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Thread: OT- rifle in car: is it loaded if its disassembled?

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    OT- rifle in car: is it loaded if its disassembled?

    Picked up this neat lil AR-7 survival rifle yesterday:
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    State law pointlessly prohibits having a loaded long gun in a vehicle, IIRC it specifically mentions having a "magazine inserted." But does that law still apply if the weapon is disassembled? With the barrel (and chamber) removed & stowed, it's physically impossible to even chamber, let alone fire, a round (I tried, it just kinda spits the cartridge out).
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    You could probably be cited if you had a loaded magazine inserted. But I'll wager that any officer who cited you if the firearm was disassembled as described would be subject to some laughter in court, by the judge.

    I wouldn't loose a lot of sleep over it, especially if you were to store the action in the stock as it was designed.


    BTW, these are neat rifles but are temperamental. Need some good "stout" ammo and cleanliness is paramount or they tend to jamb. The magazines often don't fit the magwell properly and some owners have had to shim them to make them feed properly. A great "Survival" rifle that's easy to carry in a pack with LOTS of Ammo. Good more for feeding yourself.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Ar7

    I, too, have an AR7. Nice little tool. According to the "letter of the law" you are wrong if you stow the receiver in the stock with magazine inserted.
    Question #1 How did you get the receiver back in the stock with the magazine inserted? My weapon will not allow that, its a safety thing built in.
    Unless one was familiar with the AR7 they may not realize it is a weapon. I had mine inventoried, along with my other weapons, for shipment from Guam to Miss. The Air Force inspectors counted it as a spare part thinking it was just a stock.

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    I, too, have an AR7. Nice little tool. According to the "letter of the law" you are wrong if you stow the receiver in the stock with magazine inserted.
    Question #1 How did you get the receiver back in the stock with the magazine inserted? My weapon will not allow that, its a safety thing built in.
    Unless one was familiar with the AR7 they may not realize it is a weapon. I had mine inventoried, along with my other weapons, for shipment from Guam to Miss. The Air Force inspectors counted it as a spare part thinking it was just a stock.
    I think the newer ones are made to hold a mag in the receiver. Don't see much point in packing an empty magazine in it, no matter how light it is. And with 22 I want all the ammo I can get. 32 beats 16.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    You could probably be cited if you had a loaded magazine inserted. But I'll wager that any officer who cited you if the firearm was disassembled as described would be subject to some laughter in court, by the judge.

    I wouldn't loose a lot of sleep over it, especially if you were to store the action in the stock as it was designed.


    BTW, these are neat rifles but are temperamental. Need some good "stout" ammo and cleanliness is paramount or they tend to jamb. The magazines often don't fit the magwell properly and some owners have had to shim them to make them feed properly. A great "Survival" rifle that's easy to carry in a pack with LOTS of Ammo. Good more for feeding yourself.
    IANAL, but I agree.

    Considering the letter of the law would currently allow for a fully functioning rifle to be sitting next to a full magazine, and just seconds away from being able to fire, vs. having a disassembled rifle that would take many more steps to bring it into RTF condition, any cite for this would likely be thrown out if challenged.

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCDH View Post
    IANAL, but I agree.

    Considering the letter of the law would currently allow for a fully functioning rifle to be sitting next to a full magazine, and just seconds away from being able to fire, vs. having a disassembled rifle that would take many more steps to bring it into RTF condition, any cite for this would likely be thrown out if challenged.
    Speaking of YANAL, it sure would be helpful if someone who actually WAL would chime in. Lammo? Olypendrew?

    Refresh my memory, what is the penalty for having a loaded rifle in a vehicle?
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    Speaking of YANAL, it sure would be helpful if someone who actually WAL would chime in. Lammo? Olypendrew?

    Refresh my memory, what is the penalty for having a loaded rifle in a vehicle?
    Please refer to...

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...lazy-to-Google..

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    Regular Member Lammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    Speaking of YANAL, it sure would be helpful if someone who actually WAL would chime in. Lammo? Olypendrew?

    Refresh my memory, what is the penalty for having a loaded rifle in a vehicle?
    This one's not in 9.41 with the rest of the gun laws. It's RCW 77.15.460. Violation is a misdemeanor, maximum penalty 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.

    The scenario described is technically a violation of this section. Subsection 5 states:

    (5) For purposes of this section, a firearm shall not be considered loaded if the detachable clip or magazine is not inserted in or attached to the firearm.

    Since it is not loaded if a magazine is not inserted in or attached to the firearm, if a magazine is inserted it is loaded. So, you ask, If it's disassembled, is it still a rifle? RCW 9.41.010(7) says:

    (7) "Firearm" means a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder. This is different from the Federal definition in 18 USC 921(3)(B) which indicates that the frame or receiver, the part where the magazine would go, by itself is a firearm.

    So, you still wonder, is a disassembled rifle still a firearm? If I'm defending you I argue it isn't, pointing out the distinction in Federal law, and stressing that a projectile cannot be fired from a disassembled rifle. If I'm prosecuting you, I argue it is since a projectile may be fired as soon as the rifle is reassembled. In State v. Releford, 148 Wash.App. 478 (Div I, 2009), the court admitted that "may be fired" is ambiguous so it might go either way. But, the case also states that, for the purposes of unlawful possession of a firearm, "a disassembled firearm that can be rendered operational with reasonable effort and within a reasonable time period is a firearm . . . ", citing the Padilla case, 95 Wash.App. 531. Your prosecutor will hang his or her hat on this case. See also State v. Faust, 93 Wash.App. 373, which held that an inoperable gun was a firearm for the purposes of a deadly weapon sentencing enhancement.

    Should you be charged for such a technical violation? Will you be convicted? I, I don't know people!!!!! (that's something one of my philosophy professors used to say) That's the problem with this kind of stuff. They teach us how to argue both sides but don't bother to teach us how to decide which one to choose. Personally, I would not proceed to trial on this technical violation of the law since the real purpose of the law appears to be to prevent people from conducting drive by shootings on the deer population. If I don't dismiss it outright, the most I would seek would be a 6 month continuance for dismissal (stay out of trouble for 6 months and the case goes away). My advice? Disassemble the rifle but keep the magazine duct taped to your forehead any time you are in a vehicle :-)

    PS - - the above ought to teach you not to ask a lawyer a question!
    Last edited by Lammo; 01-16-2011 at 11:39 AM.
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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    well,,,,

    as long as the mag, full or not, is not inserted in the well, the rifle can not be loaded.
    when this gun is dissembled, and the parts are stored in the but of the stock,
    the magazine will not fit in the receiver, it has its own storage slot in the but of the stock.
    any rifle, no matter its state of assembly or not,
    is not a loaded rifle, if there is NO ammunition attached to, or inserted in it.
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