Washington Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in Washington.

In Washington, adults can purchase a gun without a license. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun license to carry a concealed gun in your car or on (or near) your body, unless you are in your own home or place of business. (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.050.)

For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Washington.

How to Obtain Concealed Handgun License in Washington

To obtain a safety certificate or concealed handgun license, you must apply at the sheriff’s office in the county where you reside. To qualify, you must:

  • be at least 21 years old
  • be eligible to possess a firearm under federal law
  • be a United States citizen
  • not be subject to a court order or injunction regarding firearms
  • not be free on bond pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony offense
  • not have an outstanding warrant against you, and
  • not have been ordered to forfeit a firearm within one year of filing the application.

(Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.070.)

Does Washington Recognize Concealed Carry Gun Permits From Other States?

Yes. Washington recognizes concealed handgun carry permits issued by states that in turn recognize Washington state permits, and that:

  • do not issue concealed carry permits to anyone younger than 21, and
  • require mandatory fingerprint-based background checks of criminal and mental health history.

License holders from other states must also comply with all of Washington’s handgun laws while in the state. (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.073.)

The Washington State Office of the Attorney General website provides a list of states with reciprocity agreements with Washington.

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit

It is a misdemeanor to carry a weapon in Washington without a concealed carry license (unless you are in your own home or fixed place of business). Penalties include a fine of at least $250 (and up to $1,000), at least 24 hours (and up to 90 days) in jail, or both. (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.050.)

Getting Legal Help

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

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