Stun Gun Laws in Washington

Learn about stun gun laws and possession requirements in Washington.

Washington splits electronic incapacitation devices into two categories. The first category, identified as electronic shock devices in this article, includes all devices, objects, or instruments that are used or intended to be used as a weapon with the intent to injure a person by an electric shock, charge, or impulse. The second category is projectile stun guns, which are electronic devices that shoot electrically-charged, wired probes designed to incapacitate a person or animal.

(Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9A.04.110, 9.41.280.)

This article describes Washington laws regarding who may not have electronic shock devices and projectile stun guns, and the circumstances or situations when carrying an electronic incapacitation device is illegal in the state.

To learn more about how electronic incapacitation devices work, and how permitting laws vary by state, see State Gun Laws and Permit Requirements.

People Who May Not Carry an Electronic Incapacitation Device in Washington

In Washington, most people may purchase, possess (openly or concealed), or use a nonlethal electronic shock device or projectile stun gun for self-defense without obtaining a permit.

Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying an Electronic Incapacitation Device is Illegal

It is illegal to carry or possess an electronic shock device or a projectile stun gun at or on school facilities. For purposes of this law, “school facilities” means public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities being used exclusively by public or private schools. Peace officers and specified others are exempt from this rule. Non-students who are at least 18-years-old may keep an electronic incapacitation device secured in an attended vehicle or concealed from view within a locked unattended vehicle. Violation of this law is a gross misdemeanor.

(Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.280.)

Note that Washington counties and cities may have additional restrictions on the possession of electronic incapacitation devices, so be sure and check with your local municipality for rules and regulations.

Assaults Using an Electronic Incapacitation Device

Anyone who uses a projectile stun gun to assault a peace officer commits a Class C felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both.

(Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9A.36.031, 9A.20.021.)

Anyone who, by an act of criminal negligence, causes bodily harm to another person through the use of an electronic shock device or projectile stun gun commits a Class C felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both.

(Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9A.36.031, 9A.20.021.)

Penalties for Stun Gun Carry Violations

It is a gross misdemeanor to carry or possess an electronic shock device or projectile stun gun at or on school facilities. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to 364 days in jail, or both.

(Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.280, 9A.20.021.)

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to purchase, carry, or use a gun in Washington, or if you are facing charges for a stun gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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