. 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:
(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...