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Thread: Rifle Carry

  1. #1
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    I've got the handgun carry down. But what the laws on carrying a rifle?

    Is open carry of a rifle legal? Unload/Loaded?

    Is conceal carry of a rifle legal? Unload/Loaded? (yes i realize it would be hard to conceal a rifle).

    What about having a rifle loaded in your truck? To do so with a pistol you need a CWP... Never heard of a Concealed rifle permit.

    And yes, I know that walking down the street with a rifle slung on my shoulder will almost definitly get the police called.

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    DrewGunner wrote:
    I've got the handgun carry down. But what the laws on carrying a rifle?

    Is open carry of a rifle legal? Unload/Loaded?

    Is conceal carry of a rifle legal? Unload/Loaded? (yes i realize it would be hard to conceal a rifle).

    What about having a rifle loaded in your truck? To do so with a pistol you need a CWP... Never heard of a Concealed rifle permit.

    And yes, I know that walking down the street with a rifle slung on my shoulder will almost definitly get the police called.
    State vs Casad and State vs Spencer will give you some insight about carrying a rifle in plain view. I am not sure about concealment though. The only times that I know of when people conceal a rifle they are up to no good.
    "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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    Open carry of a loaded riflecould promptly land you in a State v. Spencer scenario, and that was the test case and Spencer lost. Hell, even I might be tempted to testify against you if you got busted for this, and youmost likely would get busted for this.

    Now, carrying an unloaded rifle as in State v. Casad -- an unpublished opinion, remember -- is another matter. Remember, Casad was on his way down to a pawn shop to sell off his guns because at that point, he could no longer legally possess them.

    Carrying a loaded rifle in your vehicle is illegal. End of story.

    This begs the question: Why wouldanyone want to carry a loaded rifle? Open carry of a loaded sidearm is one thing, but openly carrying a rifle "is" (not "seems" or "might be") a provocative act. Some might call it a "show off stunt," and there would be reasonable grounds to accept that definition, regardless what the gun carrier might argue.

    A rifle is generally considered an "offensive weapon."
    A pistol is generally considered a "defensive weapon."

    Have you lived here long? The prohibition against loaded long guns in vehicles is well-established, been on the books for many years.

    Open carry ofloaded rifles or shotguns in the wilds is legal, outside of national parks.



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    Legally I think the question has been answered, but I don't know why certain members here feel they can make a distinction between drawing conclusions about someone's intention when they are holding a rifle vs. a pistol.

    No offense, I just don't see the logic

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    Dave, remember it still has to take place at a time and place and under circumstances that manifest an INTENT to intimidate another, or be carried in an unsafe manner.

    I open carry a loaded long-gun on a regular basis with no issues because it does not fall into the definition of brandishing. In order to be brandishing it has to meet ALL the criteria just like with a handgun.


    When someone asks a question regarding the legality of something, opinion is not law. Your book has done a tremendous amountof damage to the acceptanceof open carry in general duepeople taking youropinion as the way the brandishing law is defined. I cant tell you how many people insist that I am breaking the law because "Well Dave Workman said..." In fact I have had more negative feedback on open carry from "Gun people" who have your book and quote it as cannon than the general public and cops put together.

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    thewise1 wrote:
    Legally I think the question has been answered, but I don't know why certain members here feel they can make a distinction between drawing conclusions about someone's intention when they are holding a rifle vs. a pistol.

    No offense, I just don't see the logic


    It's like pornography. One can't necessarily define it, but one knows it when he sees it.

    No offense back at you, but some people "don't see the logic" simply because they have their minds set on a specific philosophy and refuse to recognize or acknowledge that they may be walking into a minefield, and if there's an "explosion" (legislative, legal or otherwise) we all get hit with the shrapnel.

    Perhaps this falls under the definition of "cooling one's jets."



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    The whole premise of this site is that if people see a guy with his family, dressed nice, going about his daily business except with a pistol, they will have had a positive experience with guns, and thus one more person won't look at them with as much fear. Awareness is raised, the right was exercised, and it becomes that much easier next time.

    That means that we want people to not assume we're about to rob a bank or something because we're carrying a loaded pistol, yet you're assuming that carrying a loaded rifle is a provocative act.

    A pistol seems far more useful to me for doing something illegal, personally.

    I just don't see why one can judge intent if the individual under judgment is carrying a rifle, but not a pistol.

    Not trying to be argumentative by any means, so hopefully you don't take it that way.

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    Agent 47 wrote:
    Dave, remember it still has to take place at a time and place and under circumstances that manifest an INTENT to intimidate another, or be carried in an unsafe manner.

    I open carry a loaded long-gun on a regular basis with no issues because it does not fall into the definition of brandishing. In order to be brandishing it has to meet ALL the criteria just like with a handgun.
    Duly noted, but let's look at this from the perspective of the average person, someone who would be intimidated, or alarmed.

    Don't overlook the full text of 9.41.270(1) which explains that carrying a firearm crosses the line when done "at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons."

    Far too many activists here seem to overlook or entirely ignore that business about "warrants alarm for the safety of other persons."

    That's a determination made by the offended or alarmed party, not by you. I remind you, Spencer was the test case, AND HE LOST.

    Where do you specifically carry a loaded long gun? Spencer was carrying his down a neighborhood street in Federal Way at about 10 p.m. one evening in 1991 while walking his dog.

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    Warrants alarm is not something that is up to the person who is alarmed.

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    thewise1 wrote:
    The whole premise of this site is that if people see a guy with his family, dressed nice, going about his daily business except with a pistol, they will have had a positive experience with guns, and thus one more person won't look at them with as much fear. Awareness is raised, the right was exercised, and it becomes that much easier next time.

    That means that we want people to not assume we're about to rob a bank or something because we're carrying a loaded pistol, yet you're assuming that carrying a loaded rifle is a provocative act.

    A pistol seems far more useful to me for doing something illegal, personally.

    I just don't see why one can judge intent if the individual under judgment is carrying a rifle, but not a pistol.

    Not trying to be argumentative by any means, so hopefully you don't take it that way.
    I am not "assuming" that carrying a loaded rifle is a provocative act, it IS a provocative act in virtually any scenario where seeing a person with a loaded rifle is out of the ordinary (i.e. in the woods, during a hunting season, on the gun range, going back and forth between a car and a gun shop), and while I also am not trying to be offensive here, I submit that only someone who is stubborn to the point of being self-delusional would not understand that, in today's political and social environment.

    For example, just whatwould not be provocative about some fellow strolling into, say, Bellevue Square with a loaded rifle slung over his shoulder?

    What would not be provocative about the same fellow walking down the street in his neighborhood with an AK slung over his shoulder? Oops, State v. Spencer already answered that.

    You or I may not consider certain behavior provocative, but others will and under that annoying last few words in 9.41.270(1), it's their impression that counts when the cops show up to find out what you're doing, and thanks to the OC movement, take my word for it, cops and county prosecutorsare boning up on 9.41.270 and its spelled-out parameters under the Spencer ruling.

    Years ago, I warned my kids not to touch the wood stove. One of them finally did, despite all the warnings, and he got burned.

    I deal with cops and prosecutor types a lot, and I also deal with a lot of people who are not part of the gun community and pretty much think we're all crazy. Like it or not, these people have interests too, and they have a voice and they have political clout, and they are the "hot stove" here. I know how such folks will react to a person showing up in an occupied venue (neighborhood, strip mall, Pike Place) with a rifle. The cell phones will come out and the 911 call receivers will get busy. That's not my fault, that's the way it is.

    Don't misunderstand. I personally don't care if someone is minding his own business and happens to be carrying a rifle somewhere. If he's not hurting anybody, it's a matter of indifference to me.

    But we have to look at this without our gun owner myopia ("My way or the Highway") and understand that not everyone sees the world the same way we do, and a lot of people will be terrified at the sight of a fellow citizen coming around the corner, carrying a rifle. And things will go straight downhill from there.







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    My argument has nothing to do with how people see it. I am well aware that a rifle would cause alarm. So does open carry of a pistol in many cases. That doesn't mean that the alarm is warranted, but it exists nonetheless, because people are ignorant and afraid of guns.

    Your exact argument could be used against pistol open carry as well for many people.

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    Spencer is a good lesson in what not to do. Let’s say I decided to go shoot my rifle at Bullseye’s range (I suppose it would have to be a .22, but for argument’s sake, lets say it’s an AR) but I didn’t want to or couldn’t drive there. I grab my range bag, sling my rifle, and head out the door for the two or three mile hike from my house to the range. It’s daytime, I have the AR slung behind me facing down, and there is a magazine attached. For all intents and purposes it doesn’t matter whether it’s loaded or not, since to the casual observer it would be difficult or impossible to discern. While I am pretty sure I would never make it to the range without being stopped, I would not be breaking any laws and am pretty sure the TPD would not arrest me. I have no doubt my civil rights would be severely trampled, and the police would feel completely justified in doing so, but in the end there’s nothing they could do.

    Whether Mrs. Olsen feels ‘alarmed’ by the sight of it is not important, what is important is whether or not there is reasonable alarm for the safety of others. So the police will stop me- they will ask me about it- I tell them I’m on my way to the range- they determine by my demeanor that I’m not whacked out on drugs or homicidal- they will become frustrated because they really don’t want me walking down Pacific Avenue with an AR slung across my back- they offer me a ride- I accept on the condition that I can sit up front.

    Where it gets sticky is when anything appears to be unusual. Remember, it’s all about a reasonable person being reasonably alarmed. If I carry it with my left hand on the fore-grip and my right on the pistol grip; that may well raise alarm for the safety of others. If the police approach and I immediately begin screaming at them; same thing. If I wear gang colors and flash gang signs; again, same thing. So we can see the difficulty with open carry of rifles and shotguns is that there is a very undefined line in the sand. I don’t find the ambiguity offensive though, because I want the police to be able to have ‘reasonable articuable suspicion that a crime is afoot’ (the crime being the statute about alarm) so that they can detain and question people for what appears to be genuine illegal firearms carry.

    Do I wish the statute were clearer? Maybe. The courts and the constitution agree that it’s not against the law to carry a rifle openly, so it comes down to giving the police the authority to Terry stop someone if there is legitimate alarm for the safety of others so they can investigate. If it were flat out illegal to OC a rifle, I’d have to drive my car into the living room just to put my rifle in my trunk. If that statute were not there, then the police could do nothing more than follow and observe three young men wearing gang clothing and carrying AKs into the mall. I think the statute is ambiguous because there’s no way to draw a clearly defined line.

    EDIT to add: Insofar as the differences between rifle and handgun open carry, remember that when you’re carrying your pistol it will be secured in a holster (hopefully) and thus there cannot be alarm for the safety of others. A holstered pistol or revolver is inert. Now, carry that pistol around in your hand, which is certainly open carry, and you will likely be staring down several police barrels simply because of the alarm statute.




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    thewise1 wrote:
    Warrants alarm is not something that is up to the person who is alarmed.
    The hell it's not.

    Just ask the Appeals Court panel that issued the Spencer ruling.

    It is, quite frankly, one step up the ladder toward arriving at "the reasonable man doctrine" threshhold when you, or I, conclude that there is ample reason to take a defensive action against another person.



    Read carefully the wording of RCW 9A.16.050 and what it says about when it is permissable to use lethal force; aka "justifiable homicide."

    Whatever else that guy we just shot did, he "warranted our alarm" and you need to keep this in perspective. A person who dials 911 on a cell phone to turn the cops loose on you has been alarmed, and the cops might see that alarm as warranted, depending upon the circumstances.Guaranteed, you WILL have a chat with the cops, and you VERY WELL MIGHT be arrested and prosecuted, and it will then be up to a judge to decide whether you meet or beat the Spencer and Casad standards.

    But by then, you're out a few grand in attorneys fees.

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    Aha!

    Mainsail -- as I have come to expect -- understands this dilemma perfectly. He's been there, done that and I believe he has the T-shirt, only the color might clash with his backpack.


    Edited for addition:

    It IS important whether Mrs. Olsen feels alarmed, because she's the one calling the cops and that is what starts the descent into legal unpleasantness.

    I'm not as convinced as Mainsail that the cops would turn him loose, or take him downtown for a chat and then file a report with the prosecutor. This is, after all, how the whole Spencer case got started, and we all know how that ended.

    But Mainsail's analysis seems to otherwise coincide with mine.



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    There is "alarmed" and there is "noticing".

    Alarmed would mean to me something unusualthat makes me think there is a potential hazard to me(like a guy waving a handgun around and yelling incoherently).

    Noticing is maybe something unusual, but not something I think is likely to present a hazard to me (like a guy walking around with a holstered or cased firearm).

    But a lot of people not comfortable around guns aren't going to make much of a distinction between those two scenarios.





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    It has nothing to do with causing alarm, The law says "warrants alarm'' and not only that it says "warrants alarm for the SAFETY of others" A handgun locked into a holster is incapable of endangering anyones safety. A rifle slung over the shoulder pointed in a safe direction is equally as incapable of endangering anyone. Thus the open carrying of a long-gun in a safe manner and with no ill intent is no different legally than open carrying of a handgun in the same manner. In my case at the age of eighteen I was legally unable to carry a handgun so when I would often carry a loaded shotgun slung across my back while walking my dog around the neighborhood I was stopped by the police on one occasion and it was just fine, they asked me the nature of my business and I explained that I simply carried a gun to protect myself and my dog and they left. I was never approached again on the subject.The fact is I can dress like a punk and scare the piss out of little old ladies by walking around with a gun on my hip and looking just like everyones worst notions of a gang banger but unless it falls under the very narrow parameters and clearly defined legal definition of intending to intimidate another or I am carrying in an unsafe manner there is absolutely nothing illegal about it.

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    Dave Workman wrote:
    It IS important whether Mrs. Olsen feels alarmed, because she's the one calling the cops and that is what starts the descent into legal unpleasantness.

    I'm not as convinced as Mainsail that the cops would turn him loose, or take him downtown for a chat and then file a report with the prosecutor. This is, after all, how the whole Spencer case got started, and we all know how that ended.
    Well, my reply had already gotten verbose so I trimmed some out. Mrs. Olsen may well feel alarmed about many things, including SUVs, firearms, blacks, and even the police themselves. If old lady Olsen feels threatened and can convince the police dispatcher of it (which may be easy or…well, easier) the police are going to respond and detain. From that point the ball is in your court whether they have enough to arrest, unless Mrs. Olsen witnessed you doing something clearly threatening, in which case they will cut out the middle part and skip right to arrest. In my example above, I would hope (see how idealistic I am?) the police know that no laws are being broken.



    I didn’t want to get into what actions are detainable vs arrest-able vs prosecutable either, and in the end it really doesn’t matter. The individual officer will make whatever determination he thinks best based on his knowledge base (or personal prejudice in some cases), then the ball will roll as far as the legal system allows. I think it’s important to remember the phrase, ‘first impressions are everything’, and once the officer believes you a criminal, it’s difficult or impossible to change his mind. If you’re openly carrying a long gun, for whatever reason, and are approached by the police; demeanor is key. It wouldn’t matter to the officer or the court whether I’m OCing my rifle between my house and the car or OCing my rifle in Wright Park, if I act like a criminal I should be expected to be treated as such. If, on the other hand, I greet the officer friendlily (defined: not antagonistic toward or in conflict with another) my chances of being arrested, no matter how wrongly, go way down.

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    Dave,

    Am I correct in assuming there isn't any case law clarifying that "warrants" implies a "reasonable man" standard (or, worse, that it doesn't), because if there were you would have already cited it here?



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    kparker wrote:
    Dave,

    Am I correct in assuming there isn't any case law clarifying that "warrants" implies a "reasonable man" standard (or, worse, that it doesn't), because if there were you would have already cited it here?

    Yes and no.

    Without specifically spelling it out, both Spencer and Casad do explain pretty well the parameters of what behavior would not and would warrant alarm in a reasonable person.

    It requires the reader to set aside personal prejudices and simply understand what is being said, without trying to rationalize "pushing the envelope" scenarios.

    Where we seem to get derailed is when somebody approaches either ruling's language from the perspective of "It doesn't say what I believe, so it's wrong."



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    Agent 47 wrote:
    It has nothing to do with causing alarm, The law says "warrants alarm'' and not only that it says "warrants alarm for the SAFETY of others" A handgun locked into a holster is incapable of endangering anyones safety. A rifle slung over the shoulder pointed in a safe direction is equally as incapable of endangering anyone. Thus the open carrying of a long-gun in a safe manner and with no ill intent is no different legally than open carrying of a handgun in the same manner.
    In the Casad case the Appellate Court pretty much left out the “…for the safety of others” qualifier. They drew some distinction between alarm and shock as a way of determining whether alarm was warranted, but they gave some traction to the idea that alarming someone with your firearms carry is against the law.

    So I agree with you that the police should have to be able to articulate how one’s carry was ‘warranting alarm for the safety of others’, and that a rifle slung on one’s back is no more a safety hazard than a pistol in a holster. IOW, how was the carry of the firearm unsafe? I have to think the original intent of that segment of the statute was centered more on safe carry than potentially hostile carry.

    Right now we have only Spencer to work with, and not just because it’s the only published opinion either. Although they both had similar issues, Spencer was more about firearms carry and alarm, Casad was more about privacy and Terry stops. In Casad, even though it was a boost to open carry, the good stuff about open carry was almost a byproduct of the ruling. The results of the case would have been the same (but would probably never have reached the appellate court) if someone had called the police because he was tongue kissing a light pole; the initial detention was illegal because the Terry stop was not based on RAS that a crime was afoot.

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    the initial detention was illegal because the Terry stop was not based on RAS that a crime was afoot.
    "based on RAS that a crime was afoot???"

    RAS....

    Is that some typo or are you just trying to sound cool?


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    Dave Workman wrote:
    the initial detention was illegal because the Terry stop was not based on RAS that a crime was afoot.
    "based on RAS that a crime was afoot???"

    RAS....

    Is that some typo or are you just trying to sound cool?
    Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

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    Dave Workman wrote:
    the initial detention was illegal because the Terry stop was not based on RAS that a crime was afoot.
    "based on RAS that a crime was afoot???"

    RAS....

    Is that some typo or are you just trying to sound cool?
    The latter. :P

    If I were the first to use the acronym I would have defined it, but I read it in someone's earlier post.

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    heresolong wrote:
    Dave Workman wrote:
    the initial detention was illegal because the Terry stop was not based on RAS that a crime was afoot.
    "based on RAS that a crime was afoot???"

    RAS....

    Is that some typo or are you just trying to sound cool?
    Reasonable Articulable Suspicion
    Oh, man, don't use words that people can't pronounce, much less define.

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    Dave Workman wrote:
    heresolong wrote:
    Dave Workman wrote:
    Reasonable Articulable Suspicion
    Oh, man, don't use words that people can't pronounce, much less define.
    You should become a legislator.

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