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Carrying of Firearms-Washington

In Washington, a person should not carry a concealed pistol without a license.  Every licensee should have his/her concealed pistol license in possession and should display the same upon demand to any police officer or to any other person when and if required by law.  Any violation to this will result in class one civil infraction.  A person should not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol.  A person violating this is guilty of misdemeanor[i].

A person at least of eighteen years, who possess an unloaded pistol, should not leave it in a vehicle unless the pistol is locked within the vehicle and disabled from viewing it from outside the vehicle.  Violation of this results in misdemeanor[ii].

Annotated Revised Code of Washington permits the following persons to carry concealed firearms[iii]:

  1. Marshals, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens or their deputies, or other law enforcement officers of this state or another state;
  2. Members of the armed forces of the U.S. or of the national guard or organized reserves, when on duty;
  3. Officers or employees of the U.S. duly authorized to carry a concealed pistol;
  4. Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of the person, if possessing, using, or carrying a pistol in the usual or ordinary course of the business;
  5. Enrolled members of any organization duly authorized to purchase or receive pistols from the U.S. or from this state;
  6. Enrolled members of clubs organized for the purpose of target shooting, antique firearm collecting;
  7. Any person engaging in a lawful outdoor recreational activity such as hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or horseback riding, including but not limited that s/he shall have a valid license;
  8. Any person while carrying a pistol unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper;
  9. Law enforcement officers retired for service or physical disabilities.

According to Section 9.41.073, reciprocity to concealed pistol license is granted if:

    • Licensing state does not issue concealed pistol licenses to persons under 21 years of age; and;
    • Mandatory fingerprint based background checks of criminal and mental health history for all persons who apply for a concealed pistol license.

This is applicable to a license holder from another state only while s/he is not a resident of Washington.  A license holder from another state should carry the handgun in compliance with the laws of Washington[iv].

Washington recognizes permits to carry firearms from Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah.  The states that recognize permits to carry firearms from Washington are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.  Permit is issued for a term of five years at a fee of $60.  The Chief of police/sheriff is the issuing authority.

[i] Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 9.41.050

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 9.41.060

[iv] Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 9.41.073

Inside Carrying of Firearms-Washington