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Thread: Trying to confirm WA OC rules, esp. in a car

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    Regular Member DaveT319's Avatar
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    Trying to confirm WA OC rules, esp. in a car

    I occasionally visit WA, and now that I've started carrying I want to make sure I understand the laws.

    Mainly, it's my understanding that loaded OC is legal, but not in your vehicle. According to handgunlaw.us, you can still have it in your holster as long as it's unloaded. So how do you handle that? Do you unload it every time you get in the car and reload it when you get out? Is there any issue with that being considered brandishing when you put the magazine back in and chamber a round?

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    You have to have a CPL to keep a handgun loaded in your vehicle in Washington. How that may relate to if you have a CPL from another state I am not sure. Other's here would know that and will answer that shortly I am sure.

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    Regular Member DaveT319's Avatar
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    Right, but I don't have a CHL. So when I get in and out of the car, how do I deal with the issue of loaded open carry being legal, but loaded in the car is not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT319 View Post
    Right, but I don't have a CHL. So when I get in and out of the car, how do I deal with the issue of loaded open carry being legal, but loaded in the car is not?

    That depends on what condition you carry your gun in....for instance if you carry with magazine loaded but no round in the chamber you can simply just remove the magazine from the gun before entering your vehicle and re-insert it after exiting your vehicle.

    If you carry with a round in the chamber then you would have to remove the magazine and remove the chambered round....to be in compliance with the law both of these maneuvers would have to be done before you enter the vehicle and reloading/rechambering would have to be done after exiting the vehicle just like in the example above. This reloading maneuver can cause alarm with people passing by and if not prudent opens the possibility of a negligent discharge.

    It is these reasons that quite a few open carriers decide to obtain a CHL as this allows for the gun to be loaded in the vehicle.

    -Z

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    To add what Z said, as long as it is unloaded the gun, and mag can be anywhere in the car.

    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.

    This includes ferries, and buses. Even though you are standing out in the open on a deck of a ferry, you still need a CPL to OC.

    There is no brandishing in WA, it is "warrants alarm".

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...out-Open-Carry
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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT319 View Post
    I occasionally visit WA, and now that I've started carrying I want to make sure I understand the laws.

    Mainly, it's my understanding that loaded OC is legal, but not in your vehicle. According to handgunlaw.us, you can still have it in your holster as long as it's unloaded. So how do you handle that? Do you unload it every time you get in the car and reload it when you get out? Is there any issue with that being considered brandishing when you put the magazine back in and chamber a round?
    next time you visit WA get a WA CPL. they're easy to get, if you can legally own a gun then literally all you need to do is cut a check for 56 bucks.

    you can literally apply at any police agency in the state. if your travels take you by Kitsap County though that's where I'd apply, they're the McDonalds of CPL issuance, they issue fast. Oregon CHLs are not recognized in WA....
    Last edited by EMNofSeattle; 03-09-2014 at 09:34 PM.
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    Regular Member DaveT319's Avatar
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    Sure, I could get the WA license, but I'm planning to get the UT license at some point because it's recognized in a lot of states.

    However, since I don't have either yet - and part of the reason is I'm objecting to have to pay for the ability to carry a weapon for defense - I'm trying to figure out how to operate within the law.

    So I carry with a round chambered (nothing else makes sense to me), so how do I handle this? Unholster my weapon, remove the mag, and clear the chamber every time I get in the car? And then reload and chamber a round every time I get out? And will there be any issue with doing so in public?

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    In addition to loading and unloading to enter/leave a vehicle, you would also have to unload your gun and lock it in a container anywhere within 1000' of a school in order to comply with Federal law 18 USC 922 (q)(2).
    I wouldn't even worry about that.... it's at most used as a "tack on" charge. no US Attorney will even bother waste their time on that.
    Last edited by EMNofSeattle; 03-09-2014 at 10:59 PM.
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    Regular Member DaveT319's Avatar
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    Holy hell, 1000 feet?! What happens if you LIVE within 1000' of a school? Could get popped just walking out of your house!

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT319 View Post
    Holy hell, 1000 feet?! What happens if you LIVE within 1000' of a school? Could get popped just walking out of your house!
    This is literally the boogeyman bedtime story of gun rights forums. Technically under federal law you can't have a firearm in public property within 1000 feet of a school or on school grounds. That is true.

    The law was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, it was re passed a year later and while some circuits have upheld the law, they have very narrowly construed it. The Supreme Court has not reheard it.

    In addition it is almost never prosecuted. And when it is, it's always a tack on charge to someone who was dealing drugs, or assault students, or someone who recieved no lax sentences from state courts who had committed a crime on school grounds. Numerous threads on numerous forums have had standing challenges asking anyone to find any case in which someone was nailed by the Feds under that law for merely carrying in the 1000 foot bubble with no other criminal activity. So far no one has provided even one case. A us attorney in Wyoming was questioned about the law and admitted he had never filed charges for the GFSZA ever and that he had no intention of charging someone for open carrying or conceal carrying a gun with no license (legal in WY) for that offense.

    Basically you'll be struck by lightning after winning your second powerball jackpot before you even have to worry about it. But if you want to feel safe get your CHL problem solved
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    As far as getting in, and out of the car. Just do it while covered by your open door. As long as you don't stand on top of your car shouting "look at me", most of the clueless will be to busy playing with their cell phone to notice.
    "The beauty of the Second Amenment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." Thomas Jefferson
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT319 View Post
    - I'm trying to figure out how to operate within the law.

    So I carry with a round chambered (nothing else makes sense to me), so how do I handle this? Unholster my weapon, remove the mag, and clear the chamber every time I get in the car? And then reload and chamber a round every time I get out? And will there be any issue with doing so in public?


    To operate within the law, as you state is your intention, you will need to unholster your weapon, remove the mag, and clear the chamber before getting in the car. Reloading and chambering a round will need to be done after getting out of the vehicle. Doing so in public could cause you attention that you don't want or need depending on how discreet you are during these actions.

    While clearing and rechambering...please, please, please ensure you are pointing in a safe direction during these actions. I am not questioning your level of responsibility but I have witnessed a couple of occasions where someone was chambering their weapon to make it condition 1 and they were complacent and hit the trigger. In a clearing barrel this is not too much of a problem...but in a shopping center or restaurant parking lot?...just make sure safety is top priority.

    -Z

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    Regular Member DaveT319's Avatar
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    Absolutely Zohan. I appreciate the reminder. Can never be too conscious about safety.

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    Don't forget this one:

    9.41.060 - exemptions to .050
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.060
    (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;
    I wouldn't suggest keeping a fishing pole or hiking sticks in your car as an excuse to use the exemption. But if you are doing hiking, MTB, etc., then there you go.

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