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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.
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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 Dashboard

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Washington CCW Reciprocity


  • 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

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

Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah
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.


  • 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
cost of
Cww license
Years Permit
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Washington CCW Handgun Forms

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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


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 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

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

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


Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Address 516 Third ave, Rm W-150

CitySeattle, WA 98104

Phone (206) 263-2626

Updates & Data Sources

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5 Comments on "Washington Gun Laws"

newest oldest most voted
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.

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?

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.