Open Carry with CCW permit in WA?

Open Carry with CCW permit in WA?

This is a discussion on Open Carry with CCW permit in WA? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok, from what I read in Washinton's RCW laws there are no restrictions on open carry. I also noticed that in the section that deals ...

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Thread: Open Carry with CCW permit in WA?

  1. #1
    Member Array jiggz01's Avatar
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    Open Carry with CCW permit in WA?

    Ok, from what I read in Washinton's RCW laws there are no restrictions on open carry. I also noticed that in the section that deals with concealed carry it doesn't specifically say that the gun must be concealed. Does this mean that I am legal if I open carry or if my shirt somehow exposes my gun by accident? I ask not because I wan't to open carry over concealed, but because I sometimes worry about it accidentally exposing. I usually wear a button shirt or T-shirt over the gun but sometimes I feel like it would be easier to unbutton the shirt and just hope the wind doesn't blow it open. If my gun being exposed isn't illegal I feel it would be worth the added benefit because I would be able to access my weapon much faster.

    Another benefit would be when I go camping or hiking I wouldn't have to bother concealing when I'm dressed like an eskimo.

  2. #2
    Member Array Hagphish's Avatar
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    Minnesota's law has similar cloudy areas. By the law, I can carry a .44 mag. in a cowboy holster around town. However, what law abiding citizen wouldn't call the police if they saw a 23 year old "hoodlum" carrying a .44 Mag. open style?
    I'm married to my Kahr.

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    Senior Member Array BlueLion's Avatar
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    Sun Tzu.. said " To the strong appear weak" So why would you want to open carry. Actually you will draw more attention to yourself and people will be more apt to see if you mean business. How, do I know? Well, I worked for Loomis Fargo once and I was threatened more than once to try and take my money or do harm to me. Well, the advantage I had was I was former military and plugging someone being that I was fresh out of the service was nothing. I quit that job and finished my degree. Long story short CCW provides an element of surprise and it cuts down on the drama you will face with open carry.
    Listen, Think and React.....Nuff Said.....

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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Does this mean that I am legal if I open carry or if my shirt somehow exposes my gun by accident?

    I am not sure about your state law. I'm not even sure about mine, since open carry is mentioned nowhere in the state statutes. So it's legal, even without a permit, by virtue of not being specifically prohibited. I have heard opinions that open carry is OK and concealed with permit is OK, but switching from concealed to open is not kosher because if you carry openly, everyone could see you coming and have time to accept it or depart. But exposure after you are in someone's "comfort zone" denies them forewarning.

    Plus there is that "felony menacing" thing here in CO, with which you could theoretically be charged if you indicate by word or gesture that you are armed.

    I had similar thoughts to yours when I began to conceal. The issue never arises really. You will keep it covered because you know it's important to do so. To give another example, how many times have you accidentally exposed your genitals in public? I suspect the answer is "never".

    Serioiusly, if open carry were to become common, so most adults appear in public openly armed, I would join the party. But with the current social situation, I completely agree with BlueLion.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array jarhead79's Avatar
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    We all know to find CCW info on packing.org. WELL, there's also a place called opencarry.org

    It states:

    Washington is an open carry state. However, the practice is not common and may subject you to scrutiny from local law enforcement.
    www.ubgholsters.com short wait times. Use 'defensivecarry' as a coupon code for a discount to your order.

  6. #6
    Member Array jiggz01's Avatar
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    So basically I'm still legal if my gun is accidentally or even purposely exposed, correct? Not that I wan't to open carry, I don't. Anyway, I can't remember where but I read a story about a guy in WA who tried open carry and didn't have a permit, he was hassled by the police and according to him they tried to get him on a technicality. Supposedly, they asked him if he had a permit, and if he said yes they would arrest him for not concealing. This is what originally sparked my concerns with the law.

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    Here is my understanding of the situation: it is legal to openly carry a firearm. Here comes the however...
    If it causes someone to "panic" and any sort of ruckus, however small, results, they don't get you on having a gun, they can stick you with disordly conduct.
    Not much of an answer, but there ya go.

    For specific answers lawyer style, you can go to the state state website, specifically RCW chapter 9.41 at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/
    Last edited by CopperKnight; March 25th, 2006 at 08:21 PM. Reason: added link
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

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    Senior Member Array Macattack's Avatar
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    I was told by lee (my local gun store owner) and a couple troopers i know that it is fine to open carry while hiking, hunting, fishing, etc as long as its not in city limits. In fact you dont even need a ccw! I don't know if I advise going out on the ironhorse trail ccw less though. (Me and Fitznig saw a blackbear up close and personal which made up my mind on the should i carry quesion. Seen cougars too ) In city limits, everyone that sees you will call the cops after they spill their starbucks in their laps.
    Hey Hagphish, what revolver is that? I own a s&w 40 ve and am looking for a snubbie to add to my gun pile.We could be gun buddies. Hahahaha Yeah im an idiot.
    "In those days, there was a lot more respect for other people and it showed in peoples values.... Today the word value means nothing more than something you get on the $1 menu at McDonald's." -BARK'N

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    Member Array FNP-9er's Avatar
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    Hey Macattack

    I'm from your area and you mentioned Iron horse trail. I saw a road going up to Iron horse something or other, (behind the Fire Training off of I-90) and there were cement blocks with No Shooting painted on them. is that where you're talking about? is there someplace up there we can go to target shoot?
    One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.

    Sir Winston Churchill.

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    Member Array MillCreek's Avatar
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    Danger, Will Robinson, danger! Open carry, accidental or not, except for some limited outdoor recreation exceptions, is not explicitly permitted under Washington state law. Doing so, especially in urban or suburban areas, will rapidly draw the attention of law enforcement. And here is the statute that they will use to charge you:

    RCW 9.41.270
    Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm — Unlawful carrying or handling — Penalty — Exceptions.


    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

    (2) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1) above shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section, the person shall lose his or her concealed pistol license, if any. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which issued the license.

    (3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:

    (a) Any act committed by a person while in his or her place of abode or fixed place of business;

    (b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses, while in the performance of such duty;

    (c) Any person acting for the purpose of protecting himself or herself against the use of presently threatened unlawful force by another, or for the purpose of protecting another against the use of such unlawful force by a third person;

    (d) Any person making or assisting in making a lawful arrest for the commission of a felony; or

    (e) Any person engaged in military activities sponsored by the federal or state governments.



    There have been countless successful prosecutions, especially in western Washington, under this law for open carry. Living in Snohomish county as I do, and having the occasional interaction with local law enforcement (as part of my job), I will bet cash money that open carry anywhere in this county will get you a quick citation. And if you are foolish enough to open carry in an intimidating manner, you will also have your carry permit revoked. Permanently.

    The bottom line is that unless you are engaging in outdoor recreation in a rural area (I am ignoring Federal land here such as National Parks or National Forests), open carry is not explicitly allowed under state law, and doing so exposes you to substantial legal risk.
    ___________________

    Regards,

    MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  11. #11
    Member Array murphyslaw's Avatar
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    open carry in Washington is LEGAL, in the rcw it says "9.41.270
    Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm — Unlawful carrying or handling — Penalty — Exceptions.
    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons."

    so in short It is legal to carry openly a weapon, but if someone calls the police with a man with a gun complaint then ur gonna be harassed. have you looked on open carry.org there is a few good reports on there about Washington if you need more help interpreting the law id hit up "sandy" on open carry.org he has gone threw a long legal ordeal about this very subject. I have lived and often visit Washington and I carry ed open allot with few problems. It is not required to have a cwp to carry open, but in the case Ur wearing a big jacket or something and is covering the gun then it is "concealed" and u need a permit. I have a cwp for the occasions that i don't want to open carry of for circumstances as you stated.

  12. #12
    Member Array MillCreek's Avatar
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    Uh oh, MurphysLaw is giving very poor legal advice. He is apparently unaware of the two seminal Washington appellate court decisions on open carry: State v. Workman, 90 Wd.2d. 443 (1978) and State v. Spencer, 75 Wn.App 118 (1994). These two cases dealt with the constitutionality and the elements necessary for conviction under RCW 9.41.270. Suffice it to say that the statutory language of "...that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons...." can be used to prosecute you for open carry. I would invite MurphysLaw to open carry in downtown Seattle, Tacoma or Spokane and see what happens.
    ___________________

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    MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  13. #13
    Member Array murphyslaw's Avatar
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    I may have missed those appellate decisions but I have carry ed in Seattle, Redmond, Spokane, Vancouver, long beach and many other places with little harassment. I'm still looking but I know that there is a clause to this "controversial" practice. bottom line is Its legal but highly "discouraged" and as long as a no one is alarmed there shouldn't be many problems.

    No were in the Washington state preemption does it state that carrying a weapon is illegal, it complexly states that if used to intimidate or cause alarm for the safety of other persons its illegal. Some people are paranoid and will call the cops for anything but in my experience(may not be to the level of others) If you act like you should have it and be where you are, are nice and just going about Ur business then there should not be a cause for alarm. once again this is my opinion of the law and how I go about "obeying" it. only once have I Had a problem and it was solved with out legal recourse.
    The answer to "the voice in the dark", GET DOWN NOW!!(see avatar).
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    Member Array MillCreek's Avatar
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    I'm still looking but I know that there is a clause to this "controversial" practice. bottom line is Its legal but highly "discouraged" and as long as a no one is alarmed there shouldn't be many problems.
    Well, good luck with finding that. You want to be looking at RCW 9.41 and the associated case law. Be sure to post your findings.

    For the original poster, I strongly urge you to not run the risk of a firearms-related conviction by relying upon anonymous Internet advice. Having studied this issue a great deal, attended legal seminars (I used to work in the law) and having spoken with the local Second Amendment Foundation people, the consensus of most of the local legal scholars and defense counsel is that open carry, absent certain circumstances, is not explicitly permitted under Washington state law, and people who do open carry are doing so at great risk of arrest and conviction.

    There is no current applicable statutory or case law that explicitly allows this for a civilian other than some outdoor recreational settings, despite MurphysLaw opinion to the contrary.
    ___________________

    Regards,

    MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

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    Member Array Hagphish's Avatar
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    A S&W 40VE and a Taurus Instant Backup 9mm. I recently added a Kahr P9 to my collection.
    I'm married to my Kahr.

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