WASHINGTON GUN LAWS

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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 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 CPL 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 CPL 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 CPL 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
CPL 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 CPL 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 CPL

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 CPL 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 CPL FAQ's

frequently asked questions on washington gun laws

Washington CPL 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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Riley
Guest
Riley

Can anyone tell me the laws on building an Ar-15 in washington? Can I just buy one of the kits and then buy a stripped lower and put it together legally?

Joel
Guest
Joel

You can build an AR-15 in WA, but the lower receiver has to be shipped to a FFL.

person
Guest
person

Does anyone know the requirements to shoot your firearms on your own property?

Bobo
Guest
Bobo

Your best bet is to call the Sheriff’s office. If you’re within the city limits, I’m pretty sure it isn’t allowed. But living outside the city limits, you’d have to have a back stop like a berm, sandbags or large steel plates like those in a firing range. Of course you don’t want to set-up a shooting range aimed directly towards your neighbor’s home. But yeah, the Sheriffs department will be your best bet!

Lance
Guest
Lance

Are there any laws on the books about vertical fore-grips? The communist state of California has outlawed then I heard.

Gbob
Guest
Gbob

I just started carrying and I have my CPL how many rounds am I allowed in my magazine to carry

jimmy
Guest
jimmy

someone I know bought a 15 rd mag from Sig. you had to enter a zip code to confirm it can be shipped to the state. I’m sure a local gun store will also have the answer.

Disillusioned
Guest
Disillusioned

All my life I thought I lived in America where we had the right to bear arms (constitutional carry). Silly me.

Philip S Lyons
Guest
Philip S Lyons

The prohibition to carry during times of declared emergencies bothers me.

Ken
Guest
Ken

(1) The governor after proclaiming a state of emergency and prior to terminating such, “may”, in the area described by the proclamation issue an order prohibiting:

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Hard to admit this but I am a convicted felon (2) one is a class C and the other I believe is a Class B (possibly classified as gross misdemeanor) It has been 20 years since the most recent conviction (Class C – 1999) and 23 years since the oldest conviction (Class B – 1996), since the most recent conviction I have been on the “straight and narrow”, no new convictions of ANY KIND, squeaky clean criminal record and likewise with driving record. I DO still owe some restitution and court fees but that’s it, I am in no legal… Read more »

Hector
Guest
Hector

I have a felony conviction that I just vacated and restored my gun rights. I would definitely consult with an attorney on your matter. I do believe all restitution has to be paid before vacating any felony. I started my journey of restoring my gun rights in January 2019 it is May 23, 2019 and I picked up my gun from Cabela’s 2 days ago. Good luck.

John
Guest
John

I have a CPL for the state of Washington, I have a 9mm. So I go to purchase a pistol for my wife and was denied. They gave me a number and told me to go on line to NICS appeal website. For the life of me I don’t why I was denied. I haven’t done anything wrong or gotten in to any trouble with the law. So I go to the website and to me it’s confusing can anybody help me out.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Did you tell them you were buying the gun for someone else when you filled out the form? That might be considered a straw purchase and maybe why you were declined.

If your wife is getting a gun, she should fill out the paperwork. Looking forward to hearing what went wrong.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I meant to add, I don’t know if you can buy guns for anyone else. I’d just play it very safe, if my wife wanted a gun, I’d have her fill the paperwork out herself.

Chris E
Guest
Chris E

I don’t know if your situation has changed but I believe the transaction falls under transferal which would require the person to be at the place of transaction to sign paperwork in order to own the weapon even if the transfer itself has no monetary transaction, basically the both of you need to be present to sign necessary paperwork according to RCW 9.41.114

Lucky
Guest
Lucky

Same thing with me. I thought it was possibly due to a recent Port and Railroad clearance check (both good). However, after contacting NICS they sent me a new fingerprint card. I did not return it but the next gun purchase went through with no problems

HowardP
Guest
HowardP

You will run into trouble when you try to buy a gun for another person. You would be better off letting her go in and purchase at herself

Monty
Guest
Monty

can you use your gun to stop another crime in progress?

Joe Munger
Guest
Joe Munger

Yes

Monty
Guest
Monty

Can you use your gun to stop another crime?

John Thornburg
Guest
John Thornburg

Are those who posses an Oregon Concealed Handgun License able to get a non resident Washington CPL by going to a County Sheriff’s Office such as Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Isaiah
Guest
Isaiah

Yes

Stag Douglas Rye
Guest
Stag Douglas Rye

Is there any way that I can check the progress of how my ccw is going. I went to the court house to get my ccw updated because my paper ccw was fading and I wanted the new hard card copy. Now I thought that this would take 30 days or less. It’s now going on 45 days or so. Saying that, I also know that it could take up to 60 days to get by mail. I guess what I’m asking is to how or to whom to I get with on to find out what going on with… Read more »

Joe Munger
Guest
Joe Munger

My ccw always arrived within 2 weeks. This was Pierce county.

long
Guest
long

short answer is no Firearm Registration. Most states in the U.S. do not require registration of guns and there is no Federal program to register guns. In fact under Federal law a national gun registry is illegal and eight states also have bans on any gun registry.
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HowardP
Guest
HowardP

They may tell you there is no registration requirements in a state. However, when you apply to purchase any gun (or rifle) the serial number is sent in with that information. If you decide to buy a different gun, you have to reapply and they will attach the new guns serial number with the new application. So they are definitely tracking the serial numbers of every gun you purchase nowadays.

long
Guest
long

I see there is some sort of exception to the rules of sales granted to executors in such cases, but couldn’t see what the actual exception is. Can you tell me what is required to sell them in this instance. Note, about half the firearms are most likely registered to my deceased friend, while the rest were acquired cash on the barrel head over the course of 30 years
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R. Gannon
Guest
R. Gannon

Firearms can pass directly to a named heir, or designated Executor (e.g.: by inheritance or sale), without the necessity of going through an FFL. However, if the heir or Executor THEN wishes to sell or transfer the firearm(s) to another person, it can only be done by using the services of an FFL to handle the transfer.

Shane Wohl
Guest
Shane Wohl

Does my ccp expire on the first second of the expiration date or the last? Like car tabs, expire in March means end of March, not March 1st

Vincent
Guest
Vincent

Car tabs expire on the exact date of the month you purchased them e.g. if purchased on the 18th there expired on the 18th.
You do however have up to 90 days to renew your cwp. You can start the renewal 2 weeks early. Keep in mind once your ccp/cwp has expired you do not have a valid permit regardless of renewal application progress.

Vincent
Guest
Vincent

Sorry the ccp is exactly like tabs. The if its the 18 that it was issued its the 18 then its invalid.

ChrisP
Guest
ChrisP

Under RCW 46.10.495 – Snowmobiles this seems to be related but not limited to hunting. As a radio technician I am called upon to utilize a snowmobile sometimes yearly to access high altitude radio sites and would like to carry when I do.
Am I to understand I have no way around this restriction?

Tim
Guest
Tim

You can carry on the snowmobile. You can’t carry loaded weapon or hunt from snowmobile. Just keep your handgun unloaded (see definition of loaded) and don’t shoot the animal that is charging you from the snowmobile – try to get of the machine before the shot.

Katrien Fry
Guest
Katrien Fry

Im trying to find out if i need a permit to carry my bb gun with me

Mark Hoyt
Guest
Mark Hoyt

Please post the new Washington state gun laws. Thank you.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Do you have to have a permit to conceal a .22 handgun?

Jon
Guest
Jon

Yes it’s still a handgun, regardless of the caliber.

Chris E
Guest
Chris E

Any weapon that expels a round with gun powder will be applicable to firearm laws. Airgun’s are exempt from firearm laws.

Ken mills
Guest
Ken mills

My father in-law gave me a 38 special years ago. It has been locked in a safe since. I recently applied for a conceal carry permit, do I need to register the gun itself?

Jon
Guest
Jon

You used to not have to register it. Now with new gun laws and bills passed you should call your county courthouse.

Airetime
Guest
Airetime

short answer is no Firearm Registration. Most states in the U.S. do not require registration of guns and there is no Federal program to register guns. In fact under Federal law a national gun registry is illegal and eight states also have bans on any gun registry.