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Thread: New Pistol Owner in Tacoma

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Hi there, I just purchased my first handgun today (a Hi-Point .45ACP) and since this is my first pistol, I would like to know about people's opinions and what the law really is on open carry, concealed carry and the like. It is a large gun, so concealed carry may not be a realistic option; I will have to try different things once I actually get it on the 1st of next month (darn waiting period!! ).

    My questions:
    • I take Sound Transit to and from work each day; I work in the downtown Seattle area right around King Street Station and I wish I could carry while there, but I'm not sure if it is allowed to bring a firearm on the train, concealed or otherwise.
    • Is it legal to open carry a firearm loaded? I was always under the idea that you had to carry it unloaded unless you had a concealed carry permit.
    • Should I bother paying the $60 to get a concealed permit, even if I end up not using it for this gun? Is there that much trouble when you open carry?
    • Which would you rather do: carry open or concealed?
    I know these probably seem like rather simple questions, but I have looked and looked on Pierce County's website as well as elsewhere for answers, and all I get is conflicting statements depending on where I look, and no definitive answers. I want to carry my pistol with me for self defense (duh, having it sitting at home if I had to defend myself (gods forbid...) while I am out does me little good), but I don't want to be arrested or hassled ceaselessly if I am out and someone freaks or the Tacoma PD (which are jerks anyhow) thinks I'm a "danger to the public" because I'm open carrying.

    Thanks!

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    compmanio365 wrote:
    Hi there, I just purchased my first handgun today (a Hi-Point .45ACP) and since this is my first pistol, I would like to know about people's opinions and what the law really is on open carry, concealed carry and the like. It is a large gun, so concealed carry may not be a realistic option; I will have to try different things once I actually get it on the 1st of next month (darn waiting period!! ).

    My questions:
    • I take Sound Transit to and from work each day; I work in the downtown Seattle area right around King Street Station and I wish I could carry while there, but I'm not sure if it is allowed to bring a firearm on the train, concealed or otherwise.
    • Is it legal to open carry a firearm loaded? I was always under the idea that you had to carry it unloaded unless you had a concealed carry permit.
    • Should I bother paying the $60 to get a concealed permit, even if I end up not using it for this gun? Is there that much trouble when you open carry?
    • Which would you rather do: carry open or concealed?
    I know these probably seem like rather simple questions, but I have looked and looked on Pierce County's website as well as elsewhere for answers, and all I get is conflicting statements depending on where I look, and no definitive answers. I want to carry my pistol with me for self defense (duh, having it sitting at home if I had to defend myself (gods forbid...) while I am out does me little good), but I don't want to be arrested or hassled ceaselessly if I am out and someone freaks or the Tacoma PD (which are jerks anyhow) thinks I'm a "danger to the public" because I'm open carrying.

    Thanks!
    I'll try to answer your questions individually:

    1) Yes you can bring a firearm onto the Sounder Train, and carry at the Sounder portion of the King Street Station terminal. For carrying a loaded pistol on the train, however, because it is a "vehicle", you need a concealed pistol license. Same for a bus or a private automobile.

    2) You are partially correct. You need a concealed pistol license to carry loaded in "any vehicle". There used to be an "open carry ban" that existed between 1994 and 1997, but that was repealed by Session Law 97-200.

    3) Yes it is worth getting a CPL, if only to not have to unload whenever you get into any vehicle. It also exempts you from the 5 day waiting period. I personally believe that it's quite silly for someone to open carry without a CPL due to the nature of the loaded firearm in vehicle law.

    4) I prefer carrying openly. However, at this time, I would not recommend carrying openly in downtown Seattle...yet.

    I am still working on getting Seattle PD and Sound Transit on the ball on this issue, however it's slow going due to the largess of their bureaucracies. Seattle PD's operators continually try to route my calls to the recruiting officer when I ask for training, and getting any information about who issues training advisories is like pulling teeth. My next weekday off, I plan to go to Seattle PD's HQ (I will be unarmed, just in case I get asked to go into a restricted access area) and basically show the bulletins and ask them this question: "Who issues these bulletins for Seattle PD?!". I've had enough of phone operators at Seattle PD. They are beyond incompetent.

    Sound Transit is still being worked on. Before I started about two years ago on transit agency firearms issues, every transit agency in the Central Puget Sound had a "No weapons or firearms" passenger conduct rule except for King County Metro (which followed state law). Now, Sound Transit stands as the only agency left that still has that written rule, though I have an email from their General Counsel stating that they are aware that carry is legal on their buses and other vehicles with a CPL, and other properties without a CPL.

    As is stated on OpenCarry.org's main page for Washington, we are still in the process of educating the LEO agencies on the legality of open carry. Significant progress was made in the Puget Sound region. If you have a specific incident by officers of Tacoma PD (which issued a training advisory on this issue in 1997), please PM me the following information:

    Where did the incident occur?
    What method of open carrying was used?
    Who were the officers involved?
    When did the incident occur?

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

    You might want to read this thread. May be too late, but we are organizing a lunch on Sunday the 22nd:

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/2193.html


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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Thanks for answering my questions.....I knew I should have gone for my CPL(? I hear it called so many different things.....) first before getting the pistol. Oh well. Guess I will have to take some time off work to go into PCSD and apply.

    And thanks for the invite to lunch, I would love to come, but I don't think I would be able to make it up today.



    Thanks again for answering the questions I had; it really would make me nervous to start open carrying without knowing that I'm actually within the law if someone gets their undies in a bunch about it......



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    Just so you know, according to the websites for the Sherriff and the local PD you are supposed to be able to apply at any police station, but that isn't true. You have to apply down at the main courthouse building in downtown tacoma. They close and 4pm and bring three extra dollars because they will lamenate your permit for a fee.

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    Can't really add anything to Lonnie's excellent reply, but wanted to say Welcome! And hope to see you at our next get together!

    Thanks!
    Greg

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up Jackal, that's the building down by MLK way right? And do you get it right then and there? I know some states make you get it in the mail......

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up Jackal, that's the building down by MLK way right? And do you get it right then and there? I know some states make you get it in the mail......

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up Jackal, that's the building down by MLK way right? And do you get it right then and there? I know some states make you get it in the mail......



    (Stupid IE........) Sorry for the triple post!

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    Yeah it is by there. You have to take 705 into downtown and then up to the top of the big hill and west about five blocks I think. Not hard to get to though. Yeah you have to wait to get it almost a month while they take thier time to run a backround. They have the coolest fingerprint machine I've ever seen though.

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    Washington is a 30 dayshall issue. I got both of mine, I let it lapse for a few years, in the mail in under one week. The first one was in my hand three days later. From what I gather the average is about 2 weeks but I guess it depends on the Dept. There are a few up north that will, at least used to,hold it for the full 30 days by order of the Chief.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    I understood that you could go to any Sheriff Office in the state to apply. My wife and I live in Idaho and we just drove to the neighboring WA county, filled out the form, were finger-printed and paid the fee. 3 weeks later they were in the mail.

    By the way, when did a waiting period come into play? I had never heard of one in WA.

    LoveMyCountry

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    Thats what it is supposed to be, but in Tacoma they have you go to the fingerprint office downtown. It is a consolidated police support facility. If you don't live in Tacoma it would be different.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Hmm....knew I should have done it back in February when I turned 21.....guess I'll be open carrying and unloading in my car for a month until I get the permit. Going to go apply on the 1st, when I pick up the pistol. Thanks for the info everyone.

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    I'm only 5'5 and carry a Haskell .45 (Hi Point) w/ shoulder holster nobody even my friends know Im carrying. A big guy like you could hide a 50 Cal Desert Eagle under your arm and nobody would know.

    Concealed carry is easy even with big guns .. may go through a holster or two finding the right fit but like I said I have no problems hiding my gun from everyone and probly half your size.

    I preffer to carry two guns Hi point 45 & C9 9mm ... been carrying the 9mm OWB like you do but have been searching for a dual shoulder holster as the OWB sticks out more than I'd like but the .45 under the arm is COMPLETELY concealed.

    Loyal Hi point gun owner here ... but like you said not much recoil has me wanting to get a .50 cal :~} .. and Im a small guy lol

    I use Uncle Mikes size 16 shoulder holster for my .45 ... our Hi Points are even bigger than Glock 20's (10mm).


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    Lonny,

    I am still working on getting Seattle PD and Sound Transit on the ball on this issue, however it's slow going due to the largess of their bureaucracies.
    Nice typo! It certainly is largess for those running it!

    But enough thread-jacking, what I really wanted to point out was that as of yesterday on the Sound Transit Link, they still have a contradictory set of signs.

    1. A Sound-Transit-created sign that says (among other things) that firearms are prohibited (i.e. they're making it up), and
    2. A sign that has the exact exact same wording that Pierce Transit has at all their major facilities, banning weapons, explosives, etc but going on to say (paraphrasing) "nothing herein shall prohibit the carrying of a firearm in a manner that is not otherwise prohibited by state law" (i.e. fully compliant with what state law actually is.)

    FWIW...


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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    kparker wrote:
    Lonny,

    I am still working on getting Seattle PD and Sound Transit on the ball on this issue, however it's slow going due to the largess of their bureaucracies.
    Nice typo! It certainly is largess for those running it!

    But enough thread-jacking, what I really wanted to point out was that as of yesterday on the Sound Transit Link, they still have a contradictory set of signs.
    1. A Sound-Transit-created sign that says (among other things) that firearms are prohibited (i.e. they're making it up), and
    2. A sign that has the exact exact same wording that Pierce Transit has at all their major facilities, banning weapons, explosives, etc but going on to say (paraphrasing) "nothing herein shall prohibit the carrying of a firearm in a manner that is not otherwise prohibited by state law" (i.e. fully compliant with what state law actually is.)
    FWIW...
    Sound Transit is changing the wording of their passenger conduct rules to "No Illegal Weapons or Firearms". That essentially means "no illegal weapons or illegal firearms".

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    LoveMyCountry wrote:
    I understood that you could go to any Sheriff Office in the state to apply. My wife and I live in Idaho and we just drove to the neighboring WA county, filled out the form, were finger-printed and paid the fee. 3 weeks later they were in the mail.

    By the way, when did a waiting period come into play? I had never heard of one in WA.

    LoveMyCountry
    If you're a non-resident of Washington, you may apply in any jurisdiction. If you're a resident of Washington, you have a choice to go to your city PD (if where you are has a city PD) or the Sheriffs office.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Just did this last week; I was directed from the Tacoma Police Department headquarters to the County/City building to apply there. It was $60 but the lady laminated my permit for free. I think it is weird that they have you sign the paper right there but then don't let you have it for 30 days. If the permit is there, why not just give it to me? And to make me go to the county/city building, making me pay for parking.....what a scam.....

    I just noticed this morning that Sound Transit has a sign in Freighthouse Square stating the legality of carrying on their buses and trains (stating the RCWs).....

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    Regular Member thebastidge's Avatar
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    It's easy enough to print the permit, but the wait is for processing background checks, theoretically.
    Be prepared. Be very prepared.

    http://swwsurplus.com/ *** 2519 E Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98661 *** 360.314.6687
    http://www.facebook.com/SouthWestWashingtonSurplus *** https://twitter.com/SWWSurplus

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