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Thread: King County Experiences

  1. #1
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    Carrying in King County so far has not gotten me in any trouble. I find that it provides me with ample opportunity to chat with folks that I meet and share the fact that carrying a pistol is actually legal, and that it doesn't have to be concealed. I'm generally happy to talk about it, and answer whatever questions people have. Since the recent mall shootings and other random acts of violence on the news, I find that I get many fewer questions of "Why?"

    When interesting things happen to me, I'll be sure to share them here. So far, people have just learned that sometimes a man with a gunwalks into a store, and nothing unusual happens. The more people see of that, the better off we'll be.

    --Sandy(WA)

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    I think you make a great point for why we should OC. The more people whoSEE that guns can be legallycarried without randomshootings happening, the easier it will be to advance other future 2nd Amendment legislation. That is where concealed carry comes a little short. It is done more commonly, but no one can SEE that it is being safely done.

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    OC in Baskin Robbins

    We took the kids to Baskin Robbins recently, and ate our ice cream in the store. Many customers came and went while our little ones made happy messes of themselves. I got looked over by most people, and I got the impression that most people noticed that I was carrying. No problems from the staff or customers. When we were done, Itook the kids to the bathroom one at a time for cleanup, and ended up walking past a few customers who apparently had not noticed yet. My wife was laughing when I came out of the bathroom, and told me what happened while I was gone.

    Apparently a young teenager spotted my pistol, and said quite loudly to his father "Oh my God, that man has a gun!" His dad calmly explained that he had noticed, and that it's nothing to be concerned about. The kid took quite a lot of convincing, and repeatedly asked questions like How? and Why? My wife reports that the dad explained things quite well. He said that some people carry to protect themselves and their family, and that it's perfectly legal. The best quote was this: "One reason he might carry is so that some day you will be able to." Unfortunately, the family was gone by the time I got out.

    It's wonderful to see that there are still good parents out there, teaching their kids as best they can. This parent clearly missed this particular lesson (based on his kid's reaction), but did the right thing when the topic came up. He deserves congratulations on a situation well handled.

    --Sandy(WA)

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    ever consider getting some business cards printed up with links to opencarry.org printed on it and your reasons for OC?

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    Bellevue Square Mall - Police Were Called

    I went to Bellevue Square Mall with my children and my parents, carrying openly. We bought some toys and let the kids play on the play structure. After a while, we got up and headed towards a food court for some lunch. On the way, I was stopped by mall security.

    The unarmed security guard said that they had gotten several calls about me. He asked if I had a Concealed Permit, and I said that I did. He then asked if I would mind concealing it to avoid problems. I said that I didn't have a proper holster with me for concealing it, and I had not brought a jacket. I held up my child's jacket for humor. The guard said that he understands my situation, and that he personally carries when he's not working, but that I should try to avoid trouble and conceal it. He asked if I could go leave it in the car. He also said that the police had been called, and that they would probably be happier if I could conceal it.

    I told him that I wanted to feed the kids, and that I was going to the food court. After that, I would leave the mall. I also said that I'd be happy to speak with the police when they arrived, and that he could direct them to the food court.

    In the middle of our meal, I sawa gaggle of officers huddled up discussing how they would deal with me. After a few minutes, they quietly surrounded me and the designated officer introduced himself. They were Bellevue Police, and they just wanted to talk some sense into me. They looked at my ID and called it in. They asked if I had a CPL, but they did not ask to see it. They asked me to conceal my sidearm, and I gave the same excuses that it was not currently convenient, and that I would return to my car after I was done with my meal. I got a lecture. The officer said that some states allow you to carry a gun like that, but in this state it was illegal to carry a gun with intent to intimidate. Now he said I wasn't being threatening, but they got several calls from people who were "alarmed" (yes, he used that word, a clear legal threat) and that what I was doing was "on the border line" of legality. He said the CPL says "concealed." I replied that it says that because without one, you may not carry a pistol concealed. If you don't have a permit, you may only carry openly, as I am. They were aware that carrying openly does not require a permit, and that it was technically legal.

    It sounded like all they wanted was for me to agree that carrying openly was a poor choice, and they'd let me go. They repeatedly used phrases such as "now we don't want to ruin your lunch or take you away from your family, so please just be reasonable." I know that they were considering arresting me if I was uncooperative. I finallyrepeated that I would leave the mall directly, and they decided to end it there.

    My parents chimed in saying that they agreed with the officers, and that they had been trying unsuccessfully to get me to conceal it. Thankfuly, this didn't make things worse. The police left. My relationship with my parents and their inability to respect my choice on this issue is entirely separate, and please let's not discuss it here.

    Mall security stayed within sight throughout the meal. We headed for our exit, and stopped at the bathroom for our toddler. Mall security waited outside. They followed me (at as much distance as visibility would allow) out to my car, and watchd as I drove off. Mall security was unobtrusive, but they did want to see where I went.

    Overall it was an annoyance, and one I expect to encounter again in the future. Hopefuly they will all go as well as this one did, or better.

    --Sandy(WA)


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    Mistakes I Made

    Mistake #1: In the toy store, I took a cell phone call. This took me away from my kids and into a corner of the room so that I could talk without being disturbed. Anyone seeing this might have been more alarmed than usual. Perhaps the store's staff called me in.

    Mistake #2: At the kids play area, I was distracted by my parents, the new toys, and so I was not as genial and engaging as I usually am. Also, I did not take the time to chat with other parents there. This is a difference from the last time Iwent to that play area, when no police were called.

    Although these mistakes are not the sort of things that should result in the police being called, they probably had an impact.I'll try to learn from this experience to avoid unnecessary police intervention in the future.



    Mistake #3: I was flustered by the police and made a potentially fatal mistake. When the officer asked for my ID, I did as I always do to retrieve my wallet. I put my hand on the gun, slid it forward from 4 o'clock to 2 o'clock, and pulled my wallet out of my back pocket. Now I expect a police officer to ask for ID. I knew this moment would come, and I have gone over in my head many many many times how I would inform an officer of what I was about to do.I have thought through their possible reactions and how best to deal with them. The thing that I would never do is just put my hand on my gun without warning. But somehow, in the stress of the situation, I just did as I normally do when pulling out my walletto make a purchase, and I slid the gun out of the way without saying a thing. The nearest officer flinched, and he was the one who later gave me the big lecture. Big mistake. The one thing that kept me from getting drawn downon was that I'm fluent at this maneuver, and it was over before they could react. My hand was no longer on my gun, and I had my wallet in my hand.

    There's no excuse for mistake #3. I won't let it happen again.

    --Sandy(WA)

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    Sandy,

    It is easy for people to second guess you after the fact, but I think you did very well! Obviously mistake #3 could have been interesting, but you learned from it.

    I just want to say "Thank You"! It is people like you and the others who post here who push the envelope back by being willing to face these kinds of situations calmly and with knowledge of the law.

    Good job!


    John

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    sounds like there ought to be an open carry day in bellevue mall.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Sandy, do me a favor:

    Email me the whole details of when, were, and how this happened, which officers were involved. I'm going to file a PDA request to get some more information. Cops in this state will not listent to citizens on calls, this needs to be addressed via the training division and internal affairs.

    At the very least, we can make Bellevue a safe open zone.

    mine is lonnie.wilson at comcast.net

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    Sandy:

    Thanks for telling us about this incident. I hope this does not happen to you again.

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    Per #3, I've learned from making the same mistake and now always carry my wallet in my rear left pocket when carrying (whether openly or concealed).

    This way I am never reaching toward my firearm when going for my wallet, whether people can see the handgun or not. Easy solution, you may consider it.

    Glad to see you haven't been intimidated by the LEOs "frowning" upon it. People will get used to it, day by day, just like they got unused to it day by day so many decades ago.

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    Sandy,

    I'm sorry you were lectured for a legal activity, but I am glad they didn't take you to jail and run you through the process.

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    JSK333 wrote:
    Per #3, I've learned from making the same mistake and now always carry my wallet in my rear left pocket when carrying (whether openly or concealed).

    This way I am never reaching toward my firearm when going for my wallet, whether people can see the handgun or not. Easy solution, you may consider it.

    Glad to see you haven't been intimidated by the LEOs "frowning" upon it. People will get used to it, day by day, just like they got unused to it day by day so many decades ago.
    JSK333, good point. Glad I got Out-of-Bed today, I learned something new. Great idea. THANKS!

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    Sandy - you had no duty to carry ID, or show ID to police on demand, did you?

    Maybe next time go "sterile carry" - don't carry any ID at all.

    Does WA have a stop and ID statute? I bet not - even if it does, the US Supreme Ct. has only upheld the requirement for a Terry stop and then only to state your name anyway.

  15. #15
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    I do not believe WA has a stop and ID statute. Our state constitution's protections are higher than the federal constitution in this regard.

    Sterile carry would be exceedingly difficult in WA. For one, you need a CPL to carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle of any kind in Washington, and if you have a CPL, and you don't have it, it's a $250 civil fine. If you don't have a CPL at all issued to you, it's a misdemeanor offense.

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    Sandy, could you share a bit on how you started? I just OC'ed the first time a few weeks ago when I was in Wyoming, and it was great. I'm in Bellingham in whatcom county right now, and I'm pretty sure the hippies will be skittish

    Just gotta syke myself up I guess. Good on ya' man. That's awesome what you're doing.

    Zack

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    Zack wrote:
    Sandy, could you share a bit on how you started?
    FirstI began carrying concealed on a regular basis. After I got used to the idea of carrying a gun all the time, there were two things that made me begin carrying openly. First, my deep concealment rig gets uncomfortable after all day of carrying, so switching to open carry sometimes is a matter of comfort. Second, I am a fierce libertarian, and showing my beliefs with my actions is an important part of who I am. As much as I allow this issue to partially define who I am in the eyes of others, you now know the truth: Issue #1 is actually convenience, and the sheer principle of the matter is just a supporting reason.

    --Sandy (WA)

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    Open Carried in Lynnwood twice over the past week, at Babies 'R Us. Shopping for myself I spent a while in theretrying to find what I wanted and even asked a manager for help tracking down details on a monitor. I returned a couple days later with friends and helped them register, so we probably spent over two hours in the store walking all over. No problems from staff or customers.

    We ate at The Old Spaghetti Factory across the street later, and had a brief conversation with a woman in the waiting area:

    "Not many folks pack a gun to a restaurant."
    "No, there aren't very many of us."
    "Lots of people have that Concealed Permit."
    "Yeah, it is more common for people to conceal them."
    "Is that even legal, wearing it like that?"
    "Yes, in fact it's MORE legal. You only need the permit if you want to carry concealed."
    "Ah. Old style."
    I thought that was pretty neat. Anyway, during the meal I got up several times to take my kids to the bathroom and such, and I'm sure the front reception staff all noticed the pistol and didn't bother me about it, but our waiter must have never noticed. As I left out the front door he was saying his Thank Yous and Goodbyes, when suddenly mid-sentence he did a double-take, thencomposed himself andsmiled once more. The young kid looked like he'd never seen a real gun in his life. I found it amusing. Hopefully it will make a lasting impression on him that occasionally normal folks (who dine out with family and friends, and tip well) carry guns.

    --Sandy (WA)

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    Good job, and thank you for continuing to post your experiences here. I'm in the market for a Galco holster with a retention strap (I would feel better about OCing if that was there, but maybe it isn't necessary). I'm starting to rethink the whole "permission" thing (the CPL), and might just OC exclusively. The only pain would be that I would have to unload once I got in the car (what a stupid rule).

    Thanks again

    Zack

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    Well, I decided to open carry today since I was coming home from the National Forrest off of Highway 2, and my IWB was in my trunk. I was wearing the Bianchi M12 military holster with a standard issue pistol belt, carrying my Beretta 92FS. I only went out once when I entered King County, and it was to Taco Bell on 145th and Lake City.

    I have to say, I don't think I'll be carrying open too much. I prefer to conceal. My reasoning is that I immediatly captured the attention of everyone in the room. I was all smiles of course, but I decided that the small advantage I gained by A) being lazy, and B) having a quicker draw, were totally neglected by loosing the element of suprise and blending in.

    But to my experience. I was wearing an under armor shirt, jean shorts, neoprene knee wraps, regular shoes...I have short hair, buzz cut. The first lady to notice was an employee on brake, and thought I was a cop. I walked to the restroom to wash the lead off my hands from shooting that day, then went to order. My friend was in front of me and someone was to his left, apparently waiting on an order. His eyes were locked on my holster, so I asked if he was waiting to order. He said he wasn't, and diverted his attention back to the front. He couldn't see the handle of my weapon, but I assume he knew what the holster was.

    I then ordered, and picked up my order, and left with my friend. I smiled and laughed while we waited, nothing too abnormal for me. I did not, however, notice what the family to my rear was looking at. They were speaking spanish, so I decided not to turn around and startle them or anything abnormal.

    All in all, it wasn't a bad experience, just not something I'd repeat. Being stared at like that I think negates any tactical advantage I would have recieved. I wasn't exactly comfortable being stared at like that, but I kind of figured it would happen. I think from now on I definitely would place the IWB in a better place after wilderness shooting.

    I do have to say, nothing bad came from it. No cops, the world didn't end, there wasn't a violent gun battle. It was just a preference, and I don't think I'll be doing it again. It was a good experience, though!

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    I also live in the Puget Sound area. I think it's a good thing to remember that Malls are private property, so the visitors to that private property do so at the owners' pleasure.

    The "Simon" malls, of which the Northgate andTacoma Mallsare a part, prohibit weapons, concealed or overt.

    Although I completely support OC and CC, I think it's reasonable that visitors to my house (or business) have an obligation todo so according to my rules, and I think themalls alsohave the same rights.

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    Doc Blase wrote:
    I also live in the Puget Sound area. I think it's a good thing to remember that Malls are private property, so the visitors to that private property do so at the owners' pleasure.
    True. Any privateproperty owner has the right to ask me to follow their rules, or to leave. Since I generally won't follow their rules if they attempt to prohibit OC, I would opt to leave.

    Note that the security officers in Bellevue Square Mall never asked me to leave, and they never once used any form of "or else we'll ask you to leave" wording. They requested that I conceal, and I declined. The police similarly advised that I conceal, but did not order.

    The police were out of line for their indirect intimidation. The mall security was out of line for harassing me without being willing to ask me to leave, but I don't fault them for wanting to follow me around. Either way, I will continue shopping at that mall until they ask me to leave and not come back.

    --Sandy (WA)


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    Seattle Center

    This was the first time thatI decided toOC in a very public part of downtown Seattle.

    I went to Seattle Center today with my family and some friends who also had kids. We went to the Children's Museum in Center House, ate at the food court, played in the huge fountain, and returned to the Center House food court for snacks before we left.

    There were lots of people who noticed and reacted a little, but few commented. One man in the museum asked about the caliber (.40), and shared a story about his trip to a local range. He doesn't shoot much, but was interested and friendly. I had been talking to his wife for a while (about our kids playing together) when he came over, and she hadn't noticed yet. She was taken aback and asked why I would have something like that in a nice place like the museum. That was a nice opportunity to share my simple reasons, and to prompt my two-year-old to tell them "Daddyhas a gun to keep me safe from bad guys and monsters." (I can't yet get her to leave that monsters bit out.)

    We spent about an hour in the fountain, and manypeople noticed there as well. I was playing with my kids, so I don't think anyone was too concerned about me.

    In the food court, an employee clearing the table asked if I was a police officer. He was surprised to learn that it was legal, and that no permit was required. He said "What about gun free zones and stuff like that? Isn't this a gun safe zone?" It's people like this that benefit the most from seeing me out and about. He wasforward enough to ask, and open minded enough that it looked like he was learning as I answered. I wouldn't be surprised if he followed up with his supervisor later where he'll probably get a different answer. I wonder if he'll find the truth for himself.

    Police walked by twice on routine patrol, and I don't think they saw me. That's all. No problems.

    --Sandy(WA)

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Sandy,

    <b>
    In the food court, an employee clearing the table asked if I was a police officer. He was surprised to learn that it was legal, and that no permit was required. He said "What about gun free zones and stuff like that? Isn't this a gun safe zone?" It's people like this that benefit the most from seeing me out and about. He wasforward enough to ask, and open minded enough that it looked like he was learning as I answered. I wouldn't be surprised if he followed up with his supervisor later where he'll probably get a different answer. I wonder if he'll find the truth for himself.</b>

    Actually she is technically correct. Seattle Center, as a City-owned convention center, CAN require you to have a CPL in order to be able to carry a pistol, under RCW 9.41.300(2).


    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

    (a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and

    (b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:

    (i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060; or

    (ii) Any showing, demonstration, or lecture involving the exhibition of firearms.


    Just keep this in mind and have your CPL in Seattle Center.

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    Lonnie Wilson wrote:
    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

    <snip>

    Just keep this in mind and have your CPL in Seattle Center.

    (As you may recall, I keep that and other firearms-related RCWs in my wallet in case I need it)

    I agree that Seattle CAN make such laws, and if they did I would need my CPL to open carry in the convention center. However I am not aware of such a law prohibiting firearms in Center House. I believe it would have to be apublic law/ordinance, and not just a "companypolicy." Are you aware of such a law or ordinance?

    Clearly carrying my CPL is the safe thing to do. It's always in my wallet because, among other things, I drive a lot and don't want to have to unload. But I would be surprised to learn that it was legally required toOC in Center House.

    --Sandy (WA)


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