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Thread: Car carry laws, regarding unloaded OC within vehicle

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    Question Car carry laws, regarding unloaded OC within vehicle

    This seems like an answer I should know, from all the studying of laws I have done around this. However, being in possession of a CPL, I have never had to face this...

    From the basics:
    1. OC is legal outside a vehicle.
    2. Loaded OC is legal inside a vehicle, provided that the carrier has a CPL.

    My question is here...
    3. Unloaded OC (sidearm in holster) with a full magazine nearby is legal without a CPL.
    That is what I have learned from reading a lot on this site and in WA laws, but here are where my questions arise (let's assume that I forgot my CPL at home).

    A ->Is car OC only legal if the sidearm is within the carrier's holster? I suspect, but don't know if, it is NOT legal without a CPL to have the sidearm visible on the passenger seat, or visible in any other manner? What about in a holster, off the person's body (on seat, on floor...)?

    B ->Does this mean that anyone traveling through WA with a sidearm (not a long-arm) can simply have it carried in an OC holster, on their person, unloaded, rather than locked in an opaque container, in the trunk, etc.? I thought states usually required unlicensed car carry to be locked away, out of reach of the occupants of the car.

    Thanks.
    IBTL

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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Car carry laws, regarding unloaded OC within vehicle

    The RCW just says you can't have a LOADED gun in a vehicle without a CPL. It also says you can't conceal it on your person without a CPL. If it isn't loaded and isn't concealed on your person then it doesn't matter what you do with it. You could actually tape the mag to the grip of the gun and it would still meet the definition for unloaded.
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    Regular Member TheGunMan's Avatar
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    In the holster

    I believe you cannot carry it on your person without a CPL in a vehicle. When it is in the holster while sitting in the car it is not visible enough.
    Even unloaded. I know in OR it must be in the open like your dash or pass seat and not on your person period. I think that is how it is in WA.
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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Car carry laws, regarding unloaded OC within vehicle

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGunMan View Post
    I believe you cannot carry it on your person without a CPL in a vehicle. When it is in the holster while sitting in the car it is not visible enough.
    Even unloaded. I know in OR it must be in the open like your dash or pass seat and not on your person period. I think that is how it is in WA.
    This is not Oregon. Can the gun be loaded in Oregon if it's out in the open on the dash or seat? In Washington it cannot be loaded unless you have a CPL. Don't make up extra requirements just because another state does it differently.
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    Regular Member Bigpapa's Avatar
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    Wow, this is the reason why I'm glad I have my CHL.

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    Regular Member conandan's Avatar
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    I had this same conversation at the Kitsap sheriff's office today. I was getting my Washington ccl now that they won't accept my Florida ccl. My question was if I run the risk of being charged with brandishing for loading and unloading every time I got in or out of my truck. Openly carried firearm is fine in vehicle but it can't be loaded in vehicle. I was told it won't be a problem even if someone calls in a mwag call. I'm not sure I trust that response but that's what the Lt. said.

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    There is NO BRANDISHING LAW IN WA!
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    Regular Member conandan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by golddigger14s View Post
    There is NO BRANDISHING LAW IN WA!
    RCW 9.41.270 unlawful carrying or handling. That's is just another way of calling it brandishing..

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    Regular Member TheGunMan's Avatar
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    Really

    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    This is not Oregon. Can the gun be loaded in Oregon if it's out in the open on the dash or seat? In Washington it cannot be loaded unless you have a CPL. Don't make up extra requirements just because another state does it differently.
    I did not say it was OR you XXXXX. I was giving an example. I also did not ad anything in. You must be board and trying to cause problems.

    Why are so many on here always trying to start crap.
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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Car carry laws, regarding unloaded OC within vehicle

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGunMan View Post
    I did not say it was OR you XXXXX. I was giving an example. I also did not ad anything in. You must be board and trying to cause problems.

    Why are so many on here always trying to start crap.

    There are two requirements in this chapter.

    1 do not conceal on your person.

    2 do not carry or place a LOADED pistol in a vehicle.

    That is all. Saying that Oregon requires it to be out in the open and you "THINK" Washington is the same way is most certainly adding more requirements to the law. If they wanted the gun in a specific place they would have specified it.

    And no I'm not trying to start crap. I don't want people uninformed of what the law actually says and I will point out others errors just as most of the other folks here will do. Someone asked a question and I'd like him to have the correct answer. Not just a guess or "I think."

    RCW 9.41.050
    (1)(a) Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, a person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his or her person without a license to carry a concealed pistol.

    (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.
    Last edited by tombrewster421; 05-24-2013 at 10:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGunMan View Post
    I did not say it was OR you XXXXX. I was giving an example. I also did not ad anything in. You must be board and trying to cause problems.

    Why are so many on here always trying to start crap.


    The problem with your example is Oregon law does not apply in Washington.
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    I can tell you from personal experience that I once got pulled over by a police officer (for having an aftermarket exhaust system LOL) before I was issued my CPL. I had my unloaded pistol securely holstered on my person with a loaded magazine in my glove compartment. The officer told me that i was NOT allowed to have any ammunition in the same cab as the pistol, and instructed me for future reference that it needed to be in a locked container in a different compartment of the car (AKA the trunk). However, the officer was extremely nice and stated that he fully supported the 2A AND he did not give me a ticket. After the incident I went home and tried to find some kind of information/laws to clarify if I am allowed to have loaded magazines near by and I just got mixed reviews and information from various sources/people. Basically YMMW with different LEO's and people. It just doesn't make sense that you would have an unloaded pistol on your hip with your ammunition in the trunk because if SHTF and you need your defensive firearm, it is obviously not going to be available... However, the visual presence of your gun will most likely be a deterrent and may be "good enough" to ward off an attacker. That's just my $.02

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    The officer told me that i was NOT allowed to have any ammunition in the same cab as the pistol, and instructed me for future reference that it needed to be in a locked container in a different compartment of the car (AKA the trunk).


    He must have been raised up in another state. There's no such requirement in Washington law. To suit their personal biases cops, like everyone else, make up laws or cite laws they "thought" they heard about.

    Did you know it's against federal law for a Commercial Driver's License holder to carry a gun in his truck? Well it's not, but it's apparently still taught (with no basis in fact) at Billy-Bob's Truck Drivin' School.

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    Regular Member conandan's Avatar
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    Did you know it's against federal law for a Commercial Driver's License holder to carry a gun in his truck? Well it's not, but it's apparently still taught (with no basis in fact) at Billy-Bob's Truck Drivin' School.


    Its funny you would bring that up. I fight that claim all the time because I drive a cmv. You can prove them wrong and they still believe the lie..

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanf View Post
    [/COLOR]

    He must have been raised up in another state. There's no such requirement in Washington law. To suit their personal biases cops, like everyone else, make up laws or cite laws they "thought" they heard about.
    Exactly what I thought. It kind of makes me wonder if it is like a "loophole" to carry in your vehicle without a valid CPL. If someone were to not have a CPL and had to carry unloaded in their vehicle, i'm sure they would feel somewhat better about having a loaded magazine readily available and within arms reach, opposed to it being locked in their trunk. It is where practice, practice, practice is going to be important to load the magazine and possibly/most likely racking the slide if SHTF.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by XDNick9; 05-25-2013 at 01:17 AM.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conandan View Post
    Did you know it's against federal law for a Commercial Driver's License holder to carry a gun in his truck? Well it's not, but it's apparently still taught (with no basis in fact) at Billy-Bob's Truck Drivin' School.


    Its funny you would bring that up. I fight that claim all the time because I drive a cmv. You can prove them wrong and they still believe the lie..
    Doesn't speak well for the intelligence of those making the claim, does it?
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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGunMan View Post
    I believe you cannot carry it on your person without a CPL in a vehicle. When it is in the holster while sitting in the car it is not visible enough.
    Even unloaded. I know in OR it must be in the open like your dash or pass seat and not on your person period. I think that is how it is in WA.
    Wrong for all the above stated reasons. When you make "claims" like this, you must cite.

    Quote Originally Posted by conandan View Post
    I had this same conversation at the Kitsap sheriff's office today. I was getting my Washington ccl now that they won't accept my Florida ccl. My question was if I run the risk of being charged with brandishing for loading and unloading every time I got in or out of my truck. Openly carried firearm is fine in vehicle but it can't be loaded in vehicle. I was told it won't be a problem even if someone calls in a mwag call. I'm not sure I trust that response but that's what the Lt. said.
    I have found that I cannot trust ANY LEO to know or follow the law. This is a personal problem and I deal with it.


    I have a russian friend that absolutely loves the fact that he can drive down the road with his pistol and separate magazine duct taped to his head (one on each side) and be amazingly legal. "Whatta Country!!"

    RCW 9.41.050
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Quote Originally Posted by conandan View Post
    You can prove them wrong and they still believe the lie..
    How do you prove them wrong, besides calling them on the absence to cite?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dain Bramage View Post
    How do you prove them wrong, besides calling them on the absence to cite?
    Hand them the my FMCSA LAW book. And ask them to show me in the law where it says I can't carry a firearm in my cab. Its not there. There is no law on the federal books that make it illegal to carry. But with that said state law can. None of the state's I run in have any laws that expressly prohibit carry in my truck. But some states use the terms private vehicle, personal vehicle, privately owned vehicle or vessel. I own my truck and trailer even thou its use is commercial its privately owned. I know sooner or later I will have to fight that in court but I have carried in my truck for 20 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by conandan View Post
    Did you know it's against federal law for a Commercial Driver's License holder to carry a gun in his truck? Well it's not, but it's apparently still taught (with no basis in fact) at Billy-Bob's Truck Drivin' School.


    Its funny you would bring that up. I fight that claim all the time because I drive a cmv. You can prove them wrong and they still believe the lie..

    For those that don't know.....
    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/C...dFirerarms.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Starks View Post
    Thank you for that link. I will use that the next time I have another driver give me greif about carrying.

    That is what a lot of folks fall back on is the commerce laws regulating transport of firearms. Also a lot of LEOs use that as the law to charge drivers.

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    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XDNick9 View Post
    The officer told me that i was NOT allowed to have any ammunition in the same cab as the pistol
    Police are to the law as an EMT is to medicine. They can handle every day issues reasonably well, they're adequate in an emergency and if they're all you've got for more serious problems, they're better than nothing. If you want in-depth information on open heart surgery (or someone to perform the operation) you're better off asking a top-notch surgeon than an EMT. If you want expert knowledge of the law, ask a lawyer or judge not a cop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterMcGavin View Post
    ...A ->Is car OC only legal if the sidearm is within the carrier's holster? I suspect, but don't know if, it is NOT legal without a CPL to have the sidearm visible on the passenger seat, or visible in any other manner? What about in a holster, off the person's body (on seat, on floor...)?

    B ->Does this mean that anyone traveling through WA with a sidearm (not a long-arm) can simply have it carried in an OC holster, on their person, unloaded, rather than locked in an opaque container, in the trunk, etc.? I thought states usually required unlicensed car carry to be locked away, out of reach of the occupants of the car.

    Thanks.
    Thanks for all the insight. I'm still not 100% clear ...

    A->I think the answer to the first one is NO. An unloaded pistol, as long as is visible (e.g. OC), can be anywhere within the vehicle or on-body. I don't see anything that requires the opposite.

    To take (A) a step further, what about unloaded and concealed within the glove box? I cannot see how that would be illegal, from the cites I have seen here and elsewhere. So, it seems, from what I deduce, any type of unloaded carry within a vehicle is legal except concealed, on-body (again, this is without a CPL).

    B->Yes. Pretty clear on that one. Without a CPL, anyone entering or traveling through WA can simply OC their empty sidearm... No resident status or other criteria needs to be met.
    IBTL

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    How it's supposed to happen

    Here is my account from South Sound report. Normally my gun would be loaded, and on my hip but I was coming home from work where I can't carry. I just got in the car, and left the gun and magazine in the glove box:
    I got pulled over by a state trooper for doing 48 mph in a 35 mph zone. This was the first time getting pulled over since I became a gun owner, so I shut the car off and put my hands on the steering wheel. When he got to my door he asked if I had a handgun, I said yes in the glove box unloaded (coming from no carry work). He just said OK leave it alone, and let me have your license, proof of insurance, and registration. I gave him a heads up that I was going to the glove box to get my documents, and he was like OK do what you gotta do. Gave him all the stuff, and he went back to write my ticket. He came back, handed me my stuff and said to slow down. Sorry, no dramatic "give me your gun so I can disassemble it, strip the rounds out, and secure it for my safety" scenario.
    Last edited by golddigger14s; 05-28-2013 at 05:39 PM.
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    An unloaded pistol, as long as is visible (e.g. OC) (emphasis added)
    Nope, if it's unloaded it doesn't matter whether it's visible or not. RCW 9.41.050 (2)(a) reads, "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... (emphasis added)" I.e. this section about handguns and vehicles contains no restrictions whatsover on unloaded handguns.

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