. With a CHL the police know that you know something about the law. To pass the classes you must know the laws.
    If a person is military I still encourage the class as I find some military CHL holders I know do not know the CHL laws.
    I think in this case the cops were a tad over the top. It was not like you pointed it at them or tried to hide it. As mentioned at least in the town area I live in there is a double standard of respect for those with CHL's and those without. In most cases I have seen those without the CHL usually ended up with the firearm taken in to the station for later PU. I can not recall any time hearing of a CHL being detained or harassed. I say double standard because honestly everyone deserves to be treated according to the law by police officers, however that said my experience is they are sometimes more at ease with CHL holders, because the usually have knowledge will not put at risk their CHL as they are highly valued !

    Nice forum great information here.

    Sig !
    The Oregon CHL class has no requirement to do anything more than sit on your duff for a few hours and then collect your certificate. They are about a nanometer above worthless. Having a CHL means nothing more than that you passed a background check.
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
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    Quote Originally Posted by We-the-People View Post
    The Oregon CHL class has no requirement to do anything more than sit on your duff for a few hours and then collect your certificate. They are about a nanometer above worthless. Having a CHL means nothing more than that you passed a background check.
    I would say the law needs to be more clear then on class procedures, as the class I took was intense review of the law and our instructors here have a very close relationship with the local Sheriff to help as well.
    I am sure some sit on their duffs in other towns. Our class was taught by a Retired Major in the Marines and was very informative on laws, procedures and safety. He took his job very serious and wanted to make sure we knew how to avoid legal trouble. I have had firearms near 30+ years and learned some good information in the class. It is sad to hear that other classes do not educate people like our classes do here.

    Sig
    Last edited by SigsP229; 11-03-2012 at 12:41 PM.

  23. #23
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    There are good instructors, there are worthless instructors, and every level in between. The law in Oregon doesn't have a specific curiculum with the only requirement that the course must have a firearms (perhaps it says handgun) safety element.

    When I lived in Calif. the course was 8 hours, required qualification (not hard) with the weapon(s) you intended to carry (the license in Calif. lists them). However, the instructor was teaching that "sometimes just pulling your weapon is enough". That may be true but it wasn't presented with the caveat not to do so before things were at a point justifying it. Basically a lot of stuff was half assed "taught".

    My Oregon course was worthless and the instructor is one of those guys that says you can't carry open once you get your permit, that open carry in Multnomah county is illegal, yadda yadda. When challenged with state law his answer was "I don't care what the law says".

    Needless to say, I don't consider having a permit to mean someone has had any worthwhile training. They may have, if they got a good instructor, but it's not a given.
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
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    Your point is taken, I too lived in California as well and understand where you are coming from on the classes.
    That said, the law "should" require better training in Oregon my honest opinion of course. Our county took it upon ourselves
    to educate and train. I think any Oregon citizen thinking of a CHL should work with locals and trainers.
    I think the point I was making was missed, I am aware of state laws, my concern to even post was
    if CHL holders do not get a grip on the willy nilly training then the opposition may have a clear path some day to show
    how untrained CHL holder are. Furthermore law enforcement and the community would have a renewed confidence in
    CHL holders if they knew how to use a gun and their rights as well.
    And example of a community working together is there has been no arrests of a CHL holder the the locals here could ever remember if ever in this county. Having firearms may be a right, but I have believed all my life a good gun owner starts with good training. Thanks for the dialog, I am new to the forum not to the laws and guns but thank you for the feedback all the same have a good evening.

  25. #25
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by We-the-People View Post
    When I lived in Calif. the course was 8 hours, required qualification (not hard) with the weapon(s) you intended to carry (the license in Calif. lists them)..
    I find that interesting. I lived in Cal in the early 60's and got my hunter's training certificate there in 1963. It included a round of Trap to demonstrate you could handle a firearm.

    My own personal opinion...I know, opinions are like behinds, everyone has one, and they stink...anyway...

    You should not be required (by government mandate) to take any course to be able to carry a gun for your own protection,,,,However, should you choose to take a course, it should include the local law, and a live fire sesson.

    If you are mandated by the government to take such a course, the government should pay for that instruction. If it is optional, you should pay for it. (a la WA)
    Last edited by hermannr; 11-11-2012 at 11:10 PM.

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