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Old 08-28-2014, 09:24 AM   #1
Joined: Aug 2014
From: washington state
Posts: 1
quesiton about warning shots

Greetings. I have a few questions and have not been able to find much of an answer. Here in washington state are warning shots authorized on your own private property and obiviously not aimed at whomever you are warning to get off of your property. Also is there an RCW for this? Just wondering more specifically Mason County. Thanks.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:27 PM   #2
BigStick's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2010
From: Sherwood, OR
Posts: 371
The short answer is No, they are not "authorized" as warning shots.

If you are justified in using it, then use it, otherwise it is still considered assault with a deadly weapon, or you will at the least get hit with illegal discharge type laws. The exceptions that allow you to fire in self-defense only apply if deadly force is authorized, not just to scare people.

At least that is how I remember interpreting the RCWs. I don't recall any specific provisions for warning shots. I don't remember reading that a warning shot is illegal either, just not authorized for that purpose. I do seem to remember a news story a few months after Biden said to do that, and the guy got prosecuted for a warning shot. Here are a few articles I found about Shotgun Joe's advice:

Long version, it probably depends on your responding officers and the prosecutor.

Wash. state man says shooting followed VP Biden's advice | Local & Regional | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO News

BIDEN SCORES AGAIN! Washington Homeowner Arrested After Firing Warning Blast With Shotgun - Bearing Arms

Man Takes Biden

New developments in 'Joe Biden defense' case : #patriotupdate @patriotupdate!

In at least the last case, the prosecutor chose to drop the weapons charge and just go with obstructing an officer. All of the articles are light on details.
Old 08-28-2014, 07:56 PM   #3
Fast Eddie's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2012
From: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 266
Warning shots? Generally, no good thing will come of it, IMO.
Old 03-29-2018, 08:01 AM   #4
lhecker51's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2018
From: Federal Way, WA
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by Fast Eddie View Post
Warning shots? Generally, no good thing will come of it, IMO.

Why would you consider warning shots? Maintain distance and use verbal warnings that if not heeded, result in direct engagement without warning shots IMHO.
Old 05-23-2018, 09:34 PM   #5
Fast Eddie's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2012
From: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 266
Unless you’re Joe Biden.
Old 07-16-2018, 11:10 AM   #6
Cerberus Group's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2018
From: Goldendale, Washington
Posts: 2
You could be charged with "Reckless Endangerment"

RCW 9A.36.050

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