Many states in the United States are considered to be "shall issue"
states, but Washington is one of the first to have this decree. Through
this decree a city police officer or a county sheriff may grant a
concealed weapons permit to anyone who applies.
Those who apply must meet the necessary requirements and be at least
twenty-one-years-old. These requirements include not having any
outstanding warrants, not having any felony offense convictions, and
not having any misdemeanor offense convictions for domestic violence.
The open carrying of any kind of firearm is illegal by Washington law.
Open carry laws have been under debate for over forty years, and many
have tried to amend the law.
Open Carry Laws
The law states that individuals may openly carry firearms in the state
borders of Washington only when in a vicinity where it is lawful to
have a loaded handgun in possession. The only lawful way individuals
are allowed to have open carry firearms is if they are under concealed
weapons permits while in a vehicle.
Firearms are always prohibited from school property, however some
exceptions apply. For instance, if an individual has a license issued
under RCW 9.41.070 or does not need to meet the licensing requirements
of RCW 9.41.060, he or she is eligible to carry a firearm while
dropping off or picking up a student. An individual who is over the age
of eighteen also has the right to have a firearm in possession if the
weapon is safely secured in an occupied motor vehicle and the weapon is
out of view and locked in an unoccupied vehicle while the individual
conducts organized businesses on the school property.
Prohibiting Firearms from Washington
Washington law states that the city governments, county governments,
local governments, and other municipality are not allowed to stipulate
more restrictive laws than that of state laws on firearms. Local
governments do however have jurisdictions in certain areas. Some of
these areas include vicinities where domestic animals, humans, and
personal property will be inhibited by possessing a firearm.
Nevertheless the right to use a firearm for reasons of self-defense or
in the defense of others is lawful, but should be used with extreme
caution. Firearms are restricted in all convention centers and sports
stadiums that are operated through county or city governments. Under
these circumstances concealed weapons are allowed with those who
possess the correct permits and demonstrate that they can handle
firearms adequately. Firearms may also be possessed in the
establishments that sell firearms.
Possession Restrictions and Allowances
Washington considers possession a firearm in Washington while not a
state resident to be a Class C Felony offense as stated in Washington's
Alien Firearm Licensing law. Background check used to be standard for
non-residents during license issuing, but the process soon became too
difficult and issuing firearms to non-residents was no longer
permitted. This law was revoked a short time later.
Pointing a firearm at another is considered a gross misdemeanor.
Besides accepting the permits of the state, Washington also accepts the
permits of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, North
Carolina, Utah, and Oklahoma.