Opencarry gun case ends with diversion deal
Kurk Kirby wouldn’t describe himself as an open-carry gun advocate. He says he likes to protect himself, and most of the time, his weapon is concealed. But what happened March 19 got Kirby in some hot water and sparked a nationwide debate on open-carry gun rights. So, the 27-year-old said he was relieved when the case was resolved Wednesday with no jail time and just a small fine.The Vancouver man accused of openly carrying a gun in a way that witnesses said warranted alarm received a one-year diversion agreement from Clark County District Court Judge Darvin Zimmerman.If he doesn’t break the law, pays a $485 fine and takes a one-time gun safety course in the next year, the charge of unlawfully carrying a weapon will be dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled, assistant city attorney Darren DeFrance said. In other words, the charge will be erased.Such an agreement is commonly given to first-time offenders charged with misdemeanor crimes.Kirby was expected to go to trial Oct. 28, where he said he was prepared to give an entirely different account of what happened March 19, when several witnesses claimed he looked like “Wyatt Earp, ready to draw.” But the Sept. 30 conviction of another open-carry defendant, Joshua R. Watson — a case which had a very similar set of facts — led Kirby’s attorney, Christopher Dumm, to rethink taking the case to trial.