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Thread: What constitutes "On your Person"

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    What constitutes "On your Person"

    RCW 9.41.050
    Carrying firearms.

    (1)(a) Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, .a person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his or her person without a license to carry a concealed pistol

    --------------------------------

    As I read this, one can not conceal "On their person" but what about carrying a pistol in an attache case? Are purses considered "on your person"? How about in a back or waist pack which some states view as "luggage"?

    I understand the term "on person" to mean literally that, on your person. Is a bag, case, something similar, that you might be carrying considered the same as on your person?

    RCW 9.41.010, which defines terms in this chapter does not seem to cover this.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    If the pistol is loaded, you need a CPL, even if it is a briefcase or a purse or whatever.

    If you're hiking, hunting, backpacking, fishing, or engaged in some other legitimate outdoor activity then you don't need a CPL (RCW 9.41.060)

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Workman View Post
    If the pistol is loaded, you need a CPL, even if it is a briefcase or a purse or whatever.

    If you're hiking, hunting, backpacking, fishing, or engaged in some other legitimate outdoor activity then you don't need a CPL (RCW 9.41.060)
    I agree that that is the accepted rule, what my question is though, where does the definition of "on your person" exist and "what is that definition"?

    As I stated, some states view briefcases and even fanny packs as luggage and carrying a loaded weapon in them is NOT considered "on your person".
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Regular Member maclean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    Since there is no real black and white legal definition, it would be a subjective decision made ultimately by the court/jury - unless someone knows something that exists that I don't.
    Not all black and white legal definitions exist in the RCW - or any state statute register.

    A lot of it is common law (excepting Louisiana,) or case law.

    The idea of "persons" is even referenced in the fourth amendment, no?

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    Regular Member skiingislife725's Avatar
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    Found this: Jan. 1991 STATE v. THIERRY 449
    60 Wn. App. 445, 803 P.2d 844


    "(Italics ours.) The verbs "carry" and "place" are stated in the disjunctive. The State had to prove that Thierry did one or the other, not both. Indisputably, neither Thierry nor Johnson had a gun license. «1» Thierry admitted he knew the gun was in the car, and he controlled and drove the car. The State proved that Thierry "carried" the gun in the car.
    [5-7] When construing a statute, we give effect to all language used; no word is superfluous. Powell v. Viking Ins. Co., 44 Wn. App. 495, 500, 722 P.2d 1343 (1986). We also avoid absurd results. Briggs v. Thielen, 49 Wn. App. 650, 654, 745 P.2d 523 (1987), review denied, 110 Wn.2d 1020 (1988). Undefined statutory terms (such as "carry") are given their ordinary meaning. Northwest Steel Rolling Mills, Inc. v. Department of Rev., 40 Wn. App. 237, 240, 698 P.2d 100, review denied, 104 Wn.2d 1006 (1985).
    «1» A license cannot be issued to anyone under 21. RCW 9.41.070(1)(b).
    450 SCHULTZ v. WERELIUS Feb. 1991
    60 Wn. App. 450, 803 P.2d 1334
    "Carry," as a transitive verb, means "to move while supporting (as in a vehicle or in one's hands or arms)". (Italics ours.) Webster's Third New International Dictionary 343 (1969) (quoted definition is first listed; definition 8a is "to hold, wear, or have upon one's person"). That is the meaning of carry intended by the Legislature. Had the Legislature intended the word to mean "to have on one's person," the language in subsection (a) ("The pistol is on the licensee's person,") would be superfluous."

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Workman View Post
    If the pistol is loaded, you need a CPL, even if it is a briefcase or a purse or whatever.

    If you're hiking, hunting, backpacking, fishing, or engaged in some other legitimate outdoor activity then you don't need a CPL (RCW 9.41.060)
    So you dont need a CPL to carry concealed, if you are HIKING around Seattle, or HUNTING for a parking spot, or FISHING for information at the public library?
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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    So you dont need a CPL to carry concealed, if you are HIKING around Seattle, or HUNTING for a parking spot, or FISHING for information at the public library?
    EXACTLY!
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    So you dont need a CPL to carry concealed, if you are HIKING around Seattle, or HUNTING for a parking spot, or FISHING for information at the public library?
    LOL. So True!!!!

    What if you are hunting for a date? I am ALWAYS engaged in that

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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    So you dont need a CPL to carry concealed, if you are HIKING around Seattle, or HUNTING for a parking spot, or FISHING for information at the public library?
    Yeah, right. I'd probably have to write about you!



    NavyLT has it pretty well pegged in his layman's explanation, and thx skiingislife for posting the excerpt from that ruling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterMcGavin View Post
    LOL. So True!!!!

    What if you are hunting for a date? I am ALWAYS engaged in that

    Be careful. You might wind up with the court saying your first name is "John."


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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    So you dont need a CPL to carry concealed, if you are HIKING around Seattle, or HUNTING for a parking spot, or FISHING for information at the public library?
    I do not think a rubber band can stretch that far
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    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    RCW 9.41.050
    Carrying firearms.

    (1)(a) Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, .a person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his or her person without a license to carry a concealed pistol

    --------------------------------

    As I read this, one can not conceal "On their person" but what about carrying a pistol in an attache case? Are purses considered "on your person"? How about in a back or waist pack which some states view as "luggage"?

    I understand the term "on person" to mean literally that, on your person. Is a bag, case, something similar, that you might be carrying considered the same as on your person?

    RCW 9.41.010, which defines terms in this chapter does not seem to cover this.
    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    Personally (and this is by no means a legal definition), I use the general rule that if the gun goes where I go it is on my person. If I exit the vehicle and the gun exits the vehicle with me, it is on my person. If I exit the vehicle and the gun stays under the seat, or in the glove box, or laying on the back seat, it was not on my person. Anything with a lock between you and the gun, I would think, could not be considered on the person.

    Since there is no real black and white legal definition, it would be a subjective decision made ultimately by the court/jury - unless someone knows something that exists that I don't.
    I'll go along with NavyLT on this one.

    I would agree that it is "on your person" if it goes with you from place-to-place.

    If you stand up and walk away with it it is probably on your person.

    You have your driver's license on you even if it is used as a bookmark in the book in your attache case. You have those little plastic bags of white powder on you even if you are carrying them in a back-pack, ruck-sack, rolling luggage, paper bag, fanny pack, jacket draped over your arm, or whatever.

    I don't find any definitions for the term in the RCWs, so we are probably stuck with common dictionary definitions, and how they can be interpreted to apply by a reasonable person.

    If a lawyer can convince a judge or jury that "on your person" means "in your possession" or "carried by you" or whatever other words the lawyer wants to use, that is what it means.
    Last edited by Tomas; 10-07-2010 at 04:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Workman View Post
    Be careful. You might wind up with the court saying your first name is "John."

    My style of hunting is a bit more passive. I set out the bait and let the prey come to me. Maybe it is really fishing instead.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomas View Post
    I'll go along with NavyLT on this one.

    I would agree that it is "on your person" if it goes with you from place-to-place.

    If you stand up and walk away with it it is probably on your person.

    You have your driver's license on you even if it is used as a bookmark in the book in your attache case. You have those little plastic bags of white powder on you even if you are carrying them in a back-pack, ruck-sack, rolling luggage, paper bag, fanny pack, jacket draped over your arm, or whatever.

    I don't find any definitions for the term in the RCWs, so we are probably stuck with common dictionary definitions, and how they can be interpreted to apply by a reasonable person.

    If a lawyer can convince a judge or jury that "on your person" means "in your possession" or "carried by you" or whatever other words the lawyer wants to use, that is what it means.
    Usually (but not always) laws are written in such a manner that there is little room to question the meaning. If not directly, in the "Definitions" section which might have an entry such as "Person" shall mean the physical being, all items carried, or in their immediate possession, or some such language. I didn't find this in the Statute and thus the post.

    Let's toss a joker into this. Let's say, this "person" is carrying a briefcase or similar lockable container. If the case is locked, and he is approached by a Law Officer wishing to examine it, can the person refuse? Will it take a warrant to gain access absent permission being granted?
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomas View Post
    I'll go along with NavyLT on this one.

    I would agree that it is "on your person" if it goes with you from place-to-place.

    If you stand up and walk away with it it is probably on your person.

    You have your driver's license on you even if it is used as a bookmark in the book in your attache case. You have those little plastic bags of white powder on you even if you are carrying them in a back-pack, ruck-sack, rolling luggage, paper bag, fanny pack, jacket draped over your arm, or whatever.

    I don't find any definitions for the term in the RCWs, so we are probably stuck with common dictionary definitions, and how they can be interpreted to apply by a reasonable person.

    If a lawyer can convince a judge or jury that "on your person" means "in your possession" or "carried by you" or whatever other words the lawyer wants to use, that is what it means.
    I will disagree. The scenario you describe should read "in your control" NOT on your person.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    I will disagree. The scenario you describe should read "in your control" NOT on your person.
    WOOPS!!! "In your control" would be at home in your safe, on your hip OC, beside your bed as you sleep, etc.

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    Regular Member maclean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    I will disagree. The scenario you describe should read "in your control" NOT on your person.
    "In your control" has legal connotations beyond the scope of "on your person."

    It's one of the reasons search warrants contain "papers of dominion and control."

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