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Thread: Washington State laws - time to go on the offensive

  1. #1
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    Hey, folks.

    I've been pestering my state rep. (Al O'Brien, a fairly gun-friendly democrat) for a couple of years to sponsor legislation protecting employees having firearms in their car. He's been reluctant to, stating to me he'd rather focus on keeping the bad legislation out.

    Well, I'm of the opinion that we should put the anti's on the defensive for a change, and I am going to ask him to sponsor the following five pieces of legislation:

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_car.txt

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_open_carry.txt

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_UW.txt

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_suppressor.txt

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_gun_free_zones.txt

    ...and I'm looking for your help.

    Please read them, and if you have any suggestions for improvements (especially if you have legal experience) let me know. My email address is jhardin@impsec.org

    Please ask your representatives to sponsor or co-sponsor them this year (legislative year 2008), regardless of which legislative district you live in. If our legislators see enough interest maybe something positive will happen this legislative session (as opposed to just the "not negative" defensive victories we've been seeing lately). And having a lot of co-sponsors can't hurt!

    If you participate in other forums or groups (e.g. Glock Talk) where there's a place to discuss Washington State firearms issues, mention this.

    If you have any connections to the more formal firearms rights advocacy organizations, mention these proposals to them. I've asked the NRA-ILA to take a look before and in response got a deafening silence, but maybe they'd listen if a few hundred members spoke up.

    Individually we can be ignored, so let's all speak up together!


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    John Hardin wrote:
    Hey, folks.

    I've been pestering my state rep. (Al O'Brien, a fairly gun-friendly democrat) for a couple of years to sponsor legislation protecting employees having firearms in their car. He's been reluctant to, stating to me he'd rather focus on keeping the bad legislation out.

    Well, I'm of the opinion that we should put the anti's on the defensive for a change, and I am going to ask him to sponsor the following three pieces of legislation:

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_car.txt

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_open_carry.txt

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_UW.txt

    ...and I'm looking for your help.

    Please read them, and if you have any suggestions for improvements (especially if you have legal experience) let me know. My email address is jhardin@impsec.org

    Please ask your representatives to sponsor or co-sponsor them this year, regardless of which legislative district you live in. If our legislators see enough interest maybe something positive will happen this legislative session (as opposed to just the "not negative" defensive victories we've been seeing lately). And having a lot of co-sponsors can't hurt!

    If you participate in other forums or groups (e.g. Glock Talk) where there's a place to discuss Washington State firearms issues, mention this.

    If you have any connections to the more formal firearms rights advocacy organizations, mention these proposals to them. I've asked the NRA-ILA to take a look before and in response got a deafening silence, but maybe they'd listen if a few hundred members spoke up.

    Individually we can be ignored, so let's all speak up together!
    If you MUST re-write 9.41.270 rather than just repeal it, I would suggest:

    It shall be unlawful for an person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm with specific intent to threaten, harass, intimidate, or coerce another person or persons without legal justification for doing so.

    Remove "alarm", remove "brandish".

  3. #3
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    gregma wrote:
    remove "brandish".
    Why remove "brandish"? I'd rather have "brandish" in there than "carry"...

    And "alarm for immediate safety of others" is different from "alarm for safety of others" - at least it seems so to me; think of some moron waving a pistol around asking for a ND but not intending any Evil Deeds. But I can understand the desire for that entire clause to go away.

    Adding the "threaten, ..." - what do you think now?

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    I think the reason for removing brandish is that in some places, OC is considered brandishing and so is accidentilly showing if you're CCing. That is not currently illegal in WA State and I'd rather it not become so.

    [Edit: grammar]
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    I think carry is a better word to use than brandish. I would rather not get in trouble for my gun peaking out when I am cc'ing. Also I think the term "warrants alarm" needs to be removed as gregma has written. Those are the two ambigious wordings of the current law that need to go.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

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  6. #6
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    ... the statutory definition of "brandish," which means "to display all or part of the firearm, or otherwise make the presence of the firearm known to another person, in order to intimidate that person." 18 U.S.C. ยง 924(c)(4)
    Huh. And here I thought "brandish" meant to have it clearly visible in your hand.

    Okay, I'll buy that change.

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    John Hardin wrote:
    gregma wrote:
    remove "brandish".
    Why remove "brandish"? I'd rather have "brandish" in there than "carry"...

    And "alarm for immediate safety of others" is different from "alarm for safety of others" - at least it seems so to me; think of some moron waving a pistol around asking for a ND but not intending any Evil Deeds. But I can understand the desire for that entire clause to go away.

    Adding the "threaten, ..." - what do you think now?
    I think others have covered this quite well, but I"ll add my obligatory 2 cents

    Why remove brandish? Mainly because it can be mis-interpreted quite easily by Law Enforcement to harass those open carrying. Granted "Brandish" has a well defined statutory definition, but we are out on the streets dealing with minimally trained LEO's who could give a rats behind about statutory things.

    I do agree with "carry" also being a not-well defined word and should be removed also.


    It shall be unlawful for an person to exhibit, display, or draw any weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm with specific intent to threaten, harass, intimidate, or coerce another person or persons without legal justification for doing so.
    With the "carry" removed.

    As far as "Alarm", that is a terrible word and can be interpreted by the beat cop to mean anything he wants it to mean. Anyone can make "alarm" mean simply having a firearm. Every single instance I've seen of police threatening OC'ers they have used the word "alarm". Every single one. Leave that in there and not a single thing will change.

  8. #8
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    Okay, how about this then?
    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an attempt to intimidate, harass, threaten or coerce another person or persons for an unlawful purpose or that manifests negligent or wanton disregard for the immediate safety of other persons.
    "Alarm" is gone, but I'm kind of reluctant to completely give up on that last bit as I still have the image in my head of a moron waving a gun around trying for a ND...

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    John Hardin wrote:
    Okay, how about this then?
    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an attempt to intimidate, harass, threaten or coerce another person or persons for an unlawful purpose or that manifests negligent or wanton disregard for the immediate safety of other persons.
    "Alarm" is gone, but I'm kind of reluctant to completely give up on that last bit as I still have the image in my head of a moron waving a gun around trying for a ND...
    honestly, I don't see that as any better. How about adding an RCW that clearly states that Washington is an Open Carry state.

    Such as:

    1) It shall be lawful to carry a holstered or slung firearm in plain view at all places not restricted by rcw 9.41.050 (or whatever it was), so long as the weapon is legal to be owned and the carrier may ownsaid weaponunder 9.41.060 (or whatever it is), and provided that the carrier does not gesture threateningly toward the weapon directly threaten or imply threat directly toward an individual or group through words or hostile actions, not including the mear possession of the weapon.

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    John Hardin wrote:
    Okay, how about this then?
    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an attempt to intimidate, harass, threaten or coerce another person or persons for an unlawful purpose or that manifests negligent or wanton disregard for the immediate safety of other persons.
    "Alarm" is gone, but I'm kind of reluctant to completely give up on that last bit as I still have the image in my head of a moron waving a gun around trying for a ND...
    It is improved, but still leaves IMHO too much open to interpretation. Do you not think that the first part "display...in a manner...an attempt to threaten" would cover a "moron waving a gun around"? I think just that first part would cover that act just fine. The second the gun leaves the holster, and by waving it around would then be considered "intimidate", and if the gun ever was pointed at anyone in the waving would then add "threaten".

    I can't think of a single legitimate unlawful circumstance that would not be covered by leaving out the "immediate safety". Yet that part "wanton disregard", "immediate safety" could easily be mis-interpreted by LEO's against Open Carry to mean just having a gun exposed even in holster.

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    I'll be putting in my comments on it soon.

  12. #12
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    gregma wrote
    Do you not think that the first part "display...in a manner...an attempt to threaten" would cover a "moron waving a gun around"?
    Honestly, I don't. The "moron waving a gun around" is stupidity, not malice. Though it's possible that this law should not cover unsafe behavior, just malicious behavior.

    Also, how about putting "carrying a holstered firearm in open view" into the exclusions in (3) - that would probably simplify the language of (1).

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    Regular Member thebastidge's Avatar
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    I wouldn't specify a holster; as carrying in a pocket, fannypack, or tucked into a waistband is no more threatening than in a holster by any objective measure.

    As a matter of philosophy, I'm in favour of laws which restrict narrowly, and leave everything else not restricted as legal by default.
    Be prepared. Be very prepared.

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    John Hardin wrote:
    gregma wrote
    Do you not think that the first part "display...in a manner...an attempt to threaten" would cover a "moron waving a gun around"?
    Honestly, I don't. The "moron waving a gun around" is stupidity, not malice. Though it's possible that this law should not cover unsafe behavior, just malicious behavior.

    Also, how about putting "carrying a holstered firearm in open view" into the exclusions in (3) - that would probably simplify the language of (1).
    I would say a moron waving a gun around in public would be covered under the following statement in your revision.

    "manifests negligent or wanton disregard for the immediate safety of other persons."

    It sure the heck would be negligent and unsafe for other persons.
    "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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    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    oops.

  16. #16
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    thebastidge wrote:
    I wouldn't specify a holster; as carrying in a pocket, fannypack, or tucked into a waistband is no more threatening than in a holster by any objective measure.
    Yes, but those are concealed, and .270 doesn't affect CCW because the people who would be "alarmed" by simply seeing a firearm cannot see a concealed firearm. Right? We're trying to clean this statute up for open carry.

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    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    joeroket wrote:
    John Hardin wrote:
    gregma wrote
    Do you not think that the first part "display...in a manner...an attempt to threaten" would cover a "moron waving a gun around"?
    Honestly, I don't. The "moron waving a gun around" is stupidity, not malice. Though it's possible that this law should not cover unsafe behavior, just malicious behavior.

    Also, how about putting "carrying a holstered firearm in open view" into the exclusions in (3) - that would probably simplify the language of (1).
    I would say a moron waving a gun around in public would be covered under the following statement in your revision.

    "manifests negligent or wanton disregard for the immediate safety of other persons."

    It sure the heck would be negligent and unsafe for other persons.
    ...that's why I changed the "alarm" clause to say that...

    I've rearranged the proposal to reflect these discussions, take a look now:

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_open_carry.txt

    Eagerly awaiting Lonnie's comments...


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    John Hardin wrote:
    joeroket wrote:
    John Hardin wrote:
    gregma wrote
    Do you not think that the first part "display...in a manner...an attempt to threaten" would cover a "moron waving a gun around"?
    Honestly, I don't. The "moron waving a gun around" is stupidity, not malice. Though it's possible that this law should not cover unsafe behavior, just malicious behavior.

    Also, how about putting "carrying a holstered firearm in open view" into the exclusions in (3) - that would probably simplify the language of (1).
    I would say a moron waving a gun around in public would be covered under the following statement in your revision.

    "manifests negligent or wanton disregard for the immediate safety of other persons."

    It sure the heck would be negligent and unsafe for other persons.
    ...that's why I changed the "alarm" clause to say that...

    I've rearranged the proposal to reflect these discussions, take a look now:

    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/wa_gun_laws_open_carry.txt

    Eagerly awaiting Lonnie's comments...
    I'm trying to look at this new proposed law with the mindset of a beat cop who wants to try and use that law to harass someone who is simply open carrying. Ok, for the first part.

    manifests an attempt to intimidate, harass, threaten or coerce another person
    Looking at the definition of harass, I can see "To create an unpleasant or hostile situation". Well, to a sheeple, just seeing a firearm would to them create an unpleasant situation. Might want to remove that term. The rest looks good to me and I can't think of a situation where it might be used against us.

    Now the second section, which I still think poses a problem for us,

    manifests negligent or wanton disregard for the immediate safety of other persons
    I can use that easily to justify an arrest for someone solely open carrying. It would be easy to say that someone open carrying is "manifesting wanton disregard for the immediate safey of a person." Wanton can be interpreted as "causal", "unrestrained", "without regard to". If wanton was not there, that part might be more secure. Then again, negligence can be defined as "careless", and open carrying might be considered "careless". Maybe gross negligence? It's really a tough one. Yes, I know I'm being pedantic, but I'm looking at it from the other side. What can I use against us.

    As far as the addition of specifically stating that carrying a firearm in a holster... Then you would have to define holster. Is a belt that had a loop built into it considered a holster? Think "Walker, Texas Ranger" style... Would I recommend it? No. But I wouldn't try to infringe on the right of someone who prefers carrying in that manner. I wouldn't try to define how the firearm must be carried, only that it is legal to carry it visibly on your person.


  19. #19
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    gregma wrote
    Now the second section, which I still think poses a problem for us,

    manifests negligent or wanton disregard for the immediate safety of other persons
    I can use that easily to justify an arrest for someone solely open carrying. It would be easy to say that someone open carrying is "manifesting wanton disregard for the immediate safety of a person."
    I would argue that the word "immediate" contradicts that contention, as simply carrying the weapon does not present an immediate danger to anyone. You have to do something, like take it out of the holster, before it can present an immediate danger.

    I'll buy removing "wanton", though. I couldn't locate a good legal definition of the term. That leaves:

    manifests negligent disregard for the immediate safety of other persons

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    John Hardin wrote:
    gregma wrote
    Now the second section, which I still think poses a problem for us,

    manifests negligent or wanton disregard for the immediate safety of other persons
    I can use that easily to justify an arrest for someone solely open carrying. It would be easy to say that someone open carrying is "manifesting wanton disregard for the immediate safety of a person."
    I would argue that the word "immediate" contradicts that contention, as simply carrying the weapon does not present an immediate danger to anyone. You have to do something, like take it out of the holster, before it can present an immediate danger.
    I'll go along with that line of thinking.


    I'll buy removing "wanton", though. I couldn't locate a good legal definition of the term. That leaves:

    manifests negligent disregard for the immediate safety of other persons
    That works for me.

  21. #21
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    How about (in exclusions):

    (f) Any lawfully-possessed firearm or knife being carried openly in a holster, sheath or belt, so long as it is in the holster, sheath or belt.

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    John Hardin wrote:
    How about (in exclusions):

    (f) Any lawfully-possessed firearm or knife being carried openly in a holster, sheath or belt, so long as it is in the holster, sheath or belt.
    That works. One caveat that the other side might argue...

    That means that you can have your sidearm in it's holster, and then point the sidearm (while still in the holster) at someone and not be guilty of 9.41.270. Remember, you can fire many sidearms while in a holster.
    Another one would be taking the sidearm, and wrapping a belt around it. Technically it would meet this exclusion and still be quite usable.

  23. #23
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    gregma wrote:
    John Hardin wrote:
    How about (in exclusions):

    (f) Any lawfully-possessed firearm or knife being carried openly in a holster, sheath or belt, so long as it is in the holster, sheath or belt.
    That works. One caveat that the other side might argue...

    That means that you can have your sidearm in it's holster, and then point the sidearm (while still in the holster) at someone and not be guilty of 9.41.270. Remember, you can fire many sidearms while in a holster.
    Another one would be taking the sidearm, and wrapping a belt around it. Technically it would meet this exclusion and still be quite usable.
    Point the firearm at someone and I think it becomes assault, which 9.41.270 doesn't address.

    "carried openly in a holster or sheath or worn openly under a belt"?

    Or...

    "(f) Any lawfully-possessed firearm or knife being worn openly in a holster or sheath or under a belt, so long as it is being worn in the holster or sheath or under the belt." ?

  24. #24
    Regular Member thebastidge's Avatar
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    John Hardin wrote:
    thebastidge wrote:
    I wouldn't specify a holster; as carrying in a pocket, fannypack, or tucked into a waistband is no more threatening than in a holster by any objective measure.
    Yes, but those are concealed, and .270 doesn't affect CCW because the people who would be "alarmed" by simply seeing a firearm cannot see a concealed firearm. Right? We're trying to clean this statute up for open carry.
    Not necessarily- in the waistband is not necessarily concealed, nor is in a pocket if it sticks out. I have seen people with semi-autos in their back pocket with the butt out.

    I'm just saying, along with others, don't define how one has to carry it, that is the slippery slope. Mississippi, for example, considers a holster to be concealing a pistol in it. We have explicitly mentioned and discounted that in our laws. But the basic goal should be first and foremost that we promote awareness and acceptanceof the individual's right to be armed, whether that is openly, concealed, with pink pistols or evil black rifles.
    Be prepared. Be very prepared.

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    Regular Member GreatWhiteLlama's Avatar
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    Before too many modifications are made, remember that "Alarm" is the only thing that has been attempted to be used against us. Removing too much may create an unacceptably large loophole in the eyes of those who will decide whether or not to modify the existing law.

    Also, section "F" does not mention a sling. Are you attempting to make it illegal for someone to carry a riffle on their back?
    "...our media are palace eunuchs gazing avidly at the harem of power and stroking their impotent pens in time to the rape of our liberties."
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