How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask xavierjd Your Own Question
xavierjd, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience:  Over 20 yrs experience in prosecution and defense work
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
xavierjd is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was pulled over by washington state police and my firearms

This answer was rated:

I was pulled over by washington state police and my firearms were siezed by police because I displayed my firearm to defend myself. Firearm was not fired. I am being charged with unlawfull display of a firearm. My question is if I am found guilty does the court system have the right to keep my firearms they siezed in the incident. The law says it is a gross misdemeanor

Thanks for using


Do you have a license to carry a concealed weapon?


Did you tell the officer that you had a weapon either on your person or in the vehicle?


What type of firearm was it?


Do you have any prior criminal convictions?




Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It is expired, firearm was in plain view. I also had 5 other guns all unloaded I was returning from shooting range when incident occurred. I told the officer it was in the back of the truck on a shelf. I have no convictions on my record and it was a glock 27 semi automatic pistol
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
all firearms that were siezed are legally owned by me. all weapons were unloaded secure in the back of the pickup truck except the pistol that I displayed.

Thanks for the information. Below are the general rules for possession of a firearm in Washington State.


Assuming there are no other prohibitions, e.g. (being a)

convicted felon:

  • (A person) Can possess a firearm if 18 years old or older

and a U.S. citizen.

Note: Non-U.S. citizens can possess if from some Canadian

provinces or if the person has an Alien Firearm License.

  • (A person) Cannot possess a machine gun, short-barreled

shotgun or short-barreled rifle, or parts for these weapons.

Note: Exceptions are police officers, military, or federally


  • (A person) Cannot possess a silencer.


  • (A person) Cannot possess a concealed pistol outside the

home or fixed place of business without a concealed pistol

license (CPL).

  • (A person) Can possess a visible pistol without a CPL.
  • (A person) Cannot have a loaded pistol in a car without a

CPL and pistol is on the licensee's person, or licensee is in

the car at all times with the pistol, or pistol is locked

inside and out of view if licensee is out of the car.

  • (A person) Cannot leave an unloaded pistol in a car unless

it is locked inside and out of view.

Unlawful Use of Weapons to Intimidate Another

Notwithstanding a person's general ability to have a visible

pistol on his/her person, officers should consider whether the

person is carrying the weapon under circumstances warranting

alarm for the safety of others.

The gross misdemeanor crime of Unlawful Use of Weapons to

Intimidate Another (EMC 10.78.020) is committed when someone

carries, exhibits, displays or draws any 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

If the trooper issued a property receipt to you for the guns that were seized, the items listed on the receipt are under the protection of the State Police.

Property will be held for 72 working hours pending issuance of a complaint (violation). After 72 working hours, the property will be returned, upon proof of ownership, if no charges have been filed. Contact an Evidence Officer to confirm that your items are in this category.

Evidence Officers are responsible for the preservation, destruction, and release of all items placed in their care. The evidence officers are trained in storage techniques to ensure that the integrity of evidence is maintained.

Detailed records of transactions involving items of evidence are maintained in order to preserve the "chain of evidence." The "chain of evidence" is the documentation of the continuous custody of items submitted as evidence. A computerized barcoding system is employed to maintain the detailed records needed in order to present evidence in court.

The guns that were not the subject of the charge of illegal display of a firearm may possibly be returned to you. You will need to produce the receipt given to you by the state police and proof of ownership of the weapons. A background check may also be done before the guns will be returned.


After the case is over, if you are found NOT GUILTY or there is some type of diversion of the case, you will have to file a Motion to Return Weapon that was the subject of the violation with the court. The court will sign an order mandating the police department to do so.


If you are found guilty, they keep the weapon. However, again, you can try to file a motion for the return its return. It will, however, likely be unsuccessful.


If you are unable to obtain the return of the weapons that were not subject to your alleged violation on your own, you may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in criminal law. Sometimes, an initial consultation is free or at a minimal cost. You can discuss the specific facts of your situation, evaluate your options and decide how you should proceed. It is never a bad idea to consult with an attorney, especially if the first meeting is free.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I appreciate your looking into this. You said it would be wise to talk to a attorney who specializes in criminal law. I thought when I asked the question to the attorney from it was one tgat specializes In such. I am not trying to be rude by any manner. I guess I want to know is do they legally have the right to keep the firearms that were not the subject of the display. Thank you. I will push the green accept buttn

You were NOT being rude at all by your comments.


When I suggested that you may wish to speak to an attorney who specializes in criminal law, I meant that you may wish to consult one who is licensed to practice in your state, and more specifically, one who practices in the jurisdiction in which you were pulled over. I'm sorry that I was not more clear. Attorneys who practice regularly in the jurisdiction usually know the "ins and outs" specific policies of the police department and of the judges who preside over the cases.


Unless the weapons are being held for evidence, there should be no reason that your weapons should not be returned.


xavierjd and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you