Rules about non res carrying handgun?

It is beneficial, even if you're doing everything legal and highly advisable so you don't get roughed up or spread on a car hood with a gun to your head by a nervous or surprised officer especially in traffic stops. It goes like this: with both hands on the steering wheel or held out if front of you, say "Hello officer, I want you to know that I have a concealed carry permit and I am carrying at this time. What do you want me to do?" or "Officer, I want to advise you that I am carrying open a handgun. It is on my belt at my (side, back, whatever). The police in this state are getting shot at a lot these days. They need all of the help we can give them to reduce the stress.
Great post all around Karl but this was the best advice given so far.


Active Member
Sorry all for opening a can o' worms, but I did take the advice and call the sheriffs department, who then directed me to call the WA department of licensing, firearms division. Needless to say my fact finding mission just came out of warp drive into an information black hole.

The response I was given by the sheriffs department was priceless "Ya know I'm not really sure. I know you can own a handgun, but I don't think you can carry it concealed." What if it is in a holster plainly visible on my body while hunting? "You need to talk to the DOL...and talk to the real guru about this."


Ugly member
Just bring the damn gun, this is America after all. All The CPL is is a tax on our 2nd Amendment Rights. I don't know when mine expired or if it has yet, but I don't carry the permit and I haven't for awhile, nor will I pay the tax again just to exersise my RIGHT (rights should not be taxed).

Exercise that right and carry. You are legally (in Washington) required to have and carry your CPL if you conceal a handgun. To argue otherwise is at best a political statement (which I think is fine, it’s our First Amendment right) and at worst a one way trip to the slammer. You are under your 2nd amendment right allowed to bear arms, which in Washington state would be open carry of a handgun. Concealing your weapon without following the law with intention makes you a criminal and you might spend some time with Bubba.

I support your right to do as you do!
Why don't you ask a deputy sheriff, a State Patrol trooper or someone else in law enforcement for clarification?
Saddly.... ah, never mind, just read the post above about checking w/ LE.

Or don't. But if you get popped for violating a handgun law as a result of information provided on this forum, it is likely going to be a felony.
:beathead: Or, you could just read the actual law, where it states that a violation is a misdemeanor.

If you're going to speak despairingly of armchair quarterbacking, you might consider restraining from it yourself. Just a thought.

Also, there is a desired protocol for advising any LE officer with whom you interact, that you are carrying a handgun, either open or concealed.
There is no such thing as a "desired protocol." There is only the law. Your obligations and your rights are outlined therein.

Different states have different requirements. I will openly say that on the following point I am not positive, but it is my recolection that you are not obliagated under WA law in inform an officer that you are carrying. Obviously, if you are asked, then you would need to answer. But just because you and an officer are in proximity--which can happen in a lot of places besides a car--doesn't mean your gun is automatically the first topic of conversation.

(And really, what is someone doing that gets them hauled out of a car and frisked?)

It should also be noted that when LEOs run your information, they know you are a permit holder. If it then comes up in conversation--which it can because they sometimes ask upon learning your permit status--discuss it with them. This isn't rocket science. No one is going to be mad at you because you didn't open up the conversation with "BTW, I'm packing."

Does that interpretation make sense?

That's interesting, I really don't read it that way. Seems to me that parts I and II don't really go together unless the pistol can be stored separately. To say that it both "has be on your person" and "you have to be in the vehicle it's in" doesn't make sense. But then, saying that it has to be on your person doesn't make sense if just being in the same vehicle was sufficient. So I can see how either way could be an interpretation. I'm going to look into this further.


Active Member
To put this post to 'bed'...I just received an email from the DOL with response to my question about what I can legally do with my firearm. The following is my email and their response (which I intend to print and have stashed in my wallet!). Granted it is a brief answer, but nonetheless an answer 'I' wanted to read.

"DOL Firearms Unit,

I recently inherited a revolver from my grandfather, and I would like to know legally what I can do with this gun without a CPL. It is my understanding RCW 9.41.60, exceptions 8 and 9 relieve the requirement for a CPL if you are transporting the firearm in an opaque case (travel case), and are engaged in a lawful activity such as hunting or fishing.

The gist of it, I would like to carry this firearm while I am grouse hunting in the national forest. Between my house and the forest the gun would be secured in a travel case while traveling (similar to my shotgun). I do not intend on carrying this firearm outside of hunting or in public (other than the forest).

As stated I really just want to know what I can do ‘legally’ without a CPL.


Andrew "


In RCW 9.41.060 (8) allows you to carry the revolver without a CPL even during the hunting. You might check with the national park on their carry regulations. They may require you to have a CPL to carry in the national park hunting arena. If not, and you are in the state of WA then you can carry it without the CPL. Paragraph 8 covers your lawful outdoor recreational activity."

Bruce W. Tanaka
Firearms Unit Program Manager
Dept. of Licensing
Business and Professions Division
[email protected]"[/FONT]


Banned or Parked
I'm wondering if you have a source for this. The law as I could find it readas follows:

"(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."

Seems to me the law says the pistol can be just about anywhere as long as you're there too. And if you're not there but the gun still is, you have to lock your vehicle with the gun out of sight. "or" is the key phrase in that paragraph.
The key is in the use of the words "and" and "or", like you stated, as well as the statement "carry or place". Essentially, there are 3 combinations that make it legal, all of which require the concealed license and one other condition. That's why each condition is labeled separately (i, ii, and iii).

3 options:

CPL + pistol on the licensee's person (in the case of "carry")
CPL + licensee in the vehicle (in the case of "place")
CPL + licensee outside the vehicle with vehicle locked (in the case of "place")

For Alex's interpretation to be correct, another "AND" would have to exist between conditions 1 & 2 in the description. However, this wouldn't be valid because it would present an impossible condition wherein the licensee would be required to both have the pistol on their person and have it locked within the vehicle while away; a physical impossibility. This is where the difference between "carry" and "place" becomes apparent.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
In WA State, you are not obligated to inform an officer that you are legally carrying when you are stopped . . . your CCP will "come-up" when they run your plates, so they will know. Nothing wrong with extending the courtesy of informing them, however. If the officer asks for your handgun, you are obliged to give it to them for the duration of the traffic stop, but if all is legal it will be returned. If you are carrying openly at the time and do not have a valid CCP, you would be in violation of WA State law. In other states, Utah for example, you are required to declare that you are armed. Re: "open carry" in Washington, sadly many departments have not included discussion of this right/the governing RCW in training bulletins . . . hence the reason I carry a copy in my wallet. You can't blame the officers for being cautious . . . theirs is a dangerous, difficult, and thankless job. Be courteous, cooperative, and legal.

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