I am pleased to announce that the Federal Way Police Department, via a training bulletin to all of it's officers, now recognizes peacible open carry as legal. Federal Way Police Department was notorious for it's officers arresting people for open carry.
Approximately 2 months ago, I sent an email to Anne Kirkpatrick, who is now Spokane's PD chief, advising her that several of her officers were stating that open carry was illegal. I advised her of the Department of Licensing's statement that Washington is an open carry state, and so on. I got little to no response to this other than "Thank you for your email"
After waiting about 2 months, I contacted the new interim chief, who was deputy chief and who handled the complaint when it was sent in two months ago. He told me the deputies were trained after my emailed. I asked at that point if they recognized open carry as legal. It was then that my correspondance shifted to a different person.
Despite my repeated contacts with her, asking the person if they recognized open carry as legal, they were cagey with their response, and wasn't willing to give me a straight answer.
So, I decided at this point to do what a friend of mine suggested: File a Public Records Act request for all of the material related to the issue. So I did.
4 days after the request was filed (they actually have 30 days and told me it would take a month, very quick!), they fulfilled the PRA request with the information I asked.
I now have in my possession the training bulletin to it's officers and support staff. I won't post the entire thing here, but here is the pertinent information. All italics and underlines are from the report, not me:
TOPIC: Open Carry of a Firearm in Washington
Purpose: To provide guidance in calls for service that involve a person who possesses a firearm that is exposed to public view.
Date: July 14, 2006.
Washington is an "open carry" state for firearms. This means there is a presumption that carrying a handgun in an exposed holster, for instance, is legal except where it is specifically illegalized. Open carry does not require a license. On the other hand, concealed carry of a firearm out in public is generally illegal without government authority (such as a state license or a police commission).
Later after going through certain statutes and meticulously articulating and enunciating the nuances of Washington law, we reach 9.41.270, the bain of open carriers existance in Washington State:
*In this law, mere possession of an openly carried handgun is not illegalized. In order to support an enforcement action under this law the officer must be able to articulate (describe in a convincing manner) malicious intent by the subject or circumstances that reasonably cause alarm to the public. IN either case, because open carry in Washington is presumptively legal, the articulation must include something beyond mere open possession.
*An example of illegal open carry under this law would be: a man argues with a store manager or at a meeting of the homeowner's association, he leaves angry; he returns to the premises and resumes the dispute, having a pistol openly carried in an exposed holster.
This is the correct interpretation of 9.41.270. This is more in line with the brandishing statutes of many states.
As I stated, Federal Way was one of the "problem cities" with open carrying. In fact, as part of my PRA request, I came across this little gem, sent from the person who actually wrote the training bulletin:
"I contacted some people on this, one of whom was [name redacted]. [name redacted, same person] said they have dismissed a couple of cases where FW officers clearly felt that mere possession of an openly carried pistol was illegal, and under the circumstances it wasn't."
Those arrests may have been the reason why Federal Way has been known as so problematic to openly carrying. Now this has been resolved. I will be contacting other local city PD's (in Pierce and King Counties, I don't forsee an issue much in Pierce though) and circulating the bulletin to them, to have them do the same thing within their departments.
Speaking of which, anyone here reside in the Spokane area? PM me. I think I may have Spokane City PD locked up (same PD chief now as Federal Way was), but Spokane County Sheriffs might be an issue. I need a scout of the territory. If we can get Spokane County to recognize open carry as legal and remind their deputies, then we can get started with Spokane Transit, who flat out told me open carry was illegal and prosecutable.
Excellent work, Lonnie. I think that a copy of that memo carried in one's wallet could go a long way if one were to be hassled about openly carrying. I'm going to forward this thread to a few of my concealed carry friends as well. Maybe it will give them the courage to begin carrying openly.
Just a reminder,
Federal Way is the 5th largest city in the state. This training bulletin was only sent to the officers of THIS department. Some effort is needed to spread this around.
Can you provide a scanned version of the training bulletin?
Very nicely done! A perfect example of grass roots activism at work, and the outcome was positive, to boot!
Good work, you guys know what you are doing out there dealing with that vague statute - what's next?
Please email or trnafer these police standards docs to John Pierce so he can post to the WA state page.
Lonnie very nice work and congrats on your efforts to include following up on the issue.
It is a shame that the PD did not reply in the same manner in which they wish to be addressed, respect is still respect for all.
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Congratulations, Lonnie! This is a great success after all your work. We all appreciate the effort you are putting forth to safeguard our rights, and the rights of our children.
That is awsome Lonny.That is probaly why there were no problems wednsday when I went to Federal way on a bus with my Para Companion out in the wind.Stopped for coffee before my appt.at starbucks at the fed way commons.No one said a word.Stood next to a Female officer at Mrs Fields cookies.(Can,t ever get out of there without a cookie)Strong side to the officer .Maybe she didn,t notice ,I don,t know but didn,t say anything.A cookie prior to my root canal ,not the best idea.My dentist as I mentioned on an earlier post in very weapons friendly and I was told 2 of her staff also carry.So if anyone needs a dentist that is friendly to our beliefs she certainly is.At least wednsday I had no issues.Even when I stopped back through after my appt. at the Target pharmacy to pick up a med.she had perscribed me.Didn,t see any weapons ban signs in front of target.Now when I think about it I was in that same Mall about a month ago.OC .When an officer saw me he asked me if I had a CPL.I replied that I did and he told me to cover it up.Didn,t look at my CPL .So at that time I complied and covered it with my shirt and when about what I was there for.So maybe these attitudes have changed.I also stop at a little coffee stand near my house OC and sometimes sit and BS with 2 Seatac motorcycle officers that don,t seam to mind .Never called me on it anyway.These 2 guys are actually a couple of the good guys.
DEROS72 wrote:This is how is usually ends up once people do start open carrying - the police officers, and especially the chiefs, finally get, and get used to it, and realize that, as the FBI report documented, bad guys don't open carry.That is awsome Lonny.That is probaly why there were no problems wednsday when I went to Federal way
Now if we could just squeeze Lonnie into a copier and duplicate him we would have it made.
Dinners on me Lonnie if we ever meet.
Guys... Guys... take a look at the date that was first posted. This is old news. I have a hard copy of this TB that I got from TriggerDr at the last WAC gunshow in June. I also downloaded and saved the original copy a while ago from these forums. Sorry, didn't intend to burst any bubbles... :?
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Better late than never.
Metal_Monkey wrote:It's a little bit of old news brought up from over 2 years ago! We've pretty much succeeded but with some mopup operations needed on occasion *cough* Puyallup *cough*.Good job. Also Is there way we can do this with all of Washington? Or must we go from city to city to get this in the clear?
This site has several training bulletins for download. I've never registered but good info on the site. It looks like some of the bulletins were uploaded by OCDO folks.
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