Hey guys, new here and I realize this has probably been asked before, but I could not find answers anywhere for my specific county, so here goes:
(I apologize in advance if I just suck at searching and could not find the answer(s) I am looking for)
I live in Union County, and although I know Oregon is an open carry state (I know about the CC exemptions, and that each city and county are at liberty to write their own laws/regulations on open carry) but I can not find a clear definition for my county (or state really) defining how we may 'open carry.' i.e. whether the gun may or may not be loaded, the definition of loaded in my area. Where I can open carry legally both in a loaded, and unloaded configuration.
So far as I understand it (and I may be totally wrong) I may NOT open carry loaded in my car at any time. I've come to this conclusion from reading that loaded open carry is not allowed in public spaces, and in Oregon a car is defined as a public space (?) and from when I purchased my first handgun here in Oregon, the sheriff that was the FFL I purchased from said (because I mentioned having to carry the weapon in my trunk, since I am used to So Cal. crazy restrictive gun laws) "No, you can have it in the passenger compartment, it isn't loaded." Though I don't know if that means because it was in a box that is the law, or if I have the gun open in a holster different rules/laws apply? Again, I apologize if these things have been answered elsewhere, but because of my upbringing/what my uncle and grandfather specifically taught me, I firmly adhere to this site's motto: "A Right Unexercised is a Right Lost" and I plan on fully exercising my right to carry (I will also be applying for my CC permit, just so that I can be exempted from all of these silly rules/laws that limit us on carrying.) I just want to make sure I am doing so within the full letter of the law, and I am finding it hard to find that letter for my specific area. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
While I appreciate the link, that is one of the few things I did manage to find on my own, and it only raised more questions. It tells me that Oregon is an open carry state, but nowhere in the pamphlet or the links can I find definitions/regulations specific to my area, nor to the definition of the rules on statewide open carry (again, specifically on what is legal to openly carry as far as loaded/unloaded configurations). Again, I may just be dense and while reading that statutes, might not understand that they are listing these rules, and I just don't realize where my answer is. I have read through the Oregon ordinances, so I swear I'm not being lazy, though I may need some hand holding, as I just can't seem to find the answers to my specific questions. Thank you though.
Edit: for instance:
Should I take this to mean any weapon NOT concealed, but loaded in my car, passenger compartment, IS legal?166.250. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section or ORS 166.260, 166.270,166.274,166.291,166.292 or 166.410 to 166.470,a person commits the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm if the person knowingly: (a) Carries any firearm concealed upon the person; (b) Possesses a handgun that is concealed and readily accessible to the person within any vehicle;
Last edited by mogxiii; 10-25-2012 at 03:52 PM.
Since you don't yet have a CHL, if you want to ensure that you aren't violating any county or city laws against carry, you want to go to your county and city websites and look for county and municipal codes. Generally I search for "firearm" or "gun" or "weapon" and see if anything comes up. I doubt in Union County there are any regulations on carry, but it never hurts to check. Assuming there aren't local restrictions on loaded carry, you can openly carry a loaded handgun anywhere except public buildings, the post office, and on school or university grounds. You should check the pamphlet for the exact list and not rely on my memory. You can carry in your car loaded in a belt holster or if the firearm is openly visible (like on the passenger seat or dashboard, but really you should have it in a belt holster).
Welcome to the site and stay safe. I don't imagine you'll have very many negative encounters in your neck of the woods, but feel free to post to the open carry report about your outings.
Thank you bigtoe416! I appreciate the welcome! And thanks for the leads! I do have one question though:
You say 'public buildings.' What is defined as a public building? I know people open carry in WalMart, Burger King, Etc. elsewhere. Should I have my CHL before I open carry in these places, because would they be considered public? Again, I apologize for my 'noobness.' I just want to make sure I have everything right, like you said, I want to stay safe. And well within the letter of the law. Thank you again, and I will report anything I find/experience here in Union County.Assuming there aren't local restrictions on loaded carry, you can openly carry a loaded handgun anywhere except public buildings, the post office, and on school or university grounds.
Edit: Well it would seem Union County is still catching up a bit to the digital age, I can't find any municipal, city, or county codes for where/near where I live. I have contacted the Sheriff's department, and the local DA to find out if there is any way to access this information online, and I am waiting to hear back from them. Again, thanks for all the help guys!
Last edited by mogxiii; 10-25-2012 at 06:48 PM.
Again, read the pamphlet for the definitions.
Public buildings: Read ORS 166.360-380. Public buildings are defined.
Union Co, (to my knowledge and searching abilities) does not have any local restrictions per ORS 166.173. The city of LaGrange has no posted restrictions per ORS 166.173 either...so
You may open carry (in a holster on your hip) a loaded pistol for your own self defense anywhere in Union Co that it is legal to carry a firearm without a license, so pay careful attention to ORS 166.360, 166.370, and 166.380 OK? That is your restriction,
May I add: You may OC a loaded pistol in a vehicle in OR without a CHL... What you CANNOT DO is conceal that pistol (in an automobile or not) unless you meet one of the exceptions in ORS 166.260.
Last edited by hermannr; 10-25-2012 at 10:52 PM.