State Seal of /application/themes/uscca/images/state_seals/wa.png

Washington Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Updated: 05/24/2019
Carry allowed with my Washington permit?
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
No

Summary of Washington Gun Laws

Washington is a shall-issue state. Licenses are issued at the local level by the sheriff or police department.

Any private sale of firearms in Washington is required to be completed through a licensed firearms dealer and a background check is required. Firearms registration is required insofar as retail dealers must record and report all retail pistol sales to local police/sheriff and to the State Department of Licensing. For transfers of handguns to an individual without a valid Washington driver’s license or state identification card or who has not been a resident of the state for the previous consecutive 90 days, Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealers may not deliver the handgun until the transferee passes a background check or 60 days have elapsed since the date of the request, whichever occurs first.

Open carry is legal without a permit and the minimum age is 21 years old to carry a loaded handgun in public. Some areas are off-limits, including public schools and state courthouses. However, you must have a valid permit/license to carry a loaded handgun in any vehicle in Washington.

Concealed carry is legal with a Washington Concealed Pistol License (CPL) or a license/permit from a state that Washington honors. CPLs are issued to residents and non-residents that are at least 21 years old. There is no current requirement to attend a firearms training course. Washington prohibits the carrying of a concealed handgun without a license except in a person’s abode or fixed place of business. In terms of reciprocity, Washington recognizes permits from other states that meet specific requirements. 

Although Washington doesn't have a specific castle law, the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that there is no duty to retreat if a person is in a place they have the lawful right to occupy and they are 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, or for coming to the aid of another who is in imminent danger of or the victim of assault, robbery, kidnapping, arson, burglary, rape, murder, or any other violent crime.

617k
Permits Issued
7.5M
State Population
8.18%
Permit Percentage
10
States Honored
28
Reciprocating States.
21
Minimum Age to CC

Washington Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Washington allow constitutional carry?

No.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Washington?

Yes, without a permit. Any person who is at least 21 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry. [RCW 9.41.050(2)(a)]

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Washington requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Shall Issue.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Washington to get a concealed carry permit?

21

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you conceal carry weapons other than handguns in Washington with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No.

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Washington issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes. [RCW 9.41.290]

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does Washington allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Washington?

Yes, only with a permit provided: 

  • The pistol is on the licensee's person;
  • The licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or
  • The licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle. [RCW 9.41.050(2)(a)]

Without a permit, firearms must be unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper.  [RCW 9.41.060(9)]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Washington?

Yes.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Washington?

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in Washington?

Yes, in areas of the restaurant where persons under the age of 21 are allowed. [RCW 9.41.300]

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Washington have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Not addressed in Washington state law.

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Washington?

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Washington have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No.

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Washington have ammunition restrictions?

No.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Washington? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No.

Preemption?

Does Washington have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except cities may:

  • Regulate the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdiction where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals or property will be jeopardized; and
  • Regulate the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county or other municipality.

In addition, the Washington Supreme Court has held that a municipal employer may regulate or prohibit a municipal employee’s possession of firearms while on the job or in the workplace.

[RCW 9.41.290]

[RCW 9.41.300]
Red Flag Law?

Does Washington have a red flag law?

Yes. An immediate family member of a person or a law enforcement office or agency may file a petition requesting that the court issue an extreme risk protection order prohibiting a person from having in his or her custody or control, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm.

[Rev. Code Wash. §§ 7.94.030(1)]

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Washington?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess for self-defense, without a permit. Washington prohibits carrying stun guns and Tasers onto public or private K-12 school property, buses, or facilities, if the devices are meant to be used as weapons to injure someone. The law doesn’t apply to police or school security officers, or to adult nonstudents who keep stun guns or Tasers in their cars while they're conducting legitimate business at the school  [Wash. Rev. Code § 9.41.280].


STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION
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."
Article 1, Section 24

Washington Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Washington honor?

Idaho (Enhanced permits only)
North Dakota (Class 1 permits only)
South Dakota (Enhanced permits only)
Utah (regular [not provisional] permits only)

In order for Washington to recognize other states’ concealed weapons permits, Washington state's reciprocity law (RCW 9.41.073) dictates that the other state must:

USCCA Membership Card

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...
Join Today & Become
Completely Prepared
Join Today & Become
Completely Prepared
Learn More

Other States' Reciprocity With Washington

Which states honor permits from Washington?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Washington

Which states honor permits from Washington with restrictions?

Michigan (resident permits only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (permit recognized; see Maine Reciprocity section for details)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

Washington Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Have no pending charges;
  • Have no outstanding arrest warrants;
  • Have no felony convictions;
  • Not be subject to a court order or injunction concerning the possession of firearms;
  • Not be free on bond or personal recognizance while awaiting trial, appeal or sentencing for a felony offense;
  • Not have been asked to forfeit a firearm within the last 12 months;
  • Not have a revoked concealed pistol license;
  • Have no mental health conditions; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial license $36 + fingerprint fee

Renewals $32

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

30 days; 60 days without a Washington drivers license.

Application:

Link to sample application

Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

The process is the same as for a resident of Washington but cannot be done via mail and requires that you appear in person at any local law enforcement agency in Washington. [RCW 9.41.290]

Name/Address Changes:

Contact your local sheriff's office with documentation of your new address. The fee for a replacement license is $10.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

Apply in person for a replacement at your local sheriff's office. The fee for a replacement license is $10.


Washington Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Washington Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete an application form at your local city police department or sheriff’s office or download the application.

Step 2:

Take the completed application to the law enforcement office with the following:

  • Proof you have lived in the state for at least 90 days;
  • Photo ID such as a state ID card or driver’s license; and
  • If you are a resident alien, a permanent resident card.
Step 3:

You will be fingerprinted.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Firearms Training Requirements in Washington

Washington does not require the applicant to complete a firearms safety course or otherwise demonstrate knowledge of firearms safety prior to issuance of a pistol permit. However, the USCCA recommends that anyone who makes the choice to carry a concealed firearm obtain as much training as possible in order to be a responsibly armed American.

Find A USCCA class near you


Washington Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a Washington Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

You can renew your license between 90 days before it expires to 90 days after it expires, although a late renewal fees apply. If your license is more than 90 days past its expiration, you must apply for a new license.

Step 2:

Complete an application form at your local city police department or sheriff’s office or you may be able to download the application through your county website.

Step 3:

You must renew your license in person. Take the completed application to the law enforcement office with the following:

  • Photo ID such as a state ID card or driver’s license; and
  • If you are a resident alien, a permanent resident card.
Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Per RCW 9.41.060, Washington RLEOS enjoy the same privileges as if they held a Concealed Pistol License. No background check is required and the privilege is valid so long as the retired officer has the appropriate documentation from the Washington agency the RLEO retired from and so long as the RLEO has not been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of a crime making him or her ineligible for a concealed pistol license.

Per RCW 36.28A.090, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), as required by this statute, developed a firearms qualification. It is important to note that no background check is required for officers to exercise their privilege under LEOSA.

Although Washington does not have a single qualification standard, WASPC recommends that officers use the qualification course currently specified by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC). There is no permit, per se, that is issued to officers. Retired officers should carry their retired officer credentials and proof of firearms proficiency.

Links

WSCJTC LEOSA Certification information webpage
WSCJTC qualification standard
WASPC LEOSA Information page


Washington Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Washington?

  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, in areas of the restaurant where persons under the age of 21 are allowed.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license?  Yes, only if it is unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper. 
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes.
  • Carry when traveling by bus, train, or other form of mass transit? Yes, with a permit.
  • Carry when traveling by plane? Yes, in the unrestricted area of the terminal, unless posted.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no State statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Washington?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • Public or private elementary or secondary school premises, except that permittees are exempt while picking up or dropping off a student or by any non-student at least age 18 who has secured the firearm within an attended vehicle or concealed from view within a locked unattended vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school;
  • School-provided transportation;
  • Areas of other facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools;
  • Colleges/universities;
  • Licensed child care facilities;
  • Correctional facilities;
  • Law enforcement facilities;
  • State courthouses;
  • Restricted access areas of public mental health facilities;
  • The grounds of any state institution for the care and treatment of mental illness;
  • Any portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under 21 years of age; 
  • Outdoor music festivals;
  • Secured areas in airports;
  • Racing Association grounds;
  • An emergency respite center;
  • Licensed pregnant and parenting teen residential programs and their facilities;
  • Overnight youth shelter & residence operated by the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration;
  • All facilities operated by the Office of Administrative Hearings; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

 RCW 9.41.300 and RCW 9.41.280


FAQ: Washington Concealed Carry Questions

Do firearms need to be registered in Washington?

No. However, retail dealers must record and report all retail pistol sales to local police/sheriff and to State Department of Licensing.

Is a permit required to purchase a gun in Washington?

No, however, per I-1639, after July 1, 2019, purchasers of semiautomatic rifles will be required to show proof of attending a firearm safety training program.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Washington?

Yes.

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Washington?

There is no mandatory waiting period for handguns. 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 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 ten business days to 60 days.

What are the knife laws in Washington?

It is legal to open carry any type of weapon, so long as it is not carried in a way that may cause alarm. It is illegal to own a switchblade or other spring-blade knife in the state of Washington. It is illegal to conceal carry a dirk, dagger or other dangerous weapon.

What are the laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication in WA?

Not addressed in state statutes.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.


Related Information & Links for Washington Gun Laws


Washington Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
05/24/2019

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

05/10/2019

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

04/19/2019

Links checked

04/03/2019

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

02/22/2019

Added info to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

02/15/2019

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

02/09/2019

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

02/06/2019

Added red flag info to At A Glance table

02/06/2019

Updated the number of permits issued as of 01/2019

01/30/2019

Revised public transit info and added statutory link in restricted locations

01/25/2019

Added church info to location restrictions section

01/25/2019

Updated link to sample application

01/24/2019

Added FAQ about alcohol or prescription medication

01/10/2019

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

01/07/2019

Added reciprocity details for UT

12/13/2018

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

12/03/2018

Added parking lot info to At A Glance table

11/28/2018

Added self defense immunity info to General

11/27/2018

Added links

11/08/2018

Added link

10/22/2018

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for Washington


Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email support@uscca.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, "Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

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.

Should you have any questions regarding the legal process, membership or any of the great features and benefits a USCCA Membership provides, feel free to contact our award-winning Wisconsin-based Member Services team at any time.