Concealed Carry in an Open Carry State


mbowden

New member
I've been CCing for less than 8 months now in an open carry state (Washington) and one thing has been bothering me:

If I accidently reveal my pistol (ie: wind blows my coat back or shirt gets caught on the grip as I'm squating to pick something up) and a passerby becomes alarmed enough to call L.E., am I within the law?

Logic says, YES. But as we know, logic ain't always present when it comes to gun laws.

I'm concerned that the law might allow open carry OR licensed concealed carry and that the situation described above might fall under some wierd category of being illegal. Thoughts?
 

NavyLCDR

New member
I've been CCing for less than 8 months now in an open carry state (Washington) and one thing has been bothering me:

If I accidently reveal my pistol (ie: wind blows my coat back or shirt gets caught on the grip as I'm squating to pick something up) and a passerby becomes alarmed enough to call L.E., am I within the law?

Logic says, YES. But as we know, logic ain't always present when it comes to gun laws.

I'm concerned that the law might allow open carry OR licensed concealed carry and that the situation described above might fall under some wierd category of being illegal. Thoughts?

Do you meet ALL the elements of violating RCW 9.41.270? The answer would be NO.

RCW 9.41.270: Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm

(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.

The important words are in bold, and THE key word is underlined: warrants. Warrants alarm is entirely different than causes alarm.
 

NavyLCDR

New member
Luckily we don't have concealed carry permit training in Washington state. Asking LEO advice is also a bad idea. Case law precedent and legal expert (lawyer) advice are much more reliable. LEO will tell you what his personal opinion is, which may be entirely contradictory to what the courts say the law is. That's exactly the reason many cases get tossed out once they go to court. What a LEO thinks might be illegal really doesn't matter - it's the court system that determines what a person can get convicted for or not.

A prime example:
The State appeals the trial court’s order suppressing evidence against Gregory E. Casad. Casad walked down the street in Port Angeles on a Saturday afternoon carrying two rifles partially wrapped in a towel. A woman called 911. Police responded, detained Casad, frisked him, and asked why he carried the weapons. Casad admitted that he was a felon, an admission that lead to his arrest and charges for unlawfully possessing the weapons. The trial court held that the police had no authority to detain Casad for a Terry stop and suppressed the evidence as the fruit of an unlawful seizure. We affirm.

Washington Supreme Court decision in State v. Casad.
 

santa

santa
I agree 100% with NavyLCDR on this. Both his posts are accurate. A knowledgeable lawyer is a much better source than a leo. Where I live in Washington there is an leo who insists that open carry is illegal without a permit, and he is WRONG! Someday he is going to arrest someone and a lawyer and his client will make some money. While most of the time I conceal-carry, today I will be open carrying while target practicing. Oh and hey NavyLCDR someday we have to get together so I can see the toy(gun) you carry. I like toys, you never have enough of them.
 

Rich M

New member
It happens to me all the time. Well, my pistol popping out from under my shirt in public. You should be fine. Especially if its in its holster and not your hand.
 

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