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Thread: when to show CPL

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    I was wondering when they can demand a CPL? Any court cases? The RCW doesn't specify what "must show to law enforcement when required by law to do so means." Is there any actual law requiring it?

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    I have been curious about the question myself. I couldn't seem to find any RCW defining when it is lawful.

    Common sense tells me that if they are detaining you for questioning or arresting you as a suspect in a crime they can certainly ask and you'd have to comply. Beyond that, I couldn't begin to guess how the courts would interpret that today.

    Perhaps someone with experience as a defense or prosecuting attorney can tell us?

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    It is poorly worded, but essentially means you have to show your CPL to when or if required by law to do so. It leaves room for later laws to be written that migh require you show a CPL to a particular person or authority. If you are OCing on the street you don't need your CPL, and presumably wouldn't have to show it to a cop. If you are CCing and the cop wants to see your CPL then you would have to produce it. This subject has been covered several times, and a quick search will show more info.

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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    It is poorly worded, but essentially means you have to show your CPL to when or if required by law to do so. It leaves room for later laws to be written that migh require you show a CPL to a particular person or authority. If you are OCing on the street you don't need your CPL, and presumably wouldn't have to show it to a cop. If you are CCing and the cop wants to see your CPL then you would have to produce it. This subject has been covered several times, and a quick search will show more info.
    There was some discussion of this in this thread.

    I think a good summary is that the law requires you to show your CPL to an officer who demands it if you are using the privileges that it grants (i.e. carrying concealed or carrying loaded in a vehicle).

    However, that does not mean that an LEO can demand to see your CPL for any reason he or she wants. The officer must have reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS) that you are involved, were involved, are are about to be involved in the commission of a crime. I would argue that simply because you have a loaded handgun in a vehicle or an officer sees your gun become concealed does not equate to you not having a license and therefore does not give the LEO RAS to demand to see your CPL. As I've said before, however, I feel the better approach would be to cooperate and take it up later in the form of a complaint.

    From past discussions I know that some people agree with my interpretation and others do not. I am not a lawyer and you should decide on your own what you are willing to do.

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