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GUNS: Clarification needed on concealed carry law

Letter by William J. Buchanan, Gig Harbor on March 15, 2012 at 10:59 am with 17 Comments »
March 15, 2012 11:54 am

In a News Tribune article (3-15) concerning the accidental shooting death of a toddler, Tacoma police spokesman Naveed Benjamin was quoted as saying that a person carrying a concealed weapon must have that weapon on his/her person while traveling; otherwise, it must be in a locked container. I disagree.

The RCW simply states: “A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless he has a license to carry a concealed weapon and (1) the pistol is on his person, or (2) the person with the concealed carrying license is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (3) the person with the concealed carrying license is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.”

My interpretation of the wording is that the weapon need not be carried on the person, but may in fact be inside the vehicle, so long as the licensee is there with it; otherwise it can be locked within the vehicle out of sight (but not necessarily “unloaded and locked in a container”).

This is an issue that really needs clarification by our attorney general. Our police and our licensed citizens absolutely need to be on the same page regarding this matter.

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Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    You’re absolutely correct. So many in positions of legal authority have problem with basic english, or prefer their own biased views to law.

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    For example, a misguided relative that is a Pierce County Dep. informed me that he could “put me on the ground” for open carrying….LOL…I wish he would, then the County could pay off my house.

  3. truthbusterguy says:

    Cops don’t want you to carry a gun. They want you to use a bat or a knife like the Seattle Ceasefire group running bus signs.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/New-bus-ads-draw-the-ire-of-2nd-Amendment-advocates-141688993.html

    Have you been to the LESA office in Tacoma to get a permit. The line is out the door with people wanting permits. Peole are manning up to protect themselves. They realize that when they call 911 it’s the time to the cops arrive they need to worry about and take care of themself.

    Get a gun, learn to use it and defend yourself. It’s your right.

  4. More guns means more kids will be shot. Pretty simple to understand that except for the p…. envy gun nuts.

  5. sumyungboi says:

    Publico, the letter writer raises a very good point, regardless of your personal opinion of guns in general, so grow up. Guns are legal, they are legal to carry, and those who do choose to carry deserve more than nebulous interpretation of Washington code.

  6. itwasntmethistime says:

    The concept of locking a container (in this case call the vehicle itself the container) is to keep people out of the container. If someone is inside the container, it isn’t locked with respect to that person. In order to comply with the law of locking his unmanned weapon within a container, he would have had to use a container within the container, such as the glove box.

  7. sumyungboi must want to see more kids get killed based on its response.

  8. sumyungboi must want to see more kids get killed based on its response.
    More guns means more gun deaths and injuries, period.

  9. LornaDoone says:

    BlaineCGarver says:
    March 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm For example, a misguided relative that is a Pierce County Dep. informed me that he could “put me on the ground” for open carrying….LOL…I wish he would, then the County could pay off my house.

    Well, we are certainly glad that Blaine isn’t into frivolous lawsuits. Something like those would tie up taxpayers money for a ridiculous reason, but I digress…

    I’ve never quite understood the need for “open carry” in this day and age. I sincerely hope that no one is planning on meeting their adversary at high noon for a quick draw shoot out. I’m guessing it’s just a piddling contest marking territory with “my gun is bigger than your gun”.

    At the same time, I’ve wonder, on the subject of open carry, how some of these NRA types would respond to a young African American male, dress all in red, with his pants sagging, listening to gangasta rap on his ipod, walking around in public with a pistol hanging from his side. That would just be one of their NRA brothers, ya think?

  10. sandblower says:

    I’m glad BCG and I more than likely don’t go the same places.

  11. cclngthr says:

    I interpret that law to state that a licensed person can carry the pistol, OR place it in a secured, locked area of the vehicle IF the gun is unattended by the person with the license.

    For example, the no guns in school law has an exemption which ALLOWS a licensed person to carry a gun onto school property to do business within that establishment, such as picking up a child. This same exemption also states that the licensed gun owner can leave the weapon in a locked area in a locked vehicle to do business inside the school building.

  12. sandblower says:

    The more complex the law, the more likely it will be violated. When guns are involved the chances that someone will be killed goes up a lot.
    The answer is fewer guns in our society. There are ways to do that without compromising safety for all of us. Gun deaths will go down and so will gun injuries.
    The NRA is wrong and always has been. “Gun love” is the macho thing that directly relates to cialis and other drugs promoted for male enhancement. A gun is a symbol of male enhancement in other words. Possession and use can usually be found among males who are less self-confident than average.

  13. The law seems pretty clear to me, what part are you people having trouble with?
    You have to have the gun “on your person” or you have to “be with” the and if you don’t do either of those, it has to be locked up.

    Whats so tough and ‘unclear’ about that?
    The boyfriend violated the law, clear and simple.

    Blake, You ever think your cop friend might just what to ‘put you on the ground’ to shut you up?

  14. firemannotfirefighter says:

    “More guns means more kids will be shot. Pretty simple to understand that except for the p…. envy gun nuts.”

    That has got to be one of the MOST ignorant, stupid and misguided comment I have ever seen. More guns means more kids killed. Last year

  15. firemannotfirefighter says:

    “More guns means more kids will be shot. Pretty simple to understand that except for the p…. envy gun nuts.”

    That has got to be one of the most ignorant, stupid and misguided statements I have ever read, not only on here but on the Internet as a whole.

    You child is more likely to die if you have a pool at your house, than if you have a gun.

    In 2008 (according to the KAISER family analyzing data from the Census) there was an adjusted death rate from firearms in the state of Washington of 8.7 per 100,000.

    http://www.statehealthfacts.org/profileind.jsp?cat=2&sub=32&rgn=49

    Those figures INCLUDE self inflicted (Suicide) as well as firearm deaths resulting from Law Enforcement. Guns exist in America and wishing them away isn’t going work. Simply imposing more laws that don’t solve any problem isn’t going to work. Registering a weapon isn’t going to prevent a SINGLE death. Gun Free Zones don’t work (Show me a case where gun violence has been averted as a result of a gun free zone). The VAST majority of gun crimes are committed by people who aren’t supposed to be in possession of a firearm to begin with. Why not enforce the laws that are currently on the books, before attempting to make new ones?

    According to the CDC, the leading cause of death in the US for people between the ages of 5 and 34 is motor vehicle related. In 2008 (again from the CDC) 1 in every 5 children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed involving a motor vehicle, were pedestrians.

    Gun deaths are tragic, partly because they are preventable, but also because some people have such an emotional response to guns. I really don’t care if you are pro or anti gun. The simple fact of the matter is that the more kids and more people are killed every year by motor vehicles (And the registration of those vehicles hasn’t decreased the number of injuries and/or deaths). The death of a child by any violent action is deplorable and wrong. Especially if it was preventable. Hold the owner of guns responsible, but don’t be ignorant.

  16. Amen to your post firemannotfirefighter, makes sense and too bad more people don’t realize that most gun related deaths/injuries are the result of illegal gun ownership. I wouldn’t give up my guns for anything. If someone wants to break into my home to steal/rape/torture/kill me, they will not be waking up in the morning, end of story.

  17. penumbrage says:

    sandblower – “A gun is a symbol of male enhancement in other words.”
    There probably are some for whom this is true (although none that I know personally) but my wife (who has had a CCP since they were CWPs) and the other 20% to 25% of CCP owners who are female invalidates your gross generalization.
    “I’m glad BCG and I more than likely don’t go the same places.”
    Do you lose much sleep over the fact that 1 in every 23 people you pass on the street has a CCP?
    “The NRA is wrong and always has been.”
    I don’t agree with the NRA about everything, but that doesn’t alter the facts: they weren’t wrong when they said a UK gun ban wouldn’t stop hard core criminals from shooting people (hundreds of firearm deaths a year, virtually every one a subject rendered utterly incapable of defense by their own government) or when they predicted most criminals in the UK would simply switch to other weapons if guns were unavailable (140,000 knife assaults a year in London alone – so many they seriously proposed registering kitchen knives!) or when they advocated educating children about what to do safely if they happen across a gun (their Eddie Eagle program has saved more lives than gun locks and would have prevented this particular tragedy and many others if it weren’t for prejudiced minds like yours).
    You may be unaware that the NCVS shows the average chance of being the victim of a violent crime is about 1 in 63 each year (much higher if you’re female) but, should a violent assault occur, why would you oppose female equality in responding to it?

    LornaDoone – “Well, we are certainly glad that Blaine isn’t into frivolous lawsuits.”
    Ideally, a non-frivolous lawsuit redresses actual wrongs that are committed, like arresting and detaining someone on the basis of a law that is in violation of the state constitution. Isn’t it frivolous to waste taxpayer’s money (first legislative and then judicial) passing such a law in the first place when it will be struck down in court by the first citizen with the time and money to oppose it?
    “…a young African American male, dress all in red, with his pants sagging, listening to gangasta rap on his ipod, walking around in public with a pistol hanging from his side.”
    While Washington is an open carry state, my major objection to publicly advertising a firearm has nothing to do with the color of a responsible gun owner’s skin, the way they dress, their taste in music, unconstitutional local gun bans or even setting yourself up as the target for a surprise ambush from some violent criminal after your weapon or the cash it can bring.
    I much prefer concealed to open carry because I genuinely believe in diversity rather than just giving it lip service while insisting that my own views be shoved down everyone else’s throats. When a would be attacker doesn’t know whether sandblower or publico or LornaDoone is one of the 1 in 23 legally armed people or not, then my own investment in safety spent on a firearm, training, obtaining a CCP and maintaining proficiency helps to protect all of them as well (whether they like it or not), as is unarguably demonstrated by violent crime rates consistently dropping whenever a state passes a CWP law.

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