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AGO 1952 No. 427 - November 19, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

INTERPRETATION OF RCW 77.16.250.

It is unlawful for any person to carry, transport or convey or have in his possession or control in any vehicle propelled by man, any shotgun or rifle containing cartridges or shells therein, whether the vehicle is parked upon a public highway, a private roadway or upon an operator's own farm or timber property.

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                                                               November 19, 1952  

Honorable Thurman E. Ward
Prosecuting Attorney
Klickitat County
Goldendale, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 427

 Dear Mr. Ward:

             We have received your letter requesting the following opinion:

             I would like an opinion on the following matter:

             "RCW 77.16.250 provides a criminal penalty for the carrying, transporting or conveying, or to have in possession or under control in any vehicle, any shot gun or rifle containing shells or cartridges therein.

             "Does this section apply only to vehicles parked on a private roadway or a vehicle parked on the operator's own farm or timber property?"

            The foregoing statute provides:

             "It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, transport or convey, or to have in his possession or under his control in any motor-driven or horse‑drawn vehicle or in any vehicle propelled by man, any shotgun or rifle containing shells or cartridges therein."

             We are of the opinion that the foregoing section applies not only to vehicles parked upon public highways, but equally applies to vehicles parked on a private roadway or upon the operator's farm or timber property.

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                                                                    ANALYSIS

             It will be noted that there is no limitation in the foregoing statute with reference to public or private property.  Investigation discloses that the intent of the Legislature in the passage of this Act was threefold:

            (1) To prevent injury or death to the occupants of any vehicle from the careless or accidental discharge of a firearm in close quarters; (2) to prevent possible injury or death to others outside of the vehicle, and (3) to avoid property damage.

             Following the passage of this Act, the State Game Commission adopted permanent Regulation No. 36 (b), which provides:

             "No person shall shoot at or kill any game birds or game animals from any automobile, airplane, seaplane, amphibious vehicle, sailboat, or motordriven craft of any kind."

             It is evident that both the Legislature and the State Game Commission had the public welfare and safety in mind in the passage of this Act and in the adoption of the Regulation.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General

JOHN A. BURNS
Special AssistantAttorney General

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