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Thread: CPL vehicle scenario

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Two guys are riding together to a Open Carry group function. One member has not received his CC permit by mail in time. That person rides in a vehicle in which the driver does have a CPL. Rather than unloading and storing the handgun in the trunk as he normally would for transport, could the driver take possession of said weapon during the commute (say putting it in the center console), then return that handgun to the passenger after he has left the vehicle. Would said scenario be legal?


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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    I'd like to point out, as an aside, that storing the firearm in the trunk is unnecessary if the firearm is unloaded and in a "closed opaque case or secure wrapper". There is no requirement for a location, distance, or "steps" from the firearm. Not sure if you were implying that the gentleman just normally did that out of habit or because you thought it was required, so I wanted to clear that part up.

    As for who takes possession, that's a good question. I would assume the driver could take possession of the pistol for the ride, but it would certainly be a grey area. This is an ambiguity best left to a lawyer's opinion.
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    just_a_car wrote:
    I'd like to point out, as an aside, that storing the firearm in the trunk is unnecessary if the firearm is unloaded and in a "closed opaque case or secure wrapper". There is no requirement for a location, distance, or "steps" from the firearm. Not sure if you were implying that the gentleman just normally did that out of habit or because you thought it was required, so I wanted to clear that part up.

    As for who takes possession, that's a good question. I would assume the driver could take possession of the pistol for the ride, but it would certainly be a grey area. This is an ambiguity best left to a lawyer's opinion.
    That would be fine in Utah since we don't really have weapons registration. And no limit on how many weapons you can carry on your person.

    TJ

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    UTOC-45-44 wrote:
    That would be fine in Utah since we don't really have weapons registration. And no limit on how many weapons you can carry on your person.

    TJ
    That is true of Washington law as well.

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Locking it in the console would meet the law and since I have the key he would have no access to it anyway.

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    M1Gunr wrote:
    Locking it in the console would meet the law and since I have the key he would have no access to it anyway.
    Yeah, that would be a pretty "air-tight" defense if he was accused of violating the law, as he didn't have access to it, e.g. didn't have possession.
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    So long as it happens EXACTLY how you state, it is legal. Putting the gun anywhere w/in reasonable reach of the passenger would make it illegal. Two people can be in possession of the same thing at the same time. Locked in the console w/the key in possession of the CPL holder, would work for me. Sitting the holstered/loaded weapon between the two front captains chairs, for example, would not be legal.

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    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    So long as it happens EXACTLY how you state, it is legal. Putting the gun anywhere w/in reasonable reach of the passenger would make it illegal. Two people can be in possession of the same thing at the same time. Locked in the console w/the key in possession of the CPL holder, would work for me. Sitting the holstered/loaded weapon between the two front captains chairs, for example, would not be legal.
    That's BS. I carry on the right side, my strong side and anyone in the right seat has access to it. As long as the driver takes and accepts position of the firearm, it is irrelivant where the passenger is and whether he has access to it.

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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    So long as it happens EXACTLY how you state, it is legal. Putting the gun anywhere w/in reasonable reach of the passenger would make it illegal. Two people can be in possession of the same thing at the same time. Locked in the console w/the key in possession of the CPL holder, would work for me. Sitting the holstered/loaded weapon between the two front captains chairs, for example, would not be legal.
    That's BS. I carry on the right side, my strong side and anyone in the right seat has access to it. As long as the driver takes and accepts position of the firearm, it is irrelivant where the passenger is and whether he has access to it.
    In Utah I agree 100% and I believe that would be accurate in all other states too. Just make sence to me too.

    TJ

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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    So long as it happens EXACTLY how you state, it is legal. Putting the gun anywhere w/in reasonable reach of the passenger would make it illegal. Two people can be in possession of the same thing at the same time. Locked in the console w/the key in possession of the CPL holder, would work for me. Sitting the holstered/loaded weapon between the two front captains chairs, for example, would not be legal.
    That's BS. I carry on the right side, my strong side and anyone in the right seat has access to it. As long as the driver takes and accepts position of the firearm, it is irrelivant where the passenger is and whether he has access to it.
    Accessis different than, and comes before,possession. There is definitely a gray area not definedthere in theRCW, so I may be right, orIguess, I may alsobe wrong.I'll err on the side of caution, however, considering the individual LEO that you deal with may or may not want to listen to the "Yeah, it's his, but I'm in possession of it." They can and will run the serial number, as I've found out, and if it comes back to the other guy, you will have to be a very good motivational speaker to convince the officer that the CPL holder is in possession of said firearm, not your unlicensed companion. Being that it is a gray area, I wouldn't be willing to chance it, butif someone wants to be a test case, feel free.

    Would the same rule apply if the CPL holder is the passenger, and took the firearm off, and put it between the unlicensed driver and him/herself??? Or would the tables be turned. According to the letter of the law, the answer would be the same. So what is it??? (BTW: Good question M1.)

    RCW 9.41.050

    (2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.

    (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.


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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I would assume (we know that could lead) that if the vehicle is mine and it’s locked in the console then I would be in possession but I sure don’t want to be the test case.

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    Regular Member thebastidge's Avatar
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    "Sitting the holstered/loaded weapon between the two front captains chairs, for example, would not be legal."

    I think you're overstating the case a bit. I would have prefaced such an opinion with "IANAL, but common sense would indicate..." only I would have been of the opposite opinion.

    If it is my car, and the pistol is not in the hand, lap, or holsterd on the passenger, I would easily be able to claim posession. In fact, if the passenger was to bring drugs or open booze containers, I believe it is quite often that the owner of the vehicle is charged with posession, unless they have compelling evidence that they were not aware of it.

    If stopped and I make a statement that: "I have taken posession of this pistol in my vehicle" and the physical evidence doesn't contradict my statement, that should be good enough. The presumption is that we are both (driver and passsnger) innocentin the absence of contradictory evidence. Even without taking ownership, I can take posession. In fact, if it was in my car, and I didn't have a CPL, and the passenger did not have physical control over it and/or a CPL, then I could probably be charged. Or both of us.


    More importantly, this travesty oflaw needs to be repealed.
    Be prepared. Be very prepared.

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    I have a couple of friends who actually went through this exact scenario a few years ago. One had his pistol in the glove box, unlocked, and was driving the passengers car. He got pulled over for speeding and when they asked for his registration he told them about the pistol. The officers removed both from the car siezed the weapon and arrested the passenger, who has no permit, for unlawful possession of a loaded firearm. The case was dismissed by a filed motion from his attorney because the statute only requires that the licensee only be an occupant in the vehicle. It does not state where he must be in relation to the pistol or that he be the only one with access to the pistol. They also got ripped up oneside and down the other for carrying the pistol loaded in the glovebox because they don't like that kind of thing in Lake Forest Park.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

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    Campaign Veteran Right Wing Wacko's Avatar
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    It's for this very reason I've been trying to get my wife in to get her CPL. I don't want her to get in legal trouble because I quickly ran into the post office and left my carry piece in the truck.

    In my case I have one of those under seat gun safes, but it's still in the truck.

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    Regular Member thebastidge's Avatar
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    I try to avoid leaving mine in the glove box. Although sometimes I have no choice. My car doesn't have a seperately locking trunk (hatchback), and neither the center console nor the glove box lock.

    Glove box is the worst place for it, IMHO. It's just too far to make a handy grab, it's the most likely place for it to be (along with center console and under the driver seat) for someone who does a smash and grab on your vehicle, and then there's the likelihood of making a cop nervous.

    I keep my registration and insurance info in a visor holder and my pistol on me. I have been looking into a holder/holster slung down low by the steering column (mostly for long rides when it gets uncomfortable to have on/in a belt), which is not visible from outside the vehicle, and I remove the magazine when I go someplace I'm not allowed to carry, like a bar. Usually the magazines (main and spare) will go into a jacket pocket if I'm wearing one, or a different compartment from the weapon if not.

    My seats are too low to stash anything under there.

    My truck is slightly different. No center console, but room behind the seat where people aren't as likely to look- not usually too much valuable in an older pickup. Still remove the mag when leaving it alone. I haven't been home much the last couple years, but I think a decent, small box bolted to the rear of the cab with a lock might be a good idea there too. Not a lot of room though.
    Be prepared. Be very prepared.

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    joeroket wrote:
    I have a couple of friends who actually went through this exact scenario a few years ago. One had his pistol in the glove box, unlocked, and was driving the passengers car. He got pulled over for speeding and when they asked for his registration he told them about the pistol. The officers removed both from the car siezed the weapon and arrested the passenger, who has no permit, for unlawful possession of a loaded firearm. The case was dismissed by a filed motion from his attorney because the statute only requires that the licensee only be an occupant in the vehicle. It does not state where he must be in relation to the pistol or that he be the only one with access to the pistol. They also got ripped up oneside and down the other for carrying the pistol loaded in the glovebox because they don't like that kind of thing in Lake Forest Park.
    So, while eventually things worked out to both the CPL holder and his friend, there was much hassle and I'm sure, a small fortune in lawyers fees that were dished out before the situation was resolved. So erring on the side of caution would be the best thing to do. I don't have the time or money to deal with crap like that.

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