Concealed Carry State Laws In Washington
Concealed carry laws, or CCW’s, in Washington refers to the legally issued permit which allows for the carrying of a handgun or other weapon in a concealed manner within any place open to the general public.
Not all weapons that fall under concealed carry state laws in Washington are lethal, there are some states that regulate non-lethal items such a pepper spray that are carried over a set volume requiring the obtaining of a CCW permit. (In some states non-lethal items require a separate permit)
Every State's Concealed Carry Laws Are Unique In Washington
While in Washington there is no current federal law that specifically address the issuance of concealed carry permits for private citizens as each state is responsible for the control of concealed carry permits within its sovereign borders. All 50 states have passed laws allowing their respective residents to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a permit from their local Sheriff’s office or Chief of police.
In all states and in Washington the only federal law concerning CCW’s is the Peace Officer Safety Act of 2004, (H.R. 218) to lean about this and all other states Concealed Carry Laws see our database on our website US Precision Defense where we maintain a comprehensive listing of every States weapons laws.
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Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitutional Provision States: “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.”
Concealed weapons licenses issued in 11 states will be recognized in Washington State so long as the handgun is carried in accordance with Washington law. 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: Recognize Washington concealed pistol licenses; Not issue concealed pistol licenses to persons under age 21; AND Require a mandatory fingerprint-based background check for criminal and mental health history.
Washington is an "open carry" state for firearms; a person may carry a firearm in an exposed holster without any kind of permit unless there is something that makes it specifically illegal. Example, carrying a weapon onto primary or secondary school grounds or other prohibited places, or carrying a weapon by most felons or anyone convicted of a domestic violence crime.
Washington does not have a self-defense law based on the castle doctrine. However, statutes long on the books are very similar to the more modern castle laws. For example, deadly force is considered lawful in Washington to prevent serious injury or death to oneself or any other person at the hands of an attacker. Deadly force is also justified to prevent a felony from being committed. Washington State’s Supreme Court has held that citizens do not have a duty to retreat before using force in the face of an attacker.
Washington is one of the more liberal states in the country when it comes to regulating citizens who want to carry a concealed weapon, experts say. The law, often referred to as a "shall issue" law, requires law-enforcement agencies to issue a concealed-weapons permit to all citizens who meet a specific list of requirements.
US Precision Defense operates an on-line store, a public forum, a informative blog, and a public database of firearm instructors, Shooting ranges, and Gun smiths. Go to our “home” page and see all the other products and features we offer to the public and our members.
In Pierce County and throughout the state, people have been grabbing up concealed pistol licenses at unprecedented rates. In January, with Tacoma crowds so heavy at times that some applicants reported four-hour waits, LESA set a record for itself with 1,964 license applications, about twice the usual volume.
The number of concealed pistol licenses has been raising fast even before the latest push for gun control. Statewide, according to the Department of Licensing, the number of license holders went from 239,000 in 2006 to 392,784 at the end of 2012, a 64 percent increase. For perspective, that’s about 1 of every 12 adults in the state.
Washington State follows British legal tradition which entails that anything not proscribed as unlawful is lawful, also known as 'The Rule of Lenity.' This gives citizens of Washington State (as well as some of individuals with temporary living status in Washington State) the right to openly carry their firearm without a concealed weapons permit (CWP). Of course the individual openly carrying must abide by the current Washington State laws such as the open carrier must be an adult of a minimum of 21 years of age and must not have any prior felonies or warrants on their record.
From a sheriff in Washington state: As Sheriff, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Washington. I will continue to do so. As Sheriff of Wahkiakum County I will not enforce any laws that are held to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution as protecting the rights of citizens to own and possess firearms.
Washington state currently has multiple firearms manufacture’s or related companies that include: Crossroads Arms, Dave's Guns N Stuff, Dayton Traister Co Inc, Eagle View Research, Gators Custom Guns, Hensley's Firearms, High Mountain Hunting Supply, Mc Cann Industries, Mesa Rifle Works, One Shot Firearms & Acces, Wade's Eastside Guns, West Coast Armory, West Coast Armory Indoor Range, Windom & Company.
US Precision Defense has a members only section along with a section dedicated to women with all aspects of shooting and carrying concealed.