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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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/
 

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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:comeandgetsome: ) In city limits, everyone that sees you will call the cops after they spill their starbucks in their laps.:rolleyes:
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 :banana: Yeah im an idiot.:banned:
 

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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?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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Thanks, havent shot that one yet.

About the open carry stuff, there may be no law against it, but is really worth the hassle of having to stop what your doing and answer questions... if your lucky. I used to work in a gas station and a guy was carrying concealed and a ladysaw it when he sat down. she called the cops and said someone was robbing the place. This was in north bend and the cops dont have alot to do at 8pm on a monday, so every one in the valley swarmed the place. The lady didnt even tell me she called or anything and had left when the police arrived.


The iron horse trail is the old railway bed that goes over the pass. I usually go up to the summit and bike down the pass into town.(27 miles or so) Right at the top is a 2 mile tunnel that is pitch black and cold. Lots of fun but bring a flashlight and a coat. Exit thirty two i think has the concrete. I used to shoot up there all the time, great little areas with huge backstops in the middle of nowhere. There were some alittle to close to the highway so they closed them all down. That and everyone brought computors and refrigerators to shoot at.
 

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Mill Creek is correct, 100%. The lack of clear statutory definition notwithstanding, Washington should be considered concealed carry only. Sure, you may get by a few times based on generally oblivious sheeple and sympathetic LEOs, but you won't forever and you put your CCW at risk.
 

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In this country, the US of A, there does NOT have to be a law permitting something, in order for it to be "legal."

That is and has been one of the hallmarks of a "free society."

In order for anything to be "illegal," there must be a law against it. This became obvious to some, back when LSD first hit the streets. There was no law against it, so no one could be arrested for having or selling it. It wasn't until new laws were written that it became "illegal."

That said, it will be true in some cases that an existing law can be applied to an otherwise uncovered circumstance. When this does happen, and it does, usually a new law will be written. If you fall victim to a misapplication of one law to cover something that law was not intended for, you may well have legal recourse to fight it. If you can afford it. . .

In any event, pay NO attention to what any of us say about the law, unless you a willing to risk your freedom on it. Seek real advice, from a real lawyer, who practices law in your area.

Any other action would be foolish.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, didn't play one on TV, nor did I spend the night in a Holiday Inn Express.

mm
 

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madmike said:
In any event, pay NO attention to what any of us say about the law, unless you a willing to risk your freedom on it. Seek real advice, from a real lawyer, who practices law in your area.

Any other action would be foolish.
:c-yes3:

I have to wholeheartedly agree. You are the one at risk of an overzealous officer or an overimaginative :sheep: .
 
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