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Thread: OC in Vehicle

  1. #1
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    The WA pamphlet that is stickied in the top of the section says:


    3.) Unlawful carrying without a Concealed Pistol License


    (CPL) occurs when a person carries a concealed pistol on


    his person and does not have a CPL.
    A person may carry a


    loaded firearm in a vehicle only if they have a valid CPL
    .


    Those without a valid CPL may carry a firearm in a vehicle


    only if the firearm is unloaded and in a secure wrapper or

    opaque case. (RCW 9.41.050)




    With that said, the RCW doesn't say that the firearm must be in a secure wrapper or opaque case. It simply says:
    A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol

    I would tend to believe that it is common practice for people who carry to have a CCW so they can carry in cars. How would a person who wishes toOC do so when traveling somewhere while OCing?

    Would they just bring their pistol case with them and lock it in the trunk? What about those who drive trucks? Just put it behind the seat in its case?


  2. #2
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    Read 9.41.060. I'll break it all down for you:

    According to 9.41.050, you cannot carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle, period, unless you have a CPL. So if you don't have a CPL, don't carry loaded:

    "A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol..."

    Note the restrictions on the rest of that subsection concerning your presence, or lack thereof, while the firearm is in the vehicle.

    9.41.050 does allow you to transport an unloaded firearm without a CPL and subsection 3 explains at least one restriction on that:

    "A person at least eighteen years of age who is in possession of an unloaded pistol shall not leave the unloaded pistol in a vehicle unless the unloaded pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle."

    So 9.41.050 has no requirements about transporting unloaded, other than the above and the fact that you can't carry concealed "on your person". Whether concealing in a glove box or under a seat counts as "on your person", I can't say.

    Now, 9.41.060 has more:

    "The provisions of RCW 9.41.050 shall not apply to: (snip)
    (9) Any person while carrying a pistol unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper;"

    So, even though 9.41.050 doesn't explicitly say you can't have an unloaded weapon just floating about the car, 9.41.060 implies it. From a legal point of view I believe 9.41.060 creates confusion and you're probably free to carry unloaded any way you darn well please in your car, as long as it's not "concealed on your person." 9.41.050 doesn't prohibit it and 9.41.060 doesn't mandate it, it merely gives you immunity from violations of 9.41.050 if you follow it, but that's an immunity you don't need because 9.41.050 never prohibited it in the first place. Follow me?

    All this being said, from a practical point of view I am sure LEOs and prosecutors will interpret this as strictly as possible and I, personally, would not carry an unloaded pistol in a vehicle without a CPL unless I put it in "a closed opaque case or secure wrapper." Even if I'm right (strictly and legally speaking, I am sure I am), I wouldn't want to spend the money in court to prove it. So if you want to OC and be safe in a vehicle without a CPL, unload the weapon (remove the clip and any rounds from the chamber) and put it in "a closed opaque case or secure wrapper." Stick that case or wrapper anywhere you like in your car and you're golden.

    Or, just get a CPL and carry loaded and don't worry about it.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, none of this is legal advice, yadda yadda...


  3. #3
    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    In RCW 9.41.060 Exceptions to Restriction on Carrying Firearms the following allows you to be excepted from the CPL requirement:

    (9) Any person while carrying a pistol unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper;
    The information in the pamphlet was researched quite extensively by the members on the forums here and we did our best to find the most relevant information.

    As long as there is no round in the chamber, no loaded magazine in the pistol, and the pistol is within a secure wrapper or closed opaque case, then you may carry the pistol anywhere you want in the vehicle, including the seat next to you or in your lap. A loaded magazine, as long as it's not inserted into the pistol, may be anywhere in the vehicle, even if right next to the unloaded pistol in the case or wrapper.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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  4. #4
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    tricityguy wrote:
    Read 9.41.060. I'll break it all down for you:

    According to 9.41.050, you cannot carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle, period, unless you have a CPL. So if you don't have a CPL, don't carry loaded:

    "A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol..."

    Note the restrictions on the rest of that subsection concerning your presence, or lack thereof, while the firearm is in the vehicle.

    9.41.050 does allow you to transport an unloaded firearm without a CPL and subsection 3 explains at least one restriction on that:

    "A person at least eighteen years of age who is in possession of an unloaded pistol shall not leave the unloaded pistol in a vehicle unless the unloaded pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle."

    So 9.41.050 has no requirements about transporting unloaded, other than the above and the fact that you can't carry concealed "on your person". Whether concealing in a glove box or under a seat counts as "on your person", I can't say.

    Now, 9.41.060 has more:

    "The provisions of RCW 9.41.050 shall not apply to: (snip)
    (9) Any person while carrying a pistol unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper;"

    So, even though 9.41.050 doesn't explicitly say you can't have an unloaded weapon just floating about the car, 9.41.060 implies it. From a legal point of view I believe 9.41.060 creates confusion and you're probably free to carry unloaded any way you darn well please in your car, as long as it's not "concealed on your person." 9.41.050 doesn't prohibit it and 9.41.060 doesn't mandate it, it merely gives you immunity from violations of 9.41.050 if you follow it, but that's an immunity you don't need because 9.41.050 never prohibited it in the first place. Follow me?

    All this being said, from a practical point of view I am sure LEOs and prosecutors will interpret this as strictly as possible and I, personally, would not carry an unloaded pistol in a vehicle without a CPL unless I put it in "a closed opaque case or secure wrapper." Even if I'm right (strictly and legally speaking, I am sure I am), I wouldn't want to spend the money in court to prove it.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, none of this is legal advice, yadda yadda...

    LOL at your Disclaimer. Got ya.

    I was just more curious as to how others would do so. I guess I'll just be bringing its case with me when I go places.




    Thanks just_a_car for that information. I'm sure there was a very extensive amount of research involved in the making of the pamphlet and I thank those who helped in its production.

  5. #5
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    I was editing my post to add more as you were responding. Yeah, just bring a case with you. I don't know what a "secure" wrapper means; the court might decide that means it has to be locked. Not sure how "secure" they intended there, as it's not spelled out. I'd just put it in any old case and shove it under the seat and not worry about it. If I got pulled over I wouldn't even mention it. If you're paranoid you could put it in a locking case, then you're definitely protected from even the most overzealous cops.

  6. #6
    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Depending on how they define it, a cardboard box (such as that some rifles and pistols come in) could be considered a "wrapper" and not a "case", so as long as it's secure (I would assume meaning closed, but they specifically say "closed" for case, so I'm not sure - yay vaguery!) then you'd be fine. You could definitely argue that a wrapper of butcher paper with a twine wrapping to keep it closed falls into "secure wrapper" as the wrapper is not going to fall off, thus is secure. But I am unaware of any cases that define these phrases.

    As was said by others: IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer).
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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  7. #7
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    A coworker and another member on this board does not have his CPL yet, carries it in the case in his trunk as far as I know.

  8. #8
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    I believe the spirit of the law is to make sure that the pistol is not readily accessible. Thus unloaded and "secure". In a box sealed, in a zip lock bag sealed, pretty much anything of that nature I'm sure would be fine. But who ever knows with such ambiguous laws?

  9. #9
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    G27 wrote:
    I believe the spirit of the law is to make sure that the pistol is not readily accessible. Thus unloaded and "secure". In a box sealed, in a zip lock bag sealed, pretty much anything of that nature I'm sure would be fine. But who ever knows with such ambiguous laws?
    My gun is "secure", load and in my holster on my belt. But secure in your car would indicate secure form someone other than yourself getting the hands on it.

  10. #10
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    You could just move to CO. Unrestricted unlicensed vehicle carry.

  11. #11
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    FogRider wrote:
    You could just move to CO. Unrestricted unlicensed vehicle carry.
    Oregon is closer.

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