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What is the definition of a "loaded" firearm?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Dope, Nov 15, 2007.

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  1. Dope

    Dope Member

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    Help me settle a disagreement with a buddy.

    Do you consider a firearm to be loaded only if there is a round in the chamber? IE: it will fire if you pull the trigger. Or is it "loaded" if it has any ammo at all in it?

    Dope
     
  2. akodo

    akodo Member

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    First, it is always loaded.

    Second, I'd count it as loaded even if a round was not chambered.

    third, a person should be able to handle a loaded gun, keep your finger off the trigger and keep it pointed in a safe direction, don't forget that it is loaded.
     
  3. LegalAlien

    LegalAlien Member

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    Any firearm that you have not PERSONALLY checked to have no round anywhere in the firearm, should be considered a loaded firearm
     
  4. Jimmie

    Jimmie Member

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    I say it's only loaded with a round chambered. In the magazine only - it's not loaded.
     
  5. mikeb3185

    mikeb3185 Member

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    it is loaded untill u check but after that still treat it as such
     
  6. Jimmie

    Jimmie Member

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    Holy Sunday school answers.
     
  7. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    I usually say that it is loaded but there isn't a round chambered. I consider a gun loaded if there is ammunition in the gun.
     
  8. iiibdsiil

    iiibdsiil Member

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    Never really thought about it. Unloaded to me is with the magazine out and a verification there isn't one in the hole. At the same time, if there is a mag in any of my handguns, there is one in the hole. I do know people carry theirs without one in the chamber, so I would have to say it's loaded as long as there is a mag in the gun that has rounds in it.
     
  9. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    As others have said, all firearms are loaded until proven otherwise. However, in 2005, Massachusetts passed a law defining a loaded gun as follows:

    "For purposes of this section, "loaded shotgun or loaded rifle" shall mean any shotgun or rifle having ammunition in either the magazine or chamber thereof, such ammunition including a live cartridge, primer (igniter), bullet or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm, rifle or shotgun and, in the case of a muzzle loading or black powder shotgun or rifle, containing powder in the flash pan, a percussion cap and shot or ball"

    I suspect there is no commonly accepted definition of loaded. It depends on where you are and what set of state laws you're reading. Col. Cooper's readiness conditions are a far better indicator of the state of a firearm:

    * Condition Zero: A round chambered, hammer cocked, safety off
    * Condition One: A round chambered, hammer cocked, safety on
    * Condition Two: A round chambered, hammer down
    * Condition Three: Chamber empty
    * Condition Four: Chamber empty, no magazine

    Adjust them accordingly based on what type of firearm you're talking about. For example, if you're referring to a Glock (or other DAO semi), conditions 0, 1, and 2 are the same as there is no hammer or manual safety.
     
  10. Librarian

    Librarian Member

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    I think that's the safe operational definition.

    Are you asking for 'how you should treat a gun' (as above) or 'what my state or city has defined in law'?
     
  11. RedNoma

    RedNoma Member

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    While I agree with the safety tips above I see a loaded gun as one that has any ammunition in it, whether it be in the chamber or in a magazine/tube
     
  12. pax

    pax Member

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    As defined by law in Washington state, if there's ammunition in the magazine and the magazine is in the gun, the gun is loaded -- even if the chamber is empty.

    pax
     
  13. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Member

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    I agree.
     
  14. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Hi Dope,

    Since the cardinal rule of firearms safety is to treat all firearms as loaded the definition is irrelevant.

    Selena
     
  15. .cheese.

    .cheese. Member

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    my thoughts indeed :uhoh:
     
  16. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

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    depends

    in CA a gun is loaded if you have a loaded magazine, in NV a full mag can be inserted into your semi auto but the gun is still not loaded as long as you didn't pull the charge and load one into the chamber.
    once you crossed the state line into CA....it is loaded.

    same with lever guns, I got the tube full of rounds but in NV it isn't loaded because the chamber is empty. ...in CA yup...it is.

    Personally I consider it loaded without one in the chamber.

    Until I inspect it, every gun is loaded.
    If I inspect it I still treat it as loaded, even when dry firing it is pointed in a safe direction.
     
  17. hyphen

    hyphen Member

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    If you were to ask me, I would say that a gun (more specifically, a pistol) is loaded when there is ammunition in the magazine. Thereby saying that ammo has been "loaded" into the magazine and fed into the gun. Even if there is nothing in the chamber it only takes a simple rack to put one in there.

    However, a gun can still be considered loaded without an attached magazine a la cartridge in the chamber.

    Revolvers are a no brainer.

    Either way, like everyone has already said and the #1 rule of guns is that all guns are loaded until fully checked and should at all times be treated as though they are loaded.
     
  18. novaDAK

    novaDAK Member

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    To me the chamber empty/loaded magazine isn't "loaded"

    But it is not "unloaded" either.

    Basically, I don't consider it loaded if you pull the trigger as is and nothing happens (not counting manual safetys or single action ;) )

    Unloaded is when you personally removed the magazine and check the chamber to be empty. Still I treat it as if loaded even though 'I know' its not.
     
  19. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Actualy it is more strict than that in CA.

    In CA a firearm is legalyloaded if there is any ammunition attached to the firearm as well.

    A rifle or shotgun for example with an empty magazine, and an empty chamber but with a round in a side sadde or on the buttstock would be defined legaly as a loaded firearm.

    Some states define it as a loaded chamber, but do not count the magazine.
    Others count the magazine as well.

    Outside of legal definitions a firearm is always loaded. If you check the firearm's chamber and there is no magazine, and you had removed the magazine, and it does not leave your hand then you can deem it unloaded for purposes that require an unloaded firearm. This would include cleaning it, taking it apart, or other actions. However the moment you set it down, I would consider it loaded once again.
    Failure to do so may one day lead you to remember doing an action you did another time or another day or otherwise place you or others in danger.
    It takes but a second to insure no additional rounds will feed from the magazine and check the chamber thoroughly.

    Any firearm that leaves your immediate possession for any length of time whatsoever is loaded. Even if you just watched someone empty it, or fire all rounds down range. You never know when they may think for you, help you out by loading it, or otherwise change the status without you knowing. Perhaps they stopped short of firing all rounds, or the slide locked prior to expending all rounds. The same goes for storing a firearm. You never know when your wife or girlfriend or other individual who has access changed the status of the firearm. You can not be sure that you did not change the status of it either. Even if you think you can good practices are a good habit to start because your memory may not always be as good.
    If you have not just checked the firearm yourself and kept immediate possession of it, then as far as you know it should be treated as loaded. It takes but a split second to load a firearm, and after doing so so many times in life it will be a fairly automated step. This means you may not always recall even doing it. Check it, double check it, if you are unsure but think you already did, do it again.
     
  20. NeenachGuy

    NeenachGuy Member

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    Sometimes the definition of a "loaded" firearm changes depending where you are. For example:

     
  21. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    That would be any gun I haven't personally verified to be unloaded. If that's a "Sunday school answer" so be it.
     
  22. 44AMP

    44AMP Member

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    For safety, always treat as loaded...

    As far as I am concerned, if there is ammo in the gun, it IS loaded. Even if the chamber is empty, the gun is still loaded. Put 5 rounds in a revolver, with the empty chamber under the hammer. IS IT LOADED? I would say yes.

    Most states define it as loaded if there is ammo (anywhere) in the gun. Some places go so far as to claim "loaded weapon" if you have an empty pistol and a loaded magazine on your person. You are in control of the gun & ammo, so that = loaded. Just as when you have had too much to drink, but are in your car with the keys in your pocket. You are in control of the vehicle, and impaired. You WILL see a judge (maybe after a fun weekend in jail).
     
  23. Leitmotif

    Leitmotif Member

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    See: firearm.

    For an answer relevant to your argument... I consider a firearm with ammunition in it to be loaded, regardless of whether there is a round in the chamber.
     
  24. VTFatBastard

    VTFatBastard Member

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    Technically, a glock could be in condition 2, but there isn't MUCH difference between 0 and 1, though there is some.
     
  25. macFarlaine

    macFarlaine Member

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    In the UK a firearm is considered loaded until you proove otherwise.
     
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