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Thread: state ferry encounter(s)

  1. #1
    Regular Member 5jeffro7's Avatar
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    state ferry encounter(s)

    Friday, as I was on the 3:00 Seattle to bremerton ferry (walla walla), I was wandering around, taking pictures uf the scenery. As I rounded a corner, I hear, "Excuse me, sir". I turn to see, through a secure fence (leading up to th wheelhouse), a crew member in a white shirt speaking to me.

    It was inquired as to whether or not I was LE, and when I stated that I wasn't, he stated that he wasn't sure it was legal for me to be wearing a firearm "like that". I explained that it was fully within state law & was told that he "would be making some calls to check it out" and wished me a good day.

    Shortly after I'd returned to my vehicle, one of the deck hands was recording my license number. I fully expected to be the subject of a traffic stop by bremerton or ESP, fortunately, this wasn't the case.

    I'm now headed back to Seattle (again on the Walla Walla) on the 4:15 sailing, hopefully things are smoother today than Friday.

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    He wasn't sure?

    " he stated that he wasn't sure it was legal for me to be wearing a firearm "like that". "

    Ahem.....he's not sure? I would have really grilled him over this. "You're not sure? What do you mean you're not sure? Before you do say anything else, you'd better MAKE sure you know what the law is. Now, what is this 'not sure' business again, exactly? Hmm? Go back and look it up, here, I will give you the website to do it"

    Then again, maybe I'm just a smart@$$. But I'm sick and tired of people telling me what they "think" the law is, or what they "believe" it is, or what they "heard" it is, or what they "saw on TV" (like in a a FICTIONAL episode of Law & Order.)

  3. #3
    Regular Member 5jeffro7's Avatar
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    I'll take some of the blame as well....

    Now that I'm home, I can type a more long-winded synopsis of why I didn't do a better job of explaining my legal behaviour to the captain when I had the chance:

    When I first began to OC, I always carried pamphlets with me (gun rights pamphlets, training bulletins, pamphlets about state & federal laws regarding self-defense, etc....I was also well-studied with regards to having memorized (or so I'd thought) the pertinant RCW's regarding firearms, etc....

    with the exception of the single incident at a Snohomish county park, I never had much ocassion to recite said RCW's, and in the case of someone asking me, I'd always be more than happy to give them a paophlet or two for their own reading. Due to lack of a firearm for about 6 months, I haven't been OCing, and have thus become complacent & forgetful of the RCW's..my bad, I"ll admit.

    When confronted by the captain, it was a school kids' worst nightmare...a pop quiz that he had no idea was coming & wasn't one little bit prepared for..It's highly likely that had the captain asked for my name, I'd have had to stop and think about it before offering a response.

    I'll now remember to carry pamphlets with me whenever I'm OCing, plus I'm about to start re-memorizing some important RCW cites.

  4. #4
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    5jeffro7, sounds like you did just fine and preparing for a more informed response if it occurs again.
    Many have said and repeated something to the effect of normalizing open carry, if we take each opportunity to engage in a conflict, is this the normalizing they are talking about or how you handled it? I think how you handled it is the better of the two choices stated here thus far.
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    you did fine

    To clarify, I wasn't criticizing you in any way, shape or form. You did fine, and that's the point. Legal Open Carriers KNOW the law, all of it, and how how it applies to them.

    99.9999999% of the time, someone question a legal open carrier does NOT know the law. And that's the problem. They only THINK they do, and they base their judgments and actions on what they THINK the law says.

    Carry on, my friend.

  6. #6
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I think, just does not cut it with me..... I went to get my step-son from the Friday Harbor ferry and saw "No Firearms" signs posted. I wrote and received the following letter. Now I'm working on the signs. From what I read in the email, it looks as though they are treating the ferry as a vehicle.


    Wingo, Elaine <WingoE@wsdot.wa.gov>
    to Bill Starks <m1gunr@gmail.com>
    date Sat, Apr 16, 2011 at 9:22 AM
    subject RE: traveling to/from Friday harbor
    mailed-by wsdot.wa.gov



    Dear Bill,

    These are the rules for carrying firearms aboard the ferries:



    Carrying firearms aboard the ferries

    WSF follows Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.41.050 for carrying firearms.

    RCW 9.41.050

    (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.

    (b) Every licensee shall have his or her concealed pistol license in his or her immediate possession at all times that he or she is required by this section to have a concealed pistol license and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or to any other person when and if required by law to do so. Any violation of this subsection (1)(b) shall be a class 1 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW and shall be punished accordingly pursuant to chapter 7.80 RCW and the infraction rules for courts of limited jurisdiction.

    (2)

    (a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.

    (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.

    (3)

    (a) 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.

    (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.





    Thank you,
    Elaine WSF Information Agent
    Last edited by Bill Starks; 04-25-2011 at 01:58 AM.

  7. #7
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    maybe you all could organize an open carry ferry day - everybody bring families, have a picnic on deck, etc. and invtie the press - might be educational for all

  8. #8
    Regular Member Lante's Avatar
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    I have carried regularly on the ferries and never had a problem, but then again most of the crew knows me as a regular

  9. #9
    Regular Member jt59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1Gunr View Post
    I think, just does not cut it with me..... I went to get my step-son from the Friday Harbor ferry and saw "No Firearms" signs posted. I wrote and received the following letter. Now I'm working on the signs. From what I read in the email, it looks as though they are treating the ferry as a vehicle.


    Wingo, Elaine <WingoE@wsdot.wa.gov>
    to Bill Starks <m1gunr@gmail.com>
    date Sat, Apr 16, 2011 at 9:22 AM
    subject RE: traveling to/from Friday harbor
    mailed-by wsdot.wa.gov



    Dear Bill,

    These are the rules for carrying firearms aboard the ferries:



    Carrying firearms aboard the ferries

    WSF follows Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.41.050 for carrying firearms.

    RCW 9.41.050

    (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.

    (b) Every licensee shall have his or her concealed pistol license in his or her immediate possession at all times that he or she is required by this section to have a concealed pistol license and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or to any other person when and if required by law to do so. Any violation of this subsection (1)(b) shall be a class 1 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW and shall be punished accordingly pursuant to chapter 7.80 RCW and the infraction rules for courts of limited jurisdiction.

    (2)

    (a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.

    (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.

    (3)

    (a) 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.

    (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.





    Thank you,
    Elaine WSF Information Agent
    Well,,,,

    I guess this settles the debate (at least by the WSF) of the status of the ferry...vehicle or highway.
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  10. #10
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Seems like a half-assed approach

    An "official" on the ferry approaches you with an "I'm not sure" statement. Seems like he had more than enough time to get on the phone and check first, before making the statement. After all, you weren't going anywhere until they docked the boat.

    He works for the State and all he had to do is contact the agency that's responsible for enforcing the law on the highway system that they are part of. That way he wouldn't end up looking so dumb.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    That email from Elaine Wingo talks about carrying concealed (which he wasn't),
    and shows that the law says he has to have a priviledge permit in order to carry loaded in or on a vehicle (which probably the ferry legally is).

    Nobody asked if he had a priviledge permit, the official just told him he "wasn't sure" he was allowed to carry "like that". (If you're not sure, keep your mouth shut & go find out.)

    Or the pistol could have been unloaded, and even without a permit he'd be legal.

    Combine the lack of knowledge of the law by the crew person with the intimidation of recording your license plate, & I'd be annoyed at the least. A letter is in order.
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  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    From what I read in the email, it looks as though they are treating the ferry as a vehicle.
    (a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.
    So, if they consider it a vehicle, you carry like you do in the car? W/O a CPL you would do the same as in the car, unloaded, magazine out. That is what I read. I suspect they may have done the research and went on with real life. As far as the photo goes, they had doubt as to your legality and wanted to document it. Yeah, that's the ticket!

  13. #13
    Regular Member jt59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    How does that settle the debate at all? RCW 9.41.050 does not prohibit the open carrying of a loaded handgun on a state highway with or without a CPL. To me, that means I can't conceal the gun on the ferry without a CPL.

    If the ferry is a vehicle, how do they serve alcohol in an open container and not violate the open container in a vehicle law?
    hahaha...

    Good one! so, while I don't concede...yet, if I have a big diesel pusher RV, and some one is traveling in the coach (couch) area, can they also not have an open container of alcohol? ...when driving....and the corresponding question of carry?
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat....Teddy Roosevelt

  14. #14
    Regular Member Sparky508's Avatar
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    So lets say a ferry unto itself is a vehicle, and your on your way to a lawful outdoor activity. Hell, as far as I'm concerned, I'm always on my way to a lawful outdoor activity.

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    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    As long as you put the jacks down on the car deck, it becomes a residence....
    A makeshift house boat
    Last edited by DCKilla; 04-25-2011 at 06:44 PM.

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    Well their website says they act as a marine highway. That contradicts what the e-mail says.

    Washington State Ferries operates the largest ferry fleet in the United States. 23 ferries cross Puget Sound and its inland waterways, carrying over 23 million passengers. From Tacoma, Washington, to Sidney, British Columbia, we travel up and down the Sound, acting as a marine highway for commercial users, tourists and daily commuters alike.
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  17. #17
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    It is both.

    I stand by my statement that the Ferry and Ferry System act in a dual capacity. If I am walking down the street and OCing my firearm and I walk onto the Ferry System, I would expect that I can do so without a CPL if I am OC.
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  18. #18
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    What is being argued here is a Ferry a Vehicle or not will be decided by someone else then this group.
    (2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle--snip
    If one was cited for it, I am sure it would be the WSP and I am not so sure they would since they have responded to other posters here about open carrying and I do remember ever hearing them being cited.

    I think you will have a hard time explaining how a Ferry is not a vehicle.
    It is not defined from my knowledge in the RCW's so the court will likely look for what they would accept the definition would be and thus where the danger lays.

    We are all Big Boys and Girls so we make our choices and we end up benefiting or paying for what we do.
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    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
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  19. #19
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Your CPL permits you to carry a LOADED pistol in a Vehicle, it does not require you to carry it concealed. You cannot carry a LOADED pistol in a vehicle without a CPL. If the State Ferry is a Vehicle, and I think it is considered such, at least to me, then I would reason that for my pistol to be loaded (carried open or concealed) on a ferry, I would have to have my CPL on my person at the time.

  20. #20
    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    OCers have been carrying on transit buses without permits, correct?

  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran ak56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCKilla View Post
    OCers have been carrying on transit buses without permits, correct?
    Nope. With CPL.
    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


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  22. #22
    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak56 View Post
    Nope. With CPL.
    Is a boat considered a vehicle according to WA statutes?
    Last edited by DCKilla; 04-26-2011 at 08:24 AM. Reason: spelling

  23. #23
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCKilla View Post
    Is a boat considered a vechile according to WA statutes?
    Yes a boat is, but the ferry is also an "extension" of the highway system.
    If you didn't drive on, I'm with Gogo on this one you shouldn't need a cpl, of course we know how the "state" interprets things when it suits them.
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  24. #24
    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    Interesting find...

    As stated before, the state ferry system is part of the state highway.

    RCW 47.17.080
    State route No. 20.

    A state highway to be known as state route number 20 is established as follows:

    Beginning at a junction with state route number 101 in the vicinity of Discovery Bay, thence northeasterly via the most feasible route to Port Townsend; also

    From the state ferry terminal at Port Townsend via the state ferry system northeasterly to the state ferry terminal at Keystone; also

    From the Keystone ferry dock on Whidbey Island, thence northeasterly by the most feasible route by way of Deception Pass, Burlington, Sedro Woolley, Concrete, Newhalem, Winthrop, Twisp, Okanogan, Tonasket, Republic, Kettle Falls, Colville, and Tiger; thence southerly and southeasterly to a junction with state route number 2 at Newport.

    Also,

    RCW 9.91.025
    Unlawful transit conduct.

    (b) "Transit vehicle" means any motor vehicle, street car, train, trolley vehicle, ferry boat, or any other device, vessel, or vehicle that is owned or operated by a transit authority or an entity providing service on behalf of a transit authority that is used for the purpose of carrying passengers on a regular schedule.

    RCW 46.04.670
    Vehicle

    WA's definition of vehicle >>> http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.04.670
    Last edited by DCKilla; 04-26-2011 at 08:59 AM. Reason: added RCW 9.91.025 and 46.04.670

  25. #25
    Regular Member Sparky508's Avatar
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    So what if said individual was on his way to or returning from a lawful outdoor activity, and the only way to get there was via ferry?

    9.41.060
    Exceptions to restrictions on carrying firearms.


    (6) Regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for the purpose of target shooting, when those members are at or are going to or from their places of target practice;

    (7) Regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for the purpose of modern and antique firearm collecting, when those members are at or are going to or from their collector's gun shows and exhibits;

    (8) Any person engaging in a lawful outdoor recreational activity such as hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or horseback riding, only if, considering all of the attendant circumstances, including but not limited to whether the person has a valid hunting or fishing license, it is reasonable to conclude that the person is participating in lawful outdoor activities or is traveling to or from a legitimate outdoor recreation area

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