This notice is a bit belated, but I'd like to offer congratulations to FishOrMan, who has won his appeal while representing himself, striking a small but personally significant blow for open-carry.
I've stayed away from blogging about the case for a couple
reasons. First, it seems to me that his actions were on the
borderline of what the law allows; normal open carry is arguably legal
under state law, by way of an affirmative defense, but open carry
inside a bank strikes me as exactly the sort of situation that might
legitimately "warrant alarm", which would violate the law.
Second, representing yourself in court is usually a very poor decision,
and rarely bodes well for the results. Third, given that he was
representing himself, any commentary I could have offered would have
been uncomfortably close to legal advice, something I am not qualified
to offer, and might well do more harm than good. And fourth, I
was concerned that he had gotten himself into a foreseeable bad
situation without adequately preparing for it, and thus put the whole
concept of open-carry at risk in Washington State.
That said, I have been following the case personally, and I'm glad that he won.
I do have one caution, though.
Just because you won this one on a technicality doesn't mean you'll win
the next one. Pick your fights more carefully, and make sure
you're prepared to fight them before they start.
I am not a lawyer, and nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. this site is run on custom blog software and is being actively developed. Please be forgiving of errors.
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