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Thread: What constitutes "loaded"?

  1. #1
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    What constitutes "loaded"?

    Does anyone have any case law defining when a firearm is considered "loaded" in Idaho?

    I have searched the Idaho Code and cannot find a definition.

    Thanks

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    just out of curiosity, why do you want to know?

    I have done some fairly extensive reading of 18.33 and cannot say that I have seen such a reference to "loaded" either. Maybe I'll look again and see if I glossed over it. As my own personal rule of thumb, a gun is "loaded" even with only 1 round in it, whether it be in the magazine or in the chamber/cylinder as the case may be. If there is a live round in the gun itself, I consider it loaded.

    Most importantly don't forget, even when unloaded, all guns are loaded ALL THE TIME.
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. - Dalai Lama (Seattle Times, 05-15-2001).

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    Quote Originally Posted by silver View Post
    just out of curiosity, why do you want to know?
    The question is coming from a friend of my brother who was arrested in Idaho for having a concealed loaded weapon in his vehicle without a concealed weapon permit. His case is going to hinge on the definition of "loaded".

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    AHHH in that case I will get out my handy dandy stack of Idaho code and look at my highlights.
    Always happy to help out a fellow gun owner if I can.

    Yes, it is illegal to conceal a "loaded" weapon w/o a permit.
    Just wondering, what exactly are the charges?

    Ill have another post up here for you before the night is gone on whether or not I found a reference to "loaded".
    Best of luck to you/ your acquaintance in the mean time.
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. - Dalai Lama (Seattle Times, 05-15-2001).

    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. - George Washington

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    Where is your friend's case?

    One legal theory that's been bandied about, but I'm unaware of whether it has been used successfully, is that the statute prohibiting concealed carry exceeds the authority under the Idaho Constitution. Article I Section 11 recognizes the right to keep and bear arms and states it shall not be abridged, but further states that "...this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to govern the carrying of weapons concealed on the person...."

    Idaho Code 18-3302(9) states "While in any motor vehicle, inside the limits or confines of any city, a person shall not carry a concealed weapon on or about his person without a license to carry a concealed weapon."

    Note the difference: Idaho's Constitution contemplates "on the person...," but the prohibition your friend is accused of violating contemplates "on OR ABOUT his person." The argument goes along the lines that the legislature exceeded its authority and expanded the prohibition beyond the person.

    Depending on the judge, the novel argument may be interesting enough to grant a motion to dismiss...what does he have to lose at this point?

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    I've gotta go with DCR on this one. Fighting the charge by debunking the statute based on the state constitution, I think, has got a better chance than trying to argue semantics about what constitutes "loaded." Just my two cents.

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    I concur as well. Hopefully that argumanet will be enough to do as you hope.

    I have found nothing that actually says what "loaded" means in idaho statue. ill keep looking however if i have a little free time in the next day or two.

    again, best of luck.
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. - Dalai Lama (Seattle Times, 05-15-2001).

    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. - George Washington

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    I'm guessing the offense occurred within the city limits or confines of an incorporated city?

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    I'd submit both arguments -

    While at the gun show, another angle came to me: the "loaded" argument may be another good one to try alongside the constitutional one.

    Here's the deal: if a law is so vague, or contains terms that are undefined ("unloaded"), then the average citizen cannot reasonably expected to determine what the prohibited conduct is. Therefore, how can the courts say what is prohibited when there are vague or undefined terms? Accordingly, the citizen has been denied due process because he was not given full and fair warning of what conduct is prohibited, and the case has to be dismissed for lack of due process.

    Stay with me here -

    Other states define "loaded." Doesn't Utah have some hyper-technical definition of "loaded" - something like "two mechanical actions/steps away from firing?" Contrast that with Idaho (no definition), and other surrounding states - OR, WA, MT, WY, NV - do they define it? The lack of specific definition, arguably, leads to a vagueness that the average citizen cannot know whether his gun is technically "loaded" or "unloaded" given the lack of clarity in the law, as opposed to other states that specify when a gun is "loaded."

    It's not a terribly strong argument, but when it's one's liberty, freedom and finances are at stake, they should make every argument possible in an effort to persuade the judge.

    There's no prohibition against making alternative arguments to the court; I'd argue both the constitutional one and the due process/vagueness to the judge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCR View Post
    While at the gun show, another angle came to me: the "loaded" argument may be another good one to try alongside the constitutional one.

    Here's the deal: if a law is so vague, or contains terms that are undefined ("unloaded"), then the average citizen cannot reasonably expected to determine what the prohibited conduct is. Therefore, how can the courts say what is prohibited when there are vague or undefined terms? Accordingly, the citizen has been denied due process because he was not given full and fair warning of what conduct is prohibited, and the case has to be dismissed for lack of due process.

    Stay with me here -

    Other states define "loaded." Doesn't Utah have some hyper-technical definition of "loaded" - something like "two mechanical actions/steps away from firing?" Contrast that with Idaho (no definition), and other surrounding states - OR, WA, MT, WY, NV - do they define it? The lack of specific definition, arguably, leads to a vagueness that the average citizen cannot know whether his gun is technically "loaded" or "unloaded" given the lack of clarity in the law, as opposed to other states that specify when a gun is "loaded."

    It's not a terribly strong argument, but when it's one's liberty, freedom and finances are at stake, they should make every argument possible in an effort to persuade the judge.

    There's no prohibition against making alternative arguments to the court; I'd argue both the constitutional one and the due process/vagueness to the judge.
    +1....I agree one could argue that the term loaded was to mean you couldn't carry a consealed weapon while drunk. Loaded being a term used to describe someone that is drunk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silver View Post
    AHHH in that case I will get out my handy dandy stack of Idaho code and look at my highlights.
    Always happy to help out a fellow gun owner if I can.

    Yes, it is illegal to conceal a "loaded" weapon w/o a permit...
    (7) Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, or on property in which the person has any ownership or leasehold interest, a person shall not carry a concealed weapon without a license to carry a concealed weapon. For the purposes of this section, a concealed weapon means any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver or any other deadly or dangerous weapon. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any lawfully possessed shotgun or rifle.

    http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/ids...ECT18-3302.htm

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    No license required for this either
    12(d) ** Any person outside the limits of or confines of any city while engaged in lawful hunting, fishing, trapping or other lawful outdoor activity;



    Sent from my HERO200 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by bowb; 11-18-2011 at 10:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbanger View Post
    (7) Except in the person's place of abode or....
    In that case, if the guy's friend was living out of his car, that would make for an exception. I understand that in Yellowstone National Park your tent may be considered a sufficient place of abode for a concealed weapon.


    Anyone know how the case turned out?

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    18-3302 (12) The requirement to secure a license to carry a concealed weapon under this section shall not apply to the following persons:
    (a) Officials of a county, city, state of Idaho, the United States, peace officers, guards of any jail, court appointed attendants or any officer of any express company on duty;

    Since we are on the subject.

    What defines an official of ___fill in the blank___, more spacificly a official of the United States?

    The reason I ask, does a military officer fill that requirement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCR View Post
    ...Doesn't Utah have some hyper-technical definition of "loaded" - something like "two mechanical actions/steps away from firing?" Contrast that with Idaho (no definition), and other surrounding states - OR, WA, MT, WY, NV - do they define it? ...
    Any update on this case in ID?

    As for UT, yes. To be considered unloaded, there cannot be a round in "firing position" and the gun must be two mechanical actions away from firing (the trigger counts as an action).
    For NV, loaded is defined by law as an unexpended cartridge in the chamber.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Two Actions...safety & trigger ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Any update on this case in ID?

    As for UT, yes. To be considered unloaded, there cannot be a round in "firing position" and the gun must be two mechanical actions away from firing (the trigger counts as an action).
    For NV, loaded is defined by law as an unexpended cartridge in the chamber.

    I think Utah's law is quite helpful compared with states like Id that do not define loaded/unloaded at all. Their lack of clarity could land one in court with a big legal bill trying to clarify what the state should have made clear in the statute in the first place. At least in Nevada you know what you're dealing with.

    In Utah it's two actions, and as I understand it that means you can have a round chambered as long as a safety on. Clicking the safety off and pulling the trigger constitutes two actions, and is certainly a better option than having to crank the slide to chamber a round. If I'm wrong about that please let me know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnTraveler View Post
    =In Utah it's two actions, and as I understand it that means you can have a round chambered as long as a safety on. Clicking the safety off and pulling the trigger constitutes two actions, and is certainly a better option than having to crank the slide to chamber a round. If I'm wrong about that please let me know.
    Sorry, you are incorrect.

    76-10-502. When weapon deemed loaded.
    (1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, or other weapon described in this part shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
    (2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.
    (3) A muzzle loading firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinders.

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    [QUOTE=rpyne;1828036]Sorry, you are incorrect.

    76-10-502. When weapon deemed loaded.
    (1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol,..... shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
    (2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.

    Thanks for letting me know. Now it seems a little confusing. If in (1), by saying "firing positon", they mean a round is chambered in the barrel, then why even bother to write part (2) declaring specifically for revolvers and pistols, "manual operation of any mechanism once" ?

    If what they mean by firing position is that the round "is in postion" to be fired with one action, the two actions implies it's no longer in a position to be fired (by just one action).

    Look forward to you feedback on this. For now, for me better to be safe than sorry and get the CCW to carry loaded OC. But it would be nice to have it clarified so I can have a better grasp of it. Thanks.

  19. #19
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    The three parts are ORed.

    An example of why part 2 is there is a double action revolver. With only one empty chamber, under the hammer, one pull of the trigger would rotate a round into the firing position and fire.
    Last edited by rpyne; 09-21-2012 at 07:28 PM. Reason: attempt to improve grammar

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