WASHINGTON GUN LAWS

Get The Latest Facts For 2018


All you need to know about Washington gun laws.
We look at all the in's and out's of carrying a handgun in Washington.
Keep reading...

washington state seal

Washington gun laws operate on a "Shall Issue" policy. Open carry is legal without a permit but not common, you will need a permit if you want to carry a handgun in a vehicle (car, bus, train). Concealed carry permits are issued to residents and non-residents by the local sheriff or Police Department. There is no requirement to attend a firearms training course in Washington but you must be at least 21 years old and meet other conditions to obtain a license.

Washington CCW Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer NO
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Weapons Signs Enforced NO
Open Carry Permitted SEE DETAILS
Carry In Restaurant YES
Constitutional Carry NO
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Washington CCW Reciprocity

WASHINGTON 2018

  • Permit Honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permits only
  • Issuing state

How Reciprocity Works in Washington

Under Washington law the state can only honor another states concealed carry license if;

  • the other state honors a Washington concealed carry license.
  • The state does not issue CCW licences to persons under the age of 21.
  • The state has fingerprint based checks for background and mental health history on applicants.

Currently only 9 states meet these requirements for their licenses to be honored by Washington.

Washington Reciprocity State's

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STATES
Resident License
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin

Non-Resident License
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin

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Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah
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California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wyoming
Idaho - Only the Idaho Enhanced Permit is honored by Washington.
North Dakota - Only the Class 1 North Dakota Permit is honored by Washington.
RCW 9.41.073 - Reciprocity

Washington Handgun License

Washington Gun Policy

Shall Issue

Permit Issued To

Residents, Non-residents
CCW License Overview

The area you reside in will determine who you apply to for a handgun license.

  • If you reside in an unincorporated area of a county applications are made at the sheriffs office.
  • If you reside in an incorporated city area of a county the you can apply at either the sheriff office or the police department.
  • If you reside in another state then you can apply for a license at any local law enforcement agency in Washington.
Non-Resident Licenses

Non-resident CCW licenses are issued in Washington state. The process is the same as for a resident of Washington but cannot be done via mail and requires that you appear in person. This means you will need to make a trip to Washington to obtain the license. The application process will take about 60 days.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Have no pending charges.
  • Have no outstanding arrest warrants.
  • Have no felony convictions.
  • Are not subject to a court order or injunction concerning the possession of firearms.
  • Are not free on bond or personal recognizance while awaiting trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony offense.
  • Have not been asked to forfeit a firearm within the last 12 months.
  • Do not have a revoked concealed pistol license.
  • You have no mental health conditions.
  • Federal Law Requirements
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Washington CCW Handgun Forms

Download Your Forms

Processing time increases to 60 days if you do not have a Washington drivers license.

Washington: Places Off-Limits for CCW

washington state flag
Washington state flag

Places Off-Limits in Washington

  • Public schools
  • Correctional facility
  • Law enforcement facility
  • State courthouses
  • Mental health facilities
  • Outdoor music festival
  • Secured areas in airports
  • Places listed below that have Rules that state no firearms allowed on Premises;
    • Colleges/Universities,
    • Licensed Child Care Facilities,
    • Racing Association Grounds,
    • An Emergency Respite Center,
    • Licensed Pregnant and Parenting Teen Residential Programs And Their Facilities,
    • Licensed Homes and Facilities That Provide Care To Children,
    • Overnight Youth Shelter & Residence Operated By the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration
  • All facilities operated by the Office of Administrative Hearings
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

Places Allowed in Washington

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state, except those listed as Off-Limits

Washington CCW Video Clips

Seattle gun tax
Open carry in Washington

Other Washington Gun Laws

Private Sales
Any private sale of firearms in Washington is required to be completed through a licensed firearms dealer. The dealer must complete a background check on the purchaser and keep a record of the sale. There are some exceptions to the law as follows;

  • Gifts between family members or spouses.
  • Sales of antique guns.
  • Transfers of a firearm to a gunsmith for repairs.
  • Guns acquired by the executors of an estate when the owner dies.

Dealer Sales
A licensed dealer can only sell a handgun if the purchaser has a concealed carry license or undergoes a background check. The dealer is required to not transfer the handgun to the new owner for 10 days or when the results of the background  are obtained, whichever one occurs first. Should the purchaser not have a valid Washington state ID card or drivers license, or has not resided in the state for at least 90 days then the waiting period can be extended to 60 days.

Washington Concealed Carry Laws

colorado state capitol building
Washington state capitol building

Washington Gun Laws To Know

NO – Without a permit

Without a License – If you do not have a permit then it is illegal to carry a loaded firearm in any vehicle. You can still carry a firearm if it is unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper.

With a License –  you can carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle as long as you have your permit with you at all times.

The Law
RCW 9.41.050
RCW 9.41.060

NO – Must Inform Officer

Washington gun laws require you to have your CCW license on you at all times you are carrying a firearm and display the permit to an officer if requested to do so. You do not have to inform law enforcement you are carrying a firearm.

The Law
RCW 9.41.050 – Carrying firearms

YES

It is legal to carry in the following areas;

  • State Parks:       YESWAC 352.32.120
  • State/National Forests:     YESWAC 332.52.145
  • State Wildlife Management Areas:     YESWAC 220.500.140
  • Road Side Rest Areas:     YES
NO

“No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Washington gun laws. There are no legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs. They have no force of law unless they are posted in areas that are mentioned by the law as being off limits.

GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

YES – with or Without a permit

Open carry without a permit is legal. However, you will need a CCW license to carry a loaded firearm in any vehicle. Any vehicle means cars, buses, and trains. The minimum age for open carry is 21.

The Law
29-11.7-704

YES
In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

You are restricted to areas of the restaurant where persons under the age of 21 are allowed.

“Yes” or “No” states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with “NO GUN” signs. Check with the staff if this means just the bar area. If we have indicated a “Yes” then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.

The Law
RCW 9.41.300

NO
Washington does not have constitutional carry.
“The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men."
(Art. I, § 24)
no weapons sign in washington

Washington Off-Limit Statutes

Other Washington CCW Statutes

For information on other states handgun laws please go back to the state laws page and select the state you are interested in.

Washington CCW FAQ's

frequently asked questions on washington gun laws

Washington CCW Contact

King County Courthouse

Hours


Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Contact


Address 516 Third ave, Rm W-150

CitySeattle, WA 98104

Phone (206) 263-2626

 

Updates & Data Sources

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SamNicole []AbbynormalTruthsideAbbynormal Recent comment authors
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Sam
Guest
Sam

I heard from a friend of mine that the laws have changed so that anyone born after January of 2001 will no longer be allowed to purchase anything other than hunting weapons (rifles, shotguns). I will be turning 18 in April and am curios to know if this is true.

Cartie
Guest
Cartie

I am wondering with the new law if someone with a concealed permit will get there gun rights taken away if they r on any kind of anxiety or depression medication? I live in Washington state. Asking for a friend.

Abbynormal
Guest
Abbynormal

No one on any type of anxiety or depression medication should be allowed to possess any type of firearm, anywhere in the US.

Cartie
Guest
Cartie

They gave him a concealed permit. Knowing he takes them. I dont see why they cant have guns. It doesnt mean they r going to do anything stupid. This person is a great person and he hunts and works and everything.

Abbynormal
Guest
Abbynormal

If a person is on medication for mental problems, doesn’t that tell you something? They should not have a firearm!

Deet
Guest
Deet

Some people take anti depression medicine for weight loss so you can’t go by that

Abbynormal
Guest
Abbynormal

I’m talking about individuals with “mental problems”. If they don’t have their head straight, they should not have a firearm. Have you learned nothing from the recent mass shootings!

Nicole []
Guest
Nicole []

You are an idiot

Truthside
Guest
Truthside

HI Abbynormal; The remarks you make in your posts indicate the problem with the new imitative. There are all different types of individuals who take medications for mental issues. Saying all mentally ill persons should not have the right to life or self defense is not Constitutional in any way. Via the Constitution we are all guaranteed the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The prober way to determine if someone should not be given their constitutional right to life and self defense is due process in the courts. Before a jury of their piers, each… Read more »

Abbynormal
Guest
Abbynormal

Truthside, To insist that all mentally ill people should have the right to possess firearms is insane. And to also say that “each individual’s case should be determined in a court of law” is even more insane. (Can you imagine what that would do to our already over burdened courts?) This is why we have”Laws”. To set forth “standards” for everyone to follow. Just as there are requirements you must meet to obtain a driver’s license, there ARE requirement you must meet in order to possess a firearm, (one of which SHOULD BE – absences from mental illness.). I am… Read more »

Jake
Guest
Jake

I am a Washington state resident, with valid concealed carry for my state, and was told from a pawn shop that if I were to purchase a .45 caliber handgun that i would need to attend a course or class before letting me get the gun. Does this sound accurate? I have bought a 9mm from the same place with no issues but what there saying is because it’s a .45?

Dan
Guest
Dan

I-1639 just passed in this state which mandates training. It’s not supposed to go into effect until January 2019 though, I believe.

Adam
Guest
Adam

They are wrong. Sadly, I-1639 will change that, but not until 2019. Challenge them to do their research, or just take your business elsewhere.

Banditfrog
Guest
Banditfrog

Where do I find the laws pertaining to police stopping me if I am open carrying a rifle in areas that it is legal to do so. IE: can they stop/detain me if the only reason is because they see my rifle, do I have to give it to them when they ask for it, do I have to show ID, (I watch southsideslakr210 on youtube, he is in Texas) so I want to brush up on Washington’s carry laws and RCW.

Clarsonelle
Guest
Clarsonelle

I am planning on building a rifle. What are the legal steps that I have to follow? Is there any paperwork that needs to be done?

Chuck
Guest
Chuck

The serialized part must be purchased through an FFL just like any other rifle, on an AR15 this part is the lower receiver. Everything else is considered just parts and can be purchased anywhere including online.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Is a shotgun considered a firearm? I am a former Marine and made a phone call to a crisis line. Now I can not own a firearm. God bless Amerika.

Ashley
Guest
Ashley

I am so sorry! You getting the help you need should not restrict you from hunting or protecting yourself. Thank you for your service, and I’m so sorry.

neilbert
Guest
neilbert

I was a resident of Washington state between 2003 and 2005 and obtained a concealed carry license . Sadly, I had to leave Washington in 2005 and return to a state with no reciprocity. I was not sure what to do with my pistol and since the laws in my state are draconian I destroyed the pistol (cut it up into little pieces). I would now like to return to Washington. Did I break any laws of Washington?

Texsea
Guest
Texsea

I live in Texas and was gifted a handgun from a friend. I have no licenses and just keep it as home protection. I am about to move to Seattle and am curious if I have to register this gun at all. I only intend to keep it for home protection. I have no plans to carry it outside my home, except perhaps to a shooting range (and even then it will be in a sealed case). Any help would be appreciated.

Keven
Guest
Keven

No. There is no registration here except for a partial registration on handguns purchased while in state. Washington State has no magazine restrictions either. I cannot provide legitimate legal advice, but it’s not like California or Maryland where you have to register the gun with the state within 90 days of establishing residency. You should be fine. No further action should be needed on your part.

Brent
Guest
Brent

No registration required

Mimo
Guest
Mimo

If I am Washington State resident and have been for years and I have a Utah concealed carry license do I still need to get Washington CPL?

Jason Powell
Guest
Jason Powell

Thank you

Gordon
Guest
Gordon

In Washington, are there any legal restrictions on ammunition used in concealed carry weapons? Other than the obvious license requirement to carry.

Keven
Guest
Keven

Well you can openly carry a loaded gun without a permit, which I did for years. But nothing specifically in the law regarding ammunition restrictions. But keep in mind that if you carry armor piercing, incendiary, explosive tracers in your 45 on a daily basis and have to use that firearm in defense of yourself or others, a civil suit could follow and they will look at the ammunition you used. I like to stick to ammo marketed towards self defense. So no buffalo bore 200 grain flat nose semi-wadcutters in my 357 unless I’m deep in the wilderness.

Walt
Guest
Walt

Do we need to register our firearms regardless of a CCW permit ? ie: local authorities or at a federal level

Christopher Ehle
Guest
Christopher Ehle

No, there is no need to register a firearm, the only thing that happens is that authorities are notified about your purchase of a pistol. Otherwise as long as you get the firearm from a licensed dealer you’re OK.

tyler
Guest
tyler

Can I build a slam fire 12 gauge in Washington

Joe
Guest
Joe

What it the shortest length for an AR-15 barrel and still be legal?

Christopher Ehle
Guest
Christopher Ehle

If I remember correctly anything shorter than 16″ is considered an SBR(Short Barreled Rifle), or if the overall weapon length is 26″ or shorter and fired from the shoulder. It is legal but must be registered and will come with a tax stamp. Other than that I have seen barrels as small as 8″ for some AR-15 pistols(yes there are pistol variants if you haven’t found any within the month of this reply). The only problem with the pistol is you can’t have a stock, otherwise it becomes an illegal SBR. You can find pistol braces which are for all… Read more »

Chanel
Guest
Chanel

Hello,

I’m a Washington resident and have always been one. Today I went to talk to someone about purchasing a hand gun and he told me that I have to be at my current residence for 90 days before he could let me even apply to purchase. I’m 31 and this is the only state as an adult I’ve lived in. Is this right?! I moved but it was in the state and still in the same county.

Kyle Caldeira
Guest
Kyle Caldeira

That is only if you have no Washington state ID.

hashersons
Guest
hashersons

Does it Usually take 30 days to process a CCW. Or does it typically process faster?

DakotaDude
Guest
DakotaDude

When I got mine 4 years ago it took (c) 3 weeks.

Anna
Guest
Anna

Hey a friend of mine’s boyfriend has a large gun/ammo/Kevlar collection is there any restriction on how much he can store in their apartment in downtown Tacoma if they decide to move there?

DakotaDude
Guest
DakotaDude

As long as everything was / is acquired and owned legally, no restrictions on quantity.

Tracy Rhodes
Guest
Tracy Rhodes

I’m moving to the state and have a long rifle as well as a handgun. Can I get my permit when I arrive? I don’t have a lot of time before I get there so am I able to establish residency before I go to pick up a permit?

DakotaDude
Guest
DakotaDude

Have to be a resident. If you haven’t been a resident for 90 days, it can take 60 days to get the permit.
See first paragraph: http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.070

Keya
Guest
Keya

If you live with a felon can personally carry a gun?

Michelle Joe
Guest
Michelle Joe

This is what I am trying to find an answer for a well. I am not a felon and am thinking about checking into getting a concealed weapons permit but I want to first make sure that my fiancee who is a felon won’t get in trouble for possibly being around a gun.

DakotaDude
Guest
DakotaDude

As long as they are owned and registered to you, and she never carries them, you should be ok. I would caution you that marrying someone with a felony will effect you your entire life. Considering high divorce rates in the US… well, if you’re really sure this is “the one and only” for you, you might want to see if she can get her record expunged or have her gun rights restored. Don’t mean to be a debbie downer, but life is tough enough on it’s own.

Robert T Armstrong
Guest
Robert T Armstrong

Can I loan out my rifle for target shooting to a friend in Washington

Russ
Guest
Russ

As of 2014, Washington passed a law requiring a federal background check for all private sales or transfers of firearms. While the law is indeed intended for more permanent transfers, the wording leaves “loans” on pretty shaky ground. Personally, I would not loan out my weapons anymore. There are plenty of shooting ranges in Washington that rent weapons for target shooting on site.

NotLegalAdvice-2A
Guest
NotLegalAdvice-2A

If you are in their presence while target shooting yes, otherwise no. i594 text was amended to allow folks to go target shooting about a year ago. https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.113 (1) All firearm sales or transfers, in whole or part in this state including without limitation a sale or transfer where either the purchaser or seller or transferee or transferor is in Washington, shall be subject to background checks unless specifically exempted by state or federal law. The background check requirement applies to all sales or transfers including, but not limited to, sales and transfers through a licensed dealer, at gun shows,… Read more »

R Adams
Guest
R Adams

When I was younger my ex wife wasn’t following our court order for my visitations with my kids so I stopped paying support I was charged and convicted with a felony for this it has been 11 yrs and I no longer owe anything can I still by a firearm

Russ
Guest
Russ

No. You can request a court to reinstate the right, however.

John Hickerson
Guest
John Hickerson

We are going to be vacationing in Tacoma area for a week in June, what are the restrictions for carrying in a towed (5th wheel) vehicle? We are coming from Colorado and I have a permit for that state.

Boomboy007
Guest
Boomboy007

You can transport it unloaded in an opaque case. You can’t conceal carry, but open carry is legal without a permit. Just make sure to unload and stow it when you are in a vehicle.

Angela B
Guest
Angela B

If my husband owns a guns, do I need to register them to carry them? As long as I have my own CPL?

anam paiseanta
Guest
anam paiseanta

No.

Davis
Guest
Davis

Are there any restrictions on high capacity magazines.

Boomboy007
Guest
Boomboy007

Not yet, but the useful idiots are trying their best.

Sidel
Guest
Sidel

Can I own a gun if I live with family member with a felony?

Luke
Guest
Luke

Yes but you are responsible for preventing their access to your weapons and may be held liable for anything they do with them, even if they take them without your permission.

Terry
Guest
Terry

If moving to Washington state from Wyoming what is the accepted way to transport my weapons?

Boomboy007
Guest
Boomboy007

In a case.

Mike Bolton
Guest
Mike Bolton

All Wa state gun laws are unconstitutional. Can a state restrict free speach? Free press? Can Wa state decide women cant vote? Federally protected rights can not be infringed upon by states. The very fact people are ok with it means, their freedom metrics are broken.

Kenny G
Guest
Kenny G

Your name is Michael Bolton

Hickeye
Guest
Hickeye

Looky here Michael Bolton/Kenny G !! What are the odds? Move it on over 38 special,it’s over velvet revolver.

Robert R.
Guest
Robert R.

So I’m 18, and I’m wondering if i can or can not purchase a rifle? Would I need a parent or legal guardian above the age of 21 to do so or how would that work?

Larry Schierman
Guest
Larry Schierman

I have a few firearms I would like to sell. I am a Washington resident. Can I sell these firearms to unlicensed individuals in Idaho, as there is an occasional gun show at the Washington/Idaho State line, 30 minutes from my home. There are both handguns and long guns involved.