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Thread: Travel through Washington State

  1. wolf_fire,
    Most of your post contains restrictions that are not required in Washington State. Here is the applicable Washington Statute to which I will refer as we discuss your points:

    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.

    (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.

    (4) Nothing in this section permits the possession of firearms illegal to possess under state or federal law.
    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire View Post
    You do not mention whether you are traveling through Washington or staying to visit. This is an important distinction. If you were traveling through the state the Federal Firearms Act, located in Title 18 USC 926A is what you want to read: 18 U.S.C. 926A - Interstate transportation of firearms
    18 USC 926A provides an optional method of transporting a firearm through a state that has more restrictive laws than what 18 USC 926A requires. A person transporting a firearm can either comply with the state laws they are in at the time, or if those state laws are too restrictive, they can comply with 18 USC 926A if they choose to. Washington State law posted above is much less restrictive than FOPA is. FOPA requires the unloaded gun and ammunition to be in a locked compartment or container that makes the firearm and ammunition inaccessible to the occupants of the vehicle. There is no such requirement contained in Washington State law. RCW 9.41.050 (1)(a) only prohibits the handgun (loaded or unloaded) from being concealed ON THE PERSON without a CPL. RCW 9.41.050 (2)(a) only prohibits the handgun from being loaded inside the vehicle, and (1)(a) still applies that it cannot be concealed ON THE PERSON. That's the only prohibitions. Without a CPL, the handgun gun can be duct taped to the driver's forehead or hanging from the rear view mirror or more conveniently kept in the unlocked center console, door pocket, or glovebox with loaded magazines right next to it so long as it is unloaded and not concealed on the person. The unloaded handgun can even remain openly carried in a belt holster in the vehicle.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire View Post
    If you are visiting Washington and wish to carry then this is quoted from the Traveler's Guide to the Firearms Laws of the Fifty States:
    Persons without recognized permits:Loaded handguns may not be carried anywhere in a vehicle. Such weapons must be unloaded and secured in gun cases specifically designed for transporting handguns. Loaded magazines may be carried in the passenger compartment as long as they are not inserted into the handgun.
    Again, just like my explanation of FOPA laws, most of the above information is false. There is no requirement in Washington State law to secure the handgun in gun cases specifically designed for transporting handguns. The unloaded handgun can be anywhere in the vehicle other than concealed ON THE PERSON.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire View Post
    While on foot, a person without a license may carry a loaded, concealed handgun while engaged in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, camping, and target shooting. Open carry of a loaded handgun is legitimate as long as the non-permittee secures the weapon in a visible belt holster. Washington's preemptive law prevents most local regulation of this carry mode. But cities retain the power to regulate carry by non-permittees in stadiums and convention centers.
    Open carry is not regulated in Washington State. There are places off limits in the RCW to non-CPL holders that CPL holders are exempt from (the stadiums and convention centers prohibited by cities, and actually on school grounds), but there is no distinction made between open carry and concealed carry. What is prohibited by the RCW above is concealing the firearm on the person without a CPL. That's it. The statute does not regulate open carry to only "while engaged in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, camping, and target shooting." There is an exception to concealed carry without a CPL for engaging in outdoor activies, but that is all it is, an exception to concealed carry prohibitions. Since open carry without a CPL is not prohibited, those exceptions do not apply to open carry because there is no need for an exception to an activity that is not prohibited. Read RCW 9.41.060 for those exceptions.

    If you can post an RCW that states anything differently, I would like to see it.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

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  3. #12
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    NavyLCDR... your statutes that you give seem to be for one who has a concealed permit... the OP gave the impression he does not have reciprocity and the information I gave was for those without a permit.

    The one exception:
    Please reread what I stated: concealed carry is allowed with hunting, fishing, etc. without a permit. You then say that open carry isn't regulated to that statement.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  4. Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire View Post
    NavyLCDR... your statutes that you give seem to be for one who has a concealed permit... the OP gave the impression he does not have reciprocity and the information I gave was for those without a permit.
    The statutes that I posted define what it is illegal for a person without a CPL to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire View Post
    The one exception:
    Please reread what I stated: concealed carry is allowed with hunting, fishing, etc. without a permit. You then say that open carry isn't regulated to that statement.
    You are correct. My mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire
    Loaded handguns may not be carried anywhere in a vehicle. Such weapons must be unloaded and secured in gun cases specifically designed for transporting handguns.


    The bold and red part above is false. There is no requirement in Washington State law for the weapons to be secured in gun cases. The only requirement in Washington State law for firearms in vehicles by non-CPL holders is unloaded and not concealed on the person.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire
    If you were traveling through the state the Federal Firearms Act, located in Title 18 USC 926A is what you want to read: 18 U.S.C. 926A - Interstate transportation of firearms
    He certainly can read it. So can people who possess recognized CPLs. However, in Washington State, the laws regarding the transportation of firearms in vehicles by persons without a CPL are much more lenient than what 18 USC 926A requires, so there is need to follow the guidelines of 18 USC 926A because there is no need for the protection the federal law allows. If a person is convicted of violating Washington State law regarding firearms in a vehicle, than they must have been transporting the firearms far outside the guidelines of 18 USC 926A anyway and could not use it as a defense.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  5. #14
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    Navy.. .as always, I'm glad when you post about regulations. You seem to be spot on.

    What I copied from was "Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States". It's a good guideline and when I travel through another state, I check it, but then go and do further research (as you pointed out, this is why). I find it to be a good jumping off point, but as you have shown, it has it's limitations. This should make sense since they only devote about one full page per state.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  6. I prefer www.handgunlaw.us . Free, very up to date, comprehensive, and has links to the actual state statutes referenced.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

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