Well, we had our first bad contact with LEO while carrying concealed. What a disaster.
I'd picked my wife up in Seattle after a twelve hour work day that started at 4:am and went out to dinner with some friends before heading home. We had gotten off the ferry and on the last leg (hour drive) home when I get pulled over in a parking lot (we are dropping off some rental movies on the way home) for my license plate being out. It's about 10:pm.
As the officer approaches the car my wife wakes up from her nap. Unknown to us her gun had fallen out of her pocket and becomes exposed from under her flannel travel blanket. (Our friends have a three year old girl who gets into purses where my wife normally keeps her XD, so she had pocketed it, early in the evening.) I watch the officer approach he is all of 5'4, with that attitude. I can see it coming. The officer starts asking if I know why I was being pulled over sees the gun and freaks out. Starts hopping around like a leprechaun with a jumping bean enema. Draws his weapon finger on the trigger and starts screaming hands on the dash now your hands on the steering wheel.
Don't move! Get out of the car! What did I say keep your hands in sight. On the steering wheel. He calls in have suspects with firearms, detained request immediate back up (or something melodramatic like that) . Officer she has a permit. Shut up get out of the car. Get your hands in sight. Officer I have to open the door. Open it from the outside. I will need to roll down the window more. Ok roll down the window. OK walk to my car. The gun is still in the car with my wife. Officer she has a permit. Shut up its a concealed permit I could see it's not concealed is it, I don't want to hear it. Hands behind your back. He puts cuffs on. Do you have any weapons. I have a concealed weapons permit.
Four more cops cars come screeching in lights and sirens blazing two State Police two local. They bail out. She has a gun in the car. The four go extract my wife from the car and get her gun. You have a gun too? Why do you both need guns, where is it. Yes, its in my holster on my belt over my back pocket. He gets it, you have a knife too? Any other weapons? I have a pen knife in my pocket. Two knives what is wrong with you people? He takes my wallet, the credit cards & ID fall out all over the ground. He puts me in the car. They take my wife back to the other car. I hear her say she has a permit. They search my car, did not ask for permission. Dump my wife's purse on the hood of the other car, her stuff falls onto the parking lot. I watch the cops talk.
In a bit the leprechaun officer comes back calmer. Chastised? Until now he has been bouncing around like a two year old doing the pee pee dance. He says as soon as my permit and license clear, he will return our guns and we can go. Tells me he put our clips on the roof of my car. Don't forget them. For now I can go back to my car. In a few my wife gets back in the car. She is visibly shaken. The other four get back in their cars but do not leave. Leprechaun cop comes back hands me my wallet and starts handing in the mags in his using his lecture the dumb citizens tone about getting my license plate light fixed and how he was justified acting the ass.
The whole time I have been polite and civil smiling yes sir no sir on red alert watching listening tense but appearing casual. My wife had noted my demeanor earlier and reminded me to breath. I smile alot when I am really stressed. Back in the day people thought I was nuts because I do that and get aroused in the midst of conflict. Sometimes I would laugh. Later on in life I learned that is not that uncommon. So continued with the smiling polite yes sir no sir without staring at him or laughing, remembering to breath And we leave.
Needless to say I am ballistic. This is the law.
(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.
I checked and called the attorney for the interpretation of that. Washington is an open carry state. But a CWP is required to carry a load weapon in a car. In Washington state the gun does not have to be hidden in the car if we are in it. Can not brandish it or let folks out of the car see it but lots of folks who carry SOB take their gun out and set it in the console or between the seat and console while they drive, which is pretty much where my wife's gun was albeit unintentionally. I have done it, before, for the reason I stated. No one could see the gun unless they had their face stuffed into my window. It needs to be hidden if we are not in the car, obviously we were in the car.
My question is do I let it slide or do I file a complaint. His attitude was way off he had no cause to point a weapon at us he needs to learn finger control. he had no cause to search me, my wife or the car. Got a bad feeling about this cop. If he gets educated before he blows someone away he may resent it and come gunning for us, i.e. excess traffic stops repeats of last night. But somehow I think that is coming anyway. I know I came close to losing my temper my wife saw it I knew it. Not pleased about that either, so don't want to be displacing.
In the future I will be sure the guns are covered but it is a stupid concession to make because of the leprechaun and his ilk. Just the same not a bad idea. Probably get jumped on or roasted for posting this with different interpretations of the law no offense but I will take the lawyers. Thats what I pay him for. But some one may get something out of my rant. If nothing else it may be a good idea to keep the gun covered up in the car regardless of what the law says just to avoid this kind of hassle.