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Thread: Open Carry on a Bicycle

  1. #1
    Regular Member bobzilla05's Avatar
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    Open Carry on a Bicycle

    I have been openly carrying my sidearm for some time now, following state and federal law to the best of my ability, and I often ride my bicycle to the location that I wish to travel because it not only is a good source of exercise, but it also saves me money on gasoline and has a much cleaner environmental impact, obviously. However, in all of my research, I have yet to discover any definitive answer as to whether or not a regular pedal-powered bicycle is considered to be a 'vehicle' under Washington state law. I have up to this point been unloading my firearm prior to mounting the bicycle to ensure legality of such action, but as I also often ride at night, I would greatly prefer to have one in the chamber. Can anyone cite law that states either for or against a bicycle being considered a 'vehicle,' or perhaps is it dependent on where you ride it?
    I will be getting a CPL soon, but would like to know for sure either way. Thank you in advance.

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    Campaign Veteran ak56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobzilla05 View Post
    I have been openly carrying my sidearm for some time now, following state and federal law to the best of my ability, and I often ride my bicycle to the location that I wish to travel because it not only is a good source of exercise, but it also saves me money on gasoline and has a much cleaner environmental impact, obviously. However, in all of my research, I have yet to discover any definitive answer as to whether or not a regular pedal-powered bicycle is considered to be a 'vehicle' under Washington state law. I have up to this point been unloading my firearm prior to mounting the bicycle to ensure legality of such action, but as I also often ride at night, I would greatly prefer to have one in the chamber. Can anyone cite law that states either for or against a bicycle being considered a 'vehicle,' or perhaps is it dependent on where you ride it?
    I will be getting a CPL soon, but would like to know for sure either way. Thank you in advance.
    RCW 46.04.670
    Vehicle.

    "Vehicle" includes every device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, including bicycles. "Vehicle" does not include power wheelchairs or devices other than bicycles moved by human or animal power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. Mopeds are not considered vehicles or motor vehicles for the purposes of chapter 46.70 RCW. Bicycles are not considered vehicles for the purposes of chapter 46.12, 46.16A, or 46.70 RCW or RCW 82.12.045. Electric personal assistive mobility devices are not considered vehicles or motor vehicles for the purposes of chapter 46.12, 46.16A, 46.29, 46.37, or 46.70 RCW. A golf cart is not considered a vehicle, except for the purposes of chapter 46.61 RCW.
    Looks like bicycles are a vehicle for 9.41.050.
    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


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    Campaign Veteran slapmonkay's Avatar
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    Yes. I have an AG office email indicating that to be safe you need to have a CPL for it to be loaded.
    I Am Not A Lawyer, verify all facts presented independently.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    It is a vehicle see above....

    You may also be engaged in an outdoor recreational activity....

    RCW 9.41.060

    Exceptions to restrictions on carrying firearms.
    The provisions of RCW 9.41.050 shall not apply to:

    (8) Any person engaging in a lawful outdoor recreational activity such as hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or horseback riding, only if, considering all of the attendant circumstances, including but not limited to whether the person has a valid hunting or fishing license, it is reasonable to conclude that the person is participating in lawful outdoor activities or is traveling to or from a legitimate outdoor recreation area;
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    Regular Member bobzilla05's Avatar
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    Thank You

    Thank you for your responses. I appreciate your willingness to help. It looks like it was positive that I was unloading the sidearm prior to mounting the bicycle.
    I had read through 9.41.050 before and had not noticed the mention of bicycles, but did not know about 46.04.670 detailing the definition.
    Last edited by bobzilla05; 03-07-2013 at 12:36 AM.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobzilla05 View Post
    Thank you for your responses. I appreciate your willingness to help. It looks like it was positive that I was unloading the sidearm prior to mounting the bicycle.
    I had read through 9.41.050 before and had not noticed the mention of bicycles, but did not know about 46.04.670 detailing the definition.
    I think gogodawgs has a valid argument. Riding a bicycle is most definately an outdoor recreational activity...not specifically RCW 9.41.060(8) specifically states "...it is reasonable to conclude that the person is participating in lawful outdoor activities or is traveling to or from a legitimate outdoor recreation area;..."

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    Regular Member bobzilla05's Avatar
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    Interesting thought, but I doubt (apart from riding on a specified recreational biking trail) that the average officer would see it as such.

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    Regular Member bmg50cal's Avatar
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    Cool

    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 say happy trails to anyone who wants to OC sans CPL on a bike.
    Last edited by bmg50cal; 03-07-2013 at 04:04 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmg50cal View Post
    RCW 9.41.050



    I say happy trails to anyone who wants to OC sans CPL on a bike.
    So what does that mean for motorcycles?

  10. #10
    Regular Member rapgood's Avatar
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    Good thoughts, all. I believe that whether a bicycle is a "vehicle" is subject to legal interpretation. However, RCW 46.04.670 definitions may (and likely do) apply only to vehicle licensing and not to Chp. 9.41.

    That said, since "vehicle" is not defined in Chp. 9.41, other rules of statutory construction would likely be employed by a court (such as looking the term up in a dictionary -- then, which dictionary, etc.).

    When traveling on public roadways, bicycles are deemed to be vehicles for the purposes of regulation of vehicle traffic. Pudmaroff v. Allen, 138 Wn.2d 55 (1999).

    Although our State's laws on bicycles and traffic safety do not present a picture of clarity, the Washington State Supreme Court continues to adhere to the rule that bicyclists, although they are not pedestrians, are to be treated akin to pedestrians when they use side walks and crosswalks. Pudmaroff v. Allen, 138 Wn.2d 55, 70 (1999)
    Rev. Robert Apgood, Esq.

    A right cannot be lost by exercising it. McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3021, 177 L. Ed. 2d 894 (2010) (citing Near v. Minn., 283 U.S. 697 (1931)).

    Although IAAL, anything I say here is not legal advice. No conversations we may have privately or otherwise in this forum constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship, and are not intended to do so.

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    Campaign Veteran slapmonkay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewise1 View Post
    So what does that mean for motorcycles?
    Here are a couple previous threads regarding that subject...

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...39-Motorcycles

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...nd-Motorcycles
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...and-motorcyles


    Additionally, here is a dated response from AG office. Take it with grain of salt.

    PDF: https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resi...CAeacIuZ9ymRkQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Exerpt
    The RCW’s apply to vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. Carrying a firearm on a motorcycle or
    bicycle is the same as carrying a firearm in a vehicle.
    You will need a license to carry a
    concealed weapon.
    Last edited by slapmonkay; 03-07-2013 at 02:47 PM.
    I Am Not A Lawyer, verify all facts presented independently.

    It's called the "American Dream" because you have to be asleep to believe it. - George Carlin

    I carry a spare tire, in case I have a flat. I carry life insurance, in case I die. I carry a gun, in case I need it.

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