Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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Prosecutor: Decision in open-carry handgun case near

Man displayed holstered, loaded gun at strip mall


Vancouver’s city prosecutor says he hopes by Thursday to make a decision in the controversial case of a man whom police ticketed for openly displaying a holstered, loaded gun outside a strip mall.

“At this point I want to make sure I have all the information and have reviewed all the relevant case law,” Kevin McClure with the City Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

McClure said his options are to dismiss the gross-misdemeanor case or send it forward in Clark County District Court.

The defendant, Kurk Robert Kirby, 26, stood outside stores at the strip mall at 5000 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. for 10 to 15 minutes on Friday afternoon, openly displaying his .45-caliber Springfield Armory XP pistol in a holster. A store owner called 911, saying he was concerned for his customers including small children. An Albertsons is among the stores in the strip mall.

Kirby, a Vancouver resident, carried a total of 35 bullets, loaded in the gun and two extra magazines, according to the Vancouver Police Department report.

Although Kirby made no menacing statements or movements, and cooperated with police, officers took his gun as evidence and issued him a ticket alleging he committed the crime of unlawful carrying of a weapon.

On Tuesday, Kirby said he could make no comment, based on the advice of his attorney, Christopher Dumm of Vancouver.

Dumm met with McClure on Tuesday.

Dumm told The Columbian previously that he operates a general criminal practice and has “a strong interest in Second Amendment issues.”

The case generated many comments from the general public — and has stirred interest in the open-carry movement, which has staged incidents like Kirby’s in several states, including at Starbucks coffee shops in California.

Activists, whose comments can be read at, say the practice is supported by laws and the Constitution.

The state law that applies to the case is RCW 9.41.270, officials said.

That law says: “It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other 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.”

The text of the entire law, including exceptions such as carrying a firearm in your own home or place of business, can be read here.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.