Washington Open and Concealed Carry Laws and Information


lukem

Administrator
Staff member
Link Removed

Let me know if I missed anything.
 

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TR4A

New member
Localities with Varying Laws:

RCW 9.41.290
State preemption.

The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.
 

TR4A

New member
Carry Restrictions

Washington defines a number of places you cannot carry:
• Any place where carrying firearms is prohibited by federal law
• Public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas/facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools (CRW 9.41.280)
• On the site of an "outdoor music festival" (CRW 70.108.150)
• Restricted access areas of a jail, or of a law enforcement facility, or any place used for the confinement of a person (CRW 9.41.300)
• Areas in any building which are used in connection with court proceedings, including courtrooms, jury rooms, judge's chambers, offices, etc. (CRW 9.41.300)
• The restricted access areas of a public mental health facility certified by the department of social and health services for inpatient hospital care and state institutions for the care of the mentally ill, excluding those facilities solely for evaluation and treatment (CRW 9.41.300)
• Any portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under twenty-one years of age (CRW 9.41.300)
Please see CRW 9.41.300 for additional areas and more detailed descriptions of the restricted carry areas above.
 

TR4A

New member
Automobile carry: and Informing Law Enforcement of Carry:

RCW 9.41.050
Carrying firearms.

(1)(a) Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, a person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his or her person without a license to carry a concealed pistol.

(b) Every licensee shall have his or her concealed pistol license in his or her immediate possession at all times that he or she is required by this section to have a concealed pistol license and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or to any other person when and if required by law to do so. Any violation of this subsection (1)(b) shall be a class 1 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW and shall be punished accordingly pursuant to chapter 7.80 RCW and the infraction rules for courts of limited jurisdiction.

(2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.
 

TR4A

New member
Change of Address: and Alcohol

I could not find anything about change of address. I think you change address with your Drivers License.

I believe the Blood Alcohol level is the same as driving (0.08).

Dave Workman's book, Washington Sate Gun Rights and Responsibilities, is an excellent source. You can find it here Link Removed or at a local gun store.

I gave my copy to my wife's friend so I cannot look these up.

In Dave's book, he says that you CAN drop off and pick up kids at school while carrying. You cannot walk around the schools.

Carrying with a CPL while in your vehicle can be in a console or glove box. This was also talked about in the book as being in your possession.
 
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lukem

Administrator
Staff member
I'll actually order that from gunlaws.com when I order the books for the weekly giveaway. I'll update the page once I've looked those items up. Thanks.
 

m1gunr

New member
1) Where can I carry in Washington? Washington State follows British legal tradition, which states that anything that is not proscribed as unlawful is lawful. So the real question is; where can you NOT carry in Washington? There are four main state statutes that one must be cognizant of: RCW 9.41.050 (Carrying Firearms), RCW 9.41.280 (Carry on School Grounds), RCW 9.41.300 (Weapons Prohibited in Certain Places), and RCW 70.108.150 (Firearms in Outdoor Music Festivals). It is your responsibility to read and understand the definitions and exceptions in the law. RCW 9.41.050 is the primary law which affects gun carrying on a day to day basis. This law makes it unlawful for one to conceal a pistol without a concealed pistol license (hereinafter called CPL), and also makes it unlawful for one to carry a loaded pistol in any vehicle, whether it be openly carried or concealed carried unless a person has a valid CPL(see RCW 9.41.060 on Exceptions). Loaded is defined as having ammunition inside of the gun itself (magazine inserted with ammunition with semi-auto, ammunition in cylinder for revolvers). Localities may also prohibit the carrying of handguns in the stadiums and convention centers that they operate, however they MUST exempt those who possess a concealed pistol license. There are also federal statutes you must be cognizant of: 18 USC 922 (q), which prohibit the carrying of a handgun within 1000 feet of a school unless you are licensed to carry or meet another exemption to this law. The constitutionality of this law is questionable in light of United States v. Lopez and District of Columbia v. Heller. To our knowledge, there has been no prosecutions of this law where this is the sole charge. 18 USC 930, which prohibit the carrying of firearms in any "federal facility" or any "federal court facility."

2) What is "Warranting alarm", why do people (firearms instructors, police officers, gun shop employees) say that this law makes it illegal t o open carry? In 1969, RCW 9.41.270 was passed in light of the intimidating actions of the Black Panther Party in both the State of California and in Seattle. Analysis of the legislative intent behind the bill and final law indicated that the Washington State Legislature never intended this to be a gun control bill, and stripped out in committee provisions of the bill which would have prohibited carry within 500 feet of any "public building" for fear it would ensnare a peaceable open carrier walking nearby, thereby violating a persons rights under Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution. This is not to say that all forms of open carry are lawful. The key word is "peaceable". If your pistol is in a holster, and you're generally not touching it or making gripping movements (except of course, in an actual act of self defense), or opening a coat to expose your pistol to intimidate someone to do something, then the current body of case law (state v casad, state v. spencer) generally makes such carry lawful.

3) Can I open carry on a Bus, Train, Ferry, Personal Auto, Motorcycle or Bicycle? (RCW 9.91.025) The right to carry a gun or ammunition in a fashion is not otherwise prohibited by law on a MUNICIPAL TRANSIT VEHICLE (Greyhound /Amtrak is not a municipal transit vehicle). Busses, Trains & the Ferries are considered vehicles in Washington. You may carry loaded either openly or concealed in or on any vehicle if you possess a CPL (RCW 9.41.050).


4) Can I carry in a bank, grocery store, church? They are all private property and may impose their own rules. The Federal Government may own shares of a bank but they DO NOT function as Federal Property.

5) Can I carry at or near a school? Or College? (RCW 9.41.280)
If you have a valid CPL and are picking up or dropping off a student you are allowed on the school grounds. Firearms are not permitted in school buildings. Colleges set their own policies, most of which seem to ban lawfully carried guns. South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia is the only college in this state we know of that does not specifically ban lawfully carried guns from their campus.

6) I saw a park sign saying no firearms. Is that legal? (RCW 9.41.290) No. Washington State has preempted all firearms laws regarding possession. You may carry in any city, county, state, National Forest or National Park in Washington State.

7) Can I carry with a round in the chamber? Or have to use a certain holster? There is no state or Federal law which prescribes carrying with a round in the chamber other than the normal "loaded" definition (RCW 77.15.460) and the laws that regulate loaded carry (RCW 9.41.010) . It is suggested that your holster choice have some form of retention.

8) How old do you have to be to carry a loaded handgun? (RCW 9.41.240) You must be 21 years of age to carry a loaded handgun in public. See RCW 9.41.060 for exceptions.

9)What states accept the Washington CPL? AK, AR, AZ, FL, ID, IN, KY, LA, MI, MS, MT, MO, NC, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT

10) Can I carry in a bar? (RCW 9.41.300) No. You cannot carry in a place where alcohol is consumed AND is off limits to persons under 21. Restaurants that serve alcohol are fine.

11) Is there a list of gun friendly businesses? Yes, Friend or Foe is a website you can plug in a zip code or city and find those pro businesses. Green is pro / red is anti.
http://www.friendorfoe.us/

12) Where can I see a list of all available training bulletins from law enforcement agencies across Washington? Link Removed

No license is needed to open carry however it is highly recommended that any person who open carries in the State of Washington acquire a CPL. Washington is a “Shall Issue” state for CPL’s. Meaning that if you have no background issues you will be issued a license within 30days(resident) and 90 days(non-resident) by law.

This document is in no way legal advice. Consult an attorney on legal matters.
 

kengrubb

New member
RCW 9.41.280: Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities ? Penalty ? Exceptions.

Couple of points from RCW 9.41.280 on schools and carrying.

(1) 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:

(a) Any firearm;
...
(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:
...
(e) Any person in possession of a pistol who has been issued a license under RCW 9.41.070, or is exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060, while picking up or dropping off a student;

(f) Any nonstudent at least eighteen years of age legally in possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon that is secured within an attended vehicle or concealed from view within a locked unattended vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school;
...
(5) Except as provided in subsection (3)(b), (c), (f), and (h) of this section, firearms are not permitted in a public or private school building.
...

Nutshell summary.

If you have a valid Washington CPL, you can carry while picking up or dropping off a student, but you cannot enter the school building itself.

Does not have to be your student, just a student.

You can come to the school, leave your gun locked in your vehicle, and then enter the school.
 

amanda5.0

New member
Doesn't "concealed" which it states on the application say it all? I'm not trying to be rude just trying to undestand the laws. I have read them.... But am a little confused about "open carry"
 

kengrubb

New member
can i carry in a bar if i am the owner,sober and working?

In a word, yes. There are two relevant sections of law to read over on this subject, but it's quite clear that it's legal for a proprietor and his/her employees to carry.

RCW 9.41.050
(1)(a) Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, a person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his or her person without a license to carry a concealed pistol.

RCW 9.41.300
(1) It is unlawful for any person to enter the following places when he or she knowingly possesses or knowingly has under his or her control a weapon:
...
(1)(d) That portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under twenty-one years of age;
...
(9) Subsection (1)(d) of this section does not apply to the proprietor of the premises or his or her employees while engaged in their employment.
 

8ball

New member
Thanks for the useful list.

If you are a non-citizen of the United States (such as a permanent resident alien), you must have an Alien Firearms License to apply for a CPL. An AFL is required to even possess a firearm in Washington, however these are not currently issued by the Department of Licensing due to a background check issue with the FBI. This law is likely unconstitutional, and should be challenged.

That's no longer true for resident aliens as of July 2009 and could be updated to read:

If you are a non-immigrant alien who is living in Washington State, you must have an Alien Firearms License to apply for a CPL. As of July 2009, permanent resident aliens no longer require an Alien Firearms License. You do not require an Alien Firearms License if you are a non-immigrant alien not residing in Washington, who is hunting or participating in trade shows or shooting events while visiting or vacationing here. For more info, see Link Removed
 

TR4A

New member
Florida added

Florida has been added to the WA state list.

Link Removed


Washington concealed pistol licenses will be recognized in the following states, and concealed weapons licenses issued in the listed states will be recognized in Washington State, so long as the handgun is carried in accordance with Washington law.

Arkansas
Florida* (WA residents only)
Louisiana
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Utah
 

Jet Fixer

New member
Helpful to OC as well as CC folks: (This was posted on the OpenCarry Washington Forum)

1) Where can I carry in Washington?
Washington State follows british legal tradition, which states that anything that is not proscribed as unlawful is lawful. So the real question is where can you NOT carry in Washington.
1.There are four main state statutes that one must be cognizant of: RCW 9.41.050 (Carrying Firearms), RCW 9.41.280 (Carry on School Grounds), RCW 9.41.300 (Weapons Prohibited in Certain Places), and RCW 70.108.150 (Firearms in Outdoor Music Festivals). It is your responsibility to read and understand the definitions and exceptions in the law.
RCW 9.41.050 is the primary law which affects gun carrying on a day to day basis. This law makes it unlawful for one to conceal a pistol without a concealed pistol license (hereinafter called CPL), and also makes it unlawful for one to carry a loaded pistol in any vehicle, whether it be openly carried or concealed carried unless a person has a valid CPL. Loaded is defined as having ammunition inside of the gun itself (magazine inserted with ammunition with semi-auto, ammunition in cylinder for revolvers).
Localities may also prohibit the carrying of handguns in the stadiums and convention centers that they operate, however they MUST exempt those who possess a concealed pistol license.
There are also federal statutes you must be cognizant of:
18USC922(q), which prohibit the carrying of a handgun within 1000 feet of a school unless you are licensed to carry or meet another exemption to this law. The constitutionality of this law is questionable in light of United States v. Lopez and District of Columbia v. Heller. To our knowledge, there has been no prosecutions of this law where this is the sole charge.
18USC930, which prohibit the carrying of firearms in any "federal facility" or any "federal court facility".
Because of the possible myriad legal issues that may arise, in terms of the possible accusation of concealment, carrying in one's car, as well as 18USC922(q), it is highly recommended that any person who open carries in the State of Washington acquire a CPL.

2) How do I acquire a CPL?
If you are a resident of Washington, it depends on whether or not you live in a city. If you live in an incorporated city, you can apply either to your city police department, or your county sheriff. If you live in unincorporated territory, you must apply to the sheriff only. They have 30 days to issue or deny a license.
If you are NOT a resident of Washington State, you may apply to any jurisdiction that you choose.
If you do not possess a Washington Drivers License, Washington State ID, or have proof that you've been a resident of Washington for at least 90 days (such as a utility bill), the issuer may take up to 60 days to issue.
The license cost is currently $36 dollars plus the FBI fingerprint check fee (currently $19.25), which adds up to $55.25. A Washington State CPL is valid for 5 years. Renewing the license costs $32, and a late renewal (within 90 days of expiration) is $42. If a renewal is more than 90 days late, it must be filed as a new application.
We understand that there is some substantial compliance issues with the police departments (though not any sheriffs that we've heard of) in accepting applications during normal business hours. This is unlawful, however this has not been challenged. We do not know of any sheriffs office that is currently restricting the application times for CPL's, and we recommend going to the Sheriff's office if you have any issues with your police department.
If you are a non-citizen of the United States (such as a permanent resident alien), you must have an Alien Firearms License to apply for a CPL. An AFL is required to even possess a firearm in Washington, however these are not currently issued by the Department of Licensing due to a background check issue with the FBI. This law is likely unconstitutional, and should be challenged.
Washington also has a reciprocity law for non-residents of the state. For an updated list, please refer to:
Link Removed
Of the states listed, the State of Utah is the only state which issues entirely by mail. Please go to Utah BCI at:
Utah Department of Public Safety
SOURCE: RCW 9.41.070, RCW 9.41.073

3) What is "Warranting alarm", why do people (firearms instructors, police officers, gun shop employees) say that this law makes it illegal to open carry?
This law, codified in 1969 as RCW 9.41.270, was passed in light of the intimidative actions of the Black Panther Party in both the State of California and in Seattle. Analysis of the legislative intent behind the bill and final law indicated that the Washington State Legislature never intended this to be a gun control bill, and stripped out in committee provisions of the bill which would have prohibited carry within 500 feet of any "public building" for fear it would ensnare a peaceable open carrier walking nearby, thereby violating a persons rights under Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution.
This is not to say that all forms of open carry is lawful. The key word is "peaceable". If your pistol is in a holster, and you're generally not touching it or making gripping movements (except of course, in an actual act of self defense), or opening a coat to expose your pistol to intimidate someone to do something, then the current body of case law generally makes such carry lawful.

4) Is there a gun ban in Seattle?
Despite Mayor Greg Nickels' blustering and media blitz on the issue, there is no "gun ban" in Seattle currently in effect. The nature of the "gun ban" is the use of trespass law, which Seattle city officials, as the "owner of the property" would demand that a gun owner leave and be trespassed, and if they refuse to leave, charge them with armed trespass. Though there is the draftings of an administrative rule currently being made (as stated by a recent article in the Seattle Times), Mayor Nickels has NOT signed on to any administrative rule. It is well assumed that if any administrative rule is signed to that affect, it will trigger legal action, but not a moment before.

5) What does Article 1, Section 24 of the State Constitution actually say? SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. 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.

6) Is there a list of businesses that are pro/anti gun/OC?
Yes, it is located here Link Removed

7) Can I carry on a bus?
You may carry loaded either openly or concealed in any bus or light rail vehicle if you possess a CPL. The law states that you must have a CPL to carry loaded in "any" vehicle.

8) Can I carry a loaded long arm in my vehicle?
As a general rule, no. See RCW 77.15.460.

9) Do I have to register my gun?
Washington State has no registry at all for long arms. It does, however, have a dealer pistol sales registry. However, there is no requirement that secondary sales of pistols be registered with the Department of Licensing. You cannot sell the firearm to anyone you know is ineligible under state or federal law, nor can you transfer a firearm (whether by a sale or a gift) to a person who is a resident of another state (this violates federal law).

10) Where can I see a list of all available training bulletins from law enforcement agencies?
Link Removed

11) How old do you have to be to carry a loaded handgun?
Under RCW 9.41.240, you must be 21 years of age to carry a loaded handgun in public.

12) Do I have to use a certain type of holster?
The law does not demand certain types of holsters. We do however recommend that your holster choice have some form of retention, and we recommend that if you use a shoulder holster, that you use a vertical position one rather than a horizontal one (per firearms safety rules).

13) Can I carry with a round in the chamber?
There is no Washington or Federal law which prescribes carrying with a round in the chamber other than the normal "loaded" definition and the laws that regulate loaded carry. In other words, yes you can carry with a round in the chamber if you choose to.

14) Can I carry at or near a school?
See Question #1 which as a general rule lists where a person can and cannot carry. The short answer is if you have a valid CPL and are picking up and dropping off a student you can carry on the grounds of grade schools.

15) What about colleges?
There is no law against it, but the individual schools set their own policies, most of which seem to conflict with a stated desire to honor all constitutional rights of the students while then going on to ban lawfully carried guns. South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia is the only college in this state I know of that does not specifically ban lawfully carried guns from their campus.

15) Can I carry in a bar?
No. You cannot carry in a place where alcohol is consumed AND is off limits to persons under 21.

16) Does Washington have an assault weapons ban.
No. With the sunset in 2004 of the Clinton ban the ban no longer exists. Some states have adopted similar bans, but not Washington.

17) But someone told me folding stocks and high capacity mags are for cops only.
NO! NO! NO! They were wrong. There IS NO ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN IN WASHINGTON.

18) I saw a sign in a city park saying no firearms. Is that legal?
No. Washington State has preempted all firearms laws regarding possession. If you see such a sign, it is illegal and overridden by state law. Period. End of discussion.

19) Can I carry in a bank?
There is no law prohibiting carry in a bank. Like any private property the bank may impose their own rules. It is up to you to find out if your bank allows lawfully carried firearms.

20) With the Federal Government buying parts of banks does that make them Federal property and off limits to carry?
No. They own shares of the bank, and are merely another shareholder, and cannot make the bank property function as Federal property.

21) Who am I required to show my CPL to, and when?
The law is somewhat vague, and the wording even worse, but essentially if you are required to have a CPL in your posession, you are obligated to produce it to qualified persons (such as law enforcement) if they demand it. Also since you have to have a CPL to carry loaded on a vehicle, regardless of OC or CC, I would argue a transit vehicle operator might also want to see a CPL before allowing you on the vehicle. There are no firm rules or laws on this matter that I am aware of though. Essentially I would produce to people such as cops or transit operators if the CPL is required by them to verify my legal status to carry the gun.

I'm pretty sure that I understand the intent of the law as stated in the RCWs. The question I have relates to businesses, hospitals, etc. that have signs saying that firearms are prohibitted on the premises. If the state does not specifically prohibit CCW in these places, what are the legal ramifications to legal CCW in these places? Does the state not preempt these types of prohibitions?
 

m1gunr

New member
I'm pretty sure that I understand the intent of the law as stated in the RCWs. The question I have relates to businesses, hospitals, etc. that have signs saying that firearms are prohibitted on the premises. If the state does not specifically prohibit CCW in these places, what are the legal ramifications to legal CCW in these places? Does the state not preempt these types of prohibitions?

Private property is private. The signs carry no weight.

You can & will be asked to leave (if found in non-compliance of their rules) and if you refuse to leave you can be trespassed and cited.
 

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