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What are the Gun Laws in Washington?

Carrying, Antiques and Replicas, Machine Guns and Miscellaneous


Carrying (cont.)

The prohibition against carrying concealed without a license does not apply to law enforcement personnel and prison or jail wardens or their deputies; military personnel when on duty; regularly enrolled members of any organization authorized to purchase or receive pistols from the U.S. and regularly enrolled members of target shooting or collectors’ clubs and any person engaging in a lawful outdoor recreational activity, provided such persons are at or going to or from such activities; gun dealers in the usual or ordinary course of their business; carrying unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper; and qualified retired law enforcement officers.

Application for a license to carry a pistol concealed on the person for protection, business, sport or travel may be made to a police chief or sheriff where you reside, or anywhere in the state for a non-resident.

The official shall issue the license within 30 days of application.

The license shall be issued within 60 days if the applicant lacks a Washington identification card or driver’s license or has not been a resident of Washington for the previous consecutive 90 days.

The issuing authority shall not refuse to accept completed applications for concealed pistol licenses during regular business hours. The right to have the license shall not be denied unless the applicant:

  • is ineligible to own or posses a pistol
  • Is under 21 years of age.
  • Is free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony.
  • Has an outstanding arrest warrant for a felony or misdemeanor.
  • Is subject to a restraining order or domestic violence action requiring the surrender of a deadly weapon.

The applicant must submit to fingerprinting.

The license is valid for five years.

The fee for an original license is $36.00, plus additional FBI charges.

The renewal fee is $32.00.

No other additional charges by any branch or unit of government shall be borne by the applicant for the issuance or renewal of the license.

A political subdivision shall not modify these requirements. It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess, on public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools any firearm or any air gun, including any air pistol or air rifle, designed to propel a BB, pellet, or other projectile by the discharge of compressed air, carbon dioxide or other gas.

Those licensed to carry a concealed weapon may carry a firearm while picking up or dropping off a student on school premises.

It is unlawful to carry, transport, convey, possess or control in or on a motor vehicle a shotgun or rifle containing shells or cartridges in the magazine or chamber, or a muzzle-loading firearm loaded and capped or primed.

While knowingly in possession or control of a firearm, it is illegal to enter any portion of any establishment declared off-limits to persons below 21 years of age; commercial service airport, or the restricted portion of a jail or law enforcement facility; areas of buildings used for court proceedings; restricted areas of mental health facilities, except that restricted access portions of a jail or law enforcement facility shall not include entrances or exits, or areas open to public access.

Antiques and Replicas

Regulations regarding the carrying of firearms do not apply to antique firearms which are firearms or replicas of firearms not designed or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898, including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the U. S. and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade, if the person carrying the antique firearm is regularly enrolled as a member of club(s) organized for the purposes of modern and antique firearm collecting, when the individual is going to or from collector’s gun shows and exhibits.

Machine Guns

It is unlawful to manufacture, own, buy, sell, loan, furnish, transport, or have in possession or under control, any machine gun, or any part thereof capable of use or assembling or repairing any machine gun.

Exempt are peace officers and members of the military when on duty, and persons complying with federal law who possess a National Firearms Tax Stamp authorizing possession and who produce, manufacture, or test machine guns.

A machine gun is defined as any weapon mechanism or instrument not requiring that the trigger be pressed for each shot and having an ammunition storage or feeding device which can be loaded into such weapon, mechanism or instrument and fired at the rate of five or more shots per second.


It is unlawful to change, alter, remove, or obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s number, or other mark of identification on any firearm.

Possession of a firearm with its marks altered creates a legal presumption that the possessor committed the offense.

It is unlawful to set a spring gun, but this does not preclude the setting of "coyote getters" authorized by the state department of agriculture or the state department of game.

It is unlawful to carry, exhibit, display or draw any firearm in such a way as to manifest an intent to intimidate another. This does not apply to persons in their own home or place of business or to instances of self-defense or acting in furtherance of one’s official duties.

It is unlawful to shoot any handgun, rifle or shotgun across or along any public highway.

During a state of emergency, the governor may forbid the possession of firearms outside the home or place of business. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state gun laws shall not be enacted.

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