Washington Gun Laws: What You Should Know

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As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it can be to stay up to date on quickly changing gun laws…

Washington gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Washington gun laws.

Is There a Waiting Period to Buy a Gun in Washington?

There is currently no mandatory waiting period. However, Washington allows 10 days to complete a background check on a prospective handgun purchaser prior to delivery of the handgun. If the purchaser does not have a valid permanent Washington driver’s license or state identification card, the time period can be extended to 60 days. The 60-day waiting period may also occur if the purchaser has not been a resident of the state for the previous consecutive 90 days. As of July 1, 2019, there will be a mandatory 10-day waiting period for semi-automatic “assault rifles.”

Can You Carry a Gun in Your Car Without a Concealed Weapon Permit?

No. Without a Washington concealed pistol license (CPL) or valid concealed carry permit, firearms must be unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper. [RCW 9.41.060(9)]

Where Can You Not Concealed Carry in Washington?

There are a number of places in the state of Washington that are off-limits even with a concealed carry permit. They include, but are not limited to, K-12 schools, school buses, colleges/universities, licensed child care facilities, state courthouses, restricted access areas of public mental health facilities, portions of establishments classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under 21 years of age, outdoor music festivals and racetracks. A complete list can be found on the Washington gun laws page.

Is Washington a ‘Stand Your Ground’ State?

Washington does not have a specific “stand your ground” or Castle law. However, the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that there is no duty to retreat if a person is in a place he or she has the lawful right to be and is being assaulted. No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting, by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family, or his or her real or personal property. The same is true if the person is coming to the aid of another who is in imminent danger of assault, robbery, kidnapping, arson, burglary, rape, murder or any other violent crime.

How Long Does a Background Check Take for a Gun in Washington State?

When purchasing a firearm from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer, a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) must be performed. NICS checks can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. If a determination is not obtained within three business days, then the transfer may legally be completed. Washington allows 10 days to complete a background check on a prospective handgun purchaser prior to delivery of the handgun. If the purchaser does not have a valid permanent Washington driver’s license or state identification card or has not been a resident of the state for the previous consecutive 90 days, then the time period in this subsection shall be extended from 10 business days to 60 days.

Can I Carry Someone Else’s Gun in Washington State?

Yes. While retail dealers must record and report all retail pistol sales, there is no registration requirement for handguns. Therefore, specific handguns are not tied to a person’s Washington Concealed Pistol License (CPL).

Are Firearms Allowed in Washington State Parks?

Yes. Those with a valid concealed carry permit may carry inside Washington state parks.

 

Ready to Learn More About Washington Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Washington’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit the Washington gun laws page now…

 

 

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.