Oregon appeals court ruling: Your car is a "public" place.

Oregon appeals court ruling: Your car is a "public" place.

This is a discussion on Oregon appeals court ruling: Your car is a "public" place. within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Despite Oregon's preemption law, previous lawful open carry of a firearm inside a vehicle will now be illegal if one passes from one municipality to ...

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Thread: Oregon appeals court ruling: Your car is a "public" place.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Oregon appeals court ruling: Your car is a "public" place.

    Despite Oregon's preemption law, previous lawful open carry of a firearm inside a vehicle will now be illegal if one passes from one municipality to another in which the town one has just entered has restrictions against such carry. Welcome to the rabbit hole ...

    Oregon Firearms Federation "alert", 12/14/2008:

    OREGON APPEALS COURT DEALS MAJOR BLOW TO GUN RIGHTS IN OREGON

    An Oregon Appeals Court decision has found that your car is now considered a "public place." That means that possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle may be considered a crime if the locality in which you are traveling has a ban on open loaded carry.

    This ruling is bizarre in light of how Oregon law defines "public place." ORS 161.015 defines public place this way:

    (10) “Public place” means a place to which the general public has access and includes, but is not limited to, hallways, lobbies and other parts of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence, and highways, streets, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds and premises used in connection with public passenger transportation.

    The case, Bryan Ward VS State of Oregon, dealt with an arrest, by a Portland Police officer, of a person who had an unconcealed handgun in his car.

    It has always been our position that open carry in a vehicle was clearly protected by Oregon law. ORS 166.250 clearly states that except for CHL holders, it is concealed carry in a vehicle that is prohibited. It further states that the prohibition against concealed, loaded carry in a vehicle does not apply to"a recreational vessel or recreational vehicle while used, for whatever period of time, as residential quarters."

    The Appeals Court decision turns on its head Oregon's preemption statute which allows only the state legislature to regulate possession of firearms, except for loaded carry in public places. If your car is now considered a "public place" will a law enforcement officer need a warrant to search it?

    The Court concludes "When read together, ORS 166.173 and 161.015(1) clearly allow local governments to regulate the possession of loaded firearms on their streets and highways."

    But ORS 166.173 states"166.173 Authority of city or county to regulate possession of loaded firearms in public places. (1) A city or county may adopt ordinances to regulate, restrict or prohibit the possession of loaded firearms in public places as defined in ORS 161.015." and 161.015, as noted above, clearly defines a "public place" as a place to which the general public has access. " It is not ambiguous in any way.

    The Court also reaches conclusions that seem to have no bearing on this case at all. In their decision, they state the following :

    "Moreover, ORS 166.173(2)(c)--which exempts persons licensed to carry concealed weapons from local loaded firearms regulations--demonstrates that the legislature anticipated situations in which persons may possess concealed, loaded firearms in a public place. The legislature chose to exempt such persons from local regulations based on their possession of a certain type of permit, despite the fact that a concealed firearm, although otherwise in a "public place," is not kept in a place to which the "general public has access."

    But this case is not about concealed handguns. CHL holders are exempt from many restrictions that non-license holders are subject to, and the legislature made very specific rules about vehicles and firearms possession which clearly allow open carry without a license while in a car. If a car is a "public place" then why even have laws specifically dealing with possession in a vehicle when the limits on carrying in "public places" would apply to cars anyway?

    Oregon's preemption law was created specifically to prevent a person from inadvertently breaking the law as he moved around the state. This ruling is a major setback for gun rights in Oregon and puts many people at risk simply by crossing into a town or city that has onerous and unposted rules. OFF is considering what further legal action can be taken, and in the meantime warns gun owners to be very careful when traveling in Oregon.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  2. #2
    Member Array chucktait's Avatar
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    If inside of your car is public place, this is not just a firearm issue. Think about it, no more search warrant to search your car... because it "PUBLIC PLACE". No 4th Ammendment protection? Am I reading too much into this or is this really scary.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucktait View Post
    If inside of your car is public place, this is not just a firearm issue.
    It's absolutely not public, though it may well be treated as such. And not by merely the legal community. But, this is now case law. I'd like to read the full ruling before full judgment, but it surely seems like Oregon's law enforcement types have now been given the green light to disregard protections over private property (the car and contents). What about employers, while parking that car on their property? What about break-ins, which I'm now assuming will be more of a loitering type offensiveness than a break-in type crime.

    I don't think you're reading too much into it. Arrogant stupidity with the full force of law behind it is a scary thing. Time to contact my legislators about this latest evisceration.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Just another reason to get your CCW permit and keep it current. Stupid law.
    "Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem". - Ronald Reagan 1981

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    Go to city hall and demand the county help you pay for the car and its upkeep... I mean it is a public space, right?
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miggy View Post
    Go to city hall and demand the county help you pay for the car and its upkeep... I mean it is a public space, right?
    Well, with my car, it would require a federal bailout.
    Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or Rapture....whichever comes first.

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    Another reason not to live on the West Coast.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miggy View Post
    Go to city hall and demand the county help you pay for the car and its upkeep... I mean it is a public space, right?
    Will park benches now require a license plate?
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Oregon appeals court ruling: Your car is a "public" place.
    I'm a firm believer in drug testing our government officials! No other way they could come up with something like this without being under some influence!
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; December 15th, 2008 at 02:07 AM. Reason: Deleted a language workaround.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by O.F.F.
    An Oregon Appeals Court decision has found that your car is now considered a "public place."
    Probably, the way to view it is that the Oregon Firearms Federation's statement about cars being public places is misplaced. The appellate court has judged that the PUBLIC HIGHWAY is the public space intended to be controlled by the legislature, and that transiting through it temporarily does not exempt one from that public space. For example, walking (or driving) through a federal building would still mean that one is inside that federal building, irrespective of how one transited through it. The court is saying, in the instance of the public roadway, that it doesn't matter whether the transit is done via foot (ie, concealed on the person), public conveyance or private vehicle (ie concealed from public view) ... since a person is still, for purposes of the applicable laws, IN the public space (the public highway). Probably the correct decision, viewed that way.

    Ah, me. the law is such a wonderful thing.

    Best lesson of all? The written statutes are only a portion of the restrictions placed on us as citizens. Beyond that, case law applies a stiff addition to the statutes, as well. Got to love it.

    In short: one more straightforward nail in the coffin of open carry in Oregon.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  11. #11
    Member Array snip's Avatar
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    Something funky is up with this cause case law already says that a personal vehicle is private property and is subject to the same rights as you have in your house. I could get out my books and look up the law but it was done at the supreme court level.

    I get the feeling that we are not getting the whole story or perhaps as ram rod syguested the judge needs to be drug tested.

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    Senior Member Array jualdeaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Probably, the way to view it is that the Oregon Firearms Federation's statement about cars being public places is misplaced. The appellate court has judged that the PUBLIC HIGHWAY is the public space intended to be controlled by the legislature, and that transiting through it temporarily does not exempt one from that public space. For example, walking (or driving) through a federal building would still mean that one is inside that federal building, irrespective of how one transited through it. The court is saying, in the instance of the public roadway, that it doesn't matter whether the transit is done via foot (ie, concealed on the person), public conveyance or private vehicle (ie concealed from public view) ... since a person is still, for purposes of the applicable laws, IN the public space (the public highway). Probably the correct decision, viewed that way.

    Ah, me. the law is such a wonderful thing.

    Best lesson of all? The written statutes are only a portion of the restrictions placed on us as citizens. Beyond that, case law applies a stiff addition to the statutes, as well. Got to love it.

    In short: one more straightforward nail in the coffin of open carry in Oregon.
    Your version still leaves open the ability of LEOs to search your car without a warrant. All they would have to do is say you were driving on a public road, and that public road trumps your private property rights.
    Bend the knees, smooth is fast, watch the front sight.

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    Member Array larefugee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up.

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    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jualdeaux View Post
    Your version still leaves open the ability of LEOs to search your car without a warrant. All they would have to do is say you were driving on a public road, and that public road trumps your private property rights.
    The LEO angle is a valid consern, but I am interested if all the laws dealing with car theft have been trashed. if it is public properity how can it be a crime to break into it and take the radio. Also, why would the state charge me tax on a public place.

    this soulds like an endrun around the law by the court. making up a law where one did not exist.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jualdeaux View Post
    All they would have to do is say you were driving on a public road, and that public road trumps your private property rights.
    Yup, hence the warning bells from Oregon Firearms Federation.

    I, too, feel the bench just invented a new pothole for the people to fall into.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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