Police ticket man who wore gun in store | The Columbian
Police ticket man who wore gun in store
Visible handgun alarmed someone, police say
By John Branton
Columbian staff writer
Friday, March 19, 2010
A man who was seen in a Vancouver supermarket with a handgun visible in a holster — prompting a call to 911 on Friday — was ticketed and released with a court date, police said.
Shortly after 4 p.m., officers were sent to the Albertsons store at 5000 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., said Sgt. Greg Raquer with the Vancouver Police Department.
When officers approached the man who wore the gun he was cooperative. The loaded gun’s holster had two ammo magazines attached to it, said Officer Ilia Botvinnik.
Officers explained the law to the man, gave him a ticket for alleged unlawful carrying of a weapon and released him.
Under the law, Raquer said, a person can be ticketed if his display of a gun alarms people.
“I guess you could liken it to people yelling ‘Fire!’ in a movie theater,” Raquer said. “People get alarmed.”
He added, “Most responsible people don’t display their firearm in public.”
Had the man worn a coat, no one would have noticed the gun, Raquer said.
In that event, however, the gun would have been considered concealed, which is illegal unless the person had a concealed weapons permit, Botvinnik said.
The man in Albertsons did have a concealed weapons permit, although it doesn’t apply to open carrying, Botvinnik said.
Raquer declined to release the man’s name, saying the police report hadn’t been completed.
Vancouver police have had several such calls recently.
The state law that applies to the Albertsons case is RCW 9.41.270, Botvinnik said.
That law says: “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.”
The text of the entire law, including exceptions such as carrying a firearm in your own home or place of business, can be read at RCW 9.41.270: Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm ? Unlawful carrying or handling ? Penalty ? Exceptions.
John Branton: 360-735-4513 or firstname.lastname@example.org