court granted discretionary review of this district court
prosecution to determine if the crime of unlawful possession
of a loaded rifle in a vehicle requires a mental state. We
conclude that the legislature did not impose a mental state
and that this safety regulation does not require one.
Accordingly, we affirm.
Glen Pinkham was charged in the Yakima County District Court
with one count of possession of a loaded rifle in a vehicle
in violation of RCW 77.15.460(1) after being seen field
dressing an elk by a wildlife officer. The complaint charging
the crime alleged that he "knowingly" committed the
case proceeded to jury trial; the officer was the sole
witness. Despite the knowledge element alleged in the
charging document, the court, over defense objection, gave
the State's proposed "to convict" instruction
that did not include a knowledge element. The jury convicted
as charged. The superior court affirmed on appeal.
court granted discretionary review to resolve the mental
state question. A panel considered the matter without oral
sole question presented by this appeal is one that was not
discussed or resolved in State v. Olney, 117 Wn.App.
524, 72 P.3d 235 (2003), review denied, 151 Wn.2d
1004 (2004). Did the legislature intend that
prosecution of the offense of possessing a loaded weapon in a
vehicle require proof of a particular mental state, such as
A person is guilty of unlawful possession of a loaded rifle
or shotgun in a motor vehicle, as defined in RCW 46.04.320
(a) The person carries, transports, conveys, possesses, or
controls a rifle or shotgun in a motor vehicle . . . except
as allowed by department rule; and
(b) The rifle or shotgun contains shells or cartridges in the
magazine or chamber.
RCW77.15.460(1). This offense is a misdemeanor. RCW
77.15.460(3). It was enacted in 1998. Laws OF 1998, ch. 190,
the statute itself, legislative history materials are silent
on the question of whether a mental state was intended.
Petitioner argues that the crime should not be treated as a
strict liability offense, likening the situation to State
v. Anderson,141 Wn.2d 357, 5 P.3d 1247 (2000). There,
our court determined that the crime of unlawful possession of
a firearm in ...