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 Washington State FAQ's on Gun Carry 
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Washington State Frequently Asked Questions About Gun Carry


1) Where can I carry in Washington? Washington State follows British legal tradition, which states that anything that is not proscribed as unlawful is lawful (also called the "Rule of Lenity," which stands for the proposition that whatever is not prohibited by law is allowed.) So the real question is; where can you NOT carry in Washington? There are four main state statutes that one must be cognizant of: RCW 9.41.050 (Carrying Firearms), RCW 9.41.280 (Carry on School Grounds), RCW 9.41.300 (Weapons Prohibited in Certain Places), and RCW 70.108.150 (Firearms in Outdoor Music Festivals). It is your responsibility to read and understand the definitions and exceptions in the law. RCW 9.41.050 is the primary law which affects gun carrying on a day to day basis. This law makes it unlawful for one to conceal a pistol without a concealed pistol license (hereinafter called CPL), and also makes it unlawful for one to carry a loaded pistol in any vehicle, whether it be openly carried or concealed carried unless a person has a valid CPL(see RCW 9.41.060 on Exceptions). Loaded is defined as having ammunition inside of the gun itself (magazine inserted with ammunition with semi-auto, ammunition in cylinder for revolvers). Localities may also prohibit the carrying of handguns in the stadiums and convention centers that they operate, however they MUST exempt those who possess a concealed pistol license. There are also federal statutes you must be cognizant of: 18 USC 922 (q), which prohibit the carrying of a handgun within 1000 feet of a school unless you are licensed to carry or meet another exemption to this law. The constitutionality of this law is questionable in light of United States v. Lopez and District of Columbia v. Heller. To our knowledge, there has been no prosecutions of this law where this is the sole charge. 18 USC 930, which prohibit the carrying of firearms in any "federal facility" or any "federal court facility."

2) What is "Warranting alarm", why do people (firearms instructors, police officers, gun shop employees) say that this law makes it illegal t o open carry? In 1969, RCW 9.41.270 was passed in light of the intimidating actions of the Black Panther Party in both the State of California and in Seattle. Analysis of the legislative intent behind the bill and final law indicated that the Washington State Legislature never intended this to be a gun control bill, and stripped out in committee provisions of the bill which would have prohibited carry within 500 feet of any "public building" for fear it would ensnare a peaceable open carrier walking nearby, thereby violating a person’s rights under Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution. This is not to say that all forms of open carry are lawful. The key word is "peaceable".

3) Can I open carry on a Bus, Train, Ferry, Personal Auto, Motorcycle or Bicycle? (RCW 9.91.025) The right to carry a gun or ammunition in a
fashion is not otherwise prohibited by law on a MUNICIPAL TRANSIT VEHICLE (Greyhound /Amtrak is not a municipal transit vehicle). Busses, Trains & the Ferries are considered vehicles in Washington. You may carry loaded either openly or concealed in or on any vehicle if you possess a CPL (RCW 9.41.050 (2a)). Amtrak If there is nothing prohibiting such Conduct..., then, it is Safe to assume such Conduct Legal. However, Federal Law, Enumerated under TITLE 18 PART I CHAPTER 97 § 1992, states: § 1992(7) Commits an Act, Including the USE of a Dangerous Weapon, with the Intent to cause Death or Serious Bodily Injury to any Person who is on Property described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of Paragraph (4); Under Federal Law, the USE of Firearms with such INTENT is what is ILLEGAL, not just having them. Under Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 930, Trains, including Amtrak, do NOT qualify as Federal Facilities, because Amtrak employees are NOT federal Employees.

4) Can I carry in a bank, grocery store, church? They are all private property and may impose their own rules. The Federal Government may own shares of a bank but they DO NOT function as Federal Property.

5) Can I carry at or near a school? Or College? (RCW 9.41.280) If you have a valid CPL and are picking up or dropping off a student you are allowed on the school grounds. Firearms are not permitted in school buildings. Colleges set their own policies, which ban lawfully carried guns. South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia is the only college in this state we know of that does not specifically ban lawfully carried guns from their campus at this time.

6) Can I own a suppressor? ( RCW 9.41.250) Yes, as long the suppressor is legally registered and possessed in accordance with federal law [EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/22/11 one may begin to use their suppressor in Washington State].

7) I saw a park sign saying no firearms. Is that legal? (RCW 9.41.290) No. Washington State has preempted all firearms laws regarding possession. You may carry in any city, county, state, National Forest or National Park in Washington State.

8) Can I carry with a round in the chamber? (RCW 9.41.010)(10) & (RCW 77.15.460) defines "loaded" in Washington State.

9) How old do you have to be to carry a loaded handgun? (RCW 9.41.240) You must be 21 years of age to carry a loaded handgun in public. See RCW 9.41.060 for exceptions.

10) What states accept the Washington CPL?
AK, AR, AZ, FL, IA, ID, IN, KY, LA, MI, MS, MT, MO, NC, ND, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI

11) Can I carry in a bar? (RCW 9.41.300) No. You cannot carry in a place where alcohol is consumed AND is off limits to persons under 21. Restaurants that serve alcohol are fine.

12) Who am I required to show my CPL to, and when? The law is somewhat vague, but essentially IF you are required to have a CPL in your possession, you are obligated to produce it to qualified persons (such as law enforcement) if they demand it. Also since you have to have a CPL to carry loaded in/on a vehicle, regardless of OC or CC, I would argue a transit vehicle operator might also want to see a CPL before allowing you on the vehicle. There are no firm rules or laws on this matter that I am aware of though.

13) Is there a list of gun friendly businesses? Yes, Friend or Foe is a website you can plug in a zip code or city and find those pro businesses. Green is pro / red is anti. http://www.friendorfoe.us/

14) Where can I see a list of all available training bulletins from law enforcement agencies across Washington? http://forum.nwcdl.org/index.php?action=downloads

15) TSA regs on Flying with a handgun http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... _1666.shtm

16) Where can I get information on firearms & licensing? http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/firearms/index.html

17) Washington Gun Rights Pamphlet http://www.washingtongunrights.com/wgr.pdf

18) Gun Ranges and Gun Shops across Washington
rangemap
storemap

This FAQ is available at: http://www.washingtongunrights.com/faq.pdf

No license is needed to open carry however it is highly recommended that any person who open carries in the State of Washington acquire a CPL. Washington is a “Shall Issue” state for CPL’s. Meaning that if you meet the requirements in RCW 9.41.070 you will be issued a license within 30 days(resident) and 90 days(non-resident) by law.

This document is in no way legal advice. Consult an attorney on legal matters.


Last edited by Bill Starks on Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu May 19, 2011 1:24 pm
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was just reading about PA's recent expansion of the "castle law" making them a "stand your ground" state (e.g. you don't have to first attempt to flee before using deadly force).

Was wondering what WA law is with regards to "standing your ground"?

Another interesting piece of that new PA legislation was that if your use of force was found as lawful, you could not have civil charges brought against you or your family, which is a fantastic piece of legislation that I suspect is probably overlooked in most states.


Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:16 pm
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icon_pray Glad to see someone posting rules in washington. I tried to ask the shoreline police dept, :bash: But they just said use common sense??? Everone's common sense might be differant. They could'nt give me a straight answer.


Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:53 pm
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Cross posting from an Open Carry site:

Aug 2006
Sixteen states have adopted "Stand Your Ground" laws that allow an individual to use deadly force to protect a residence, place of business, vehicle or other property. The laws that originated with the National Rifle Association and got first life in Florida in 2005 have now spread widely through the South and Midwest.
In the last legislative sessions, 21 states brought the bills up for consideration and 15 states adopted statutes.
This year so far Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and Washington have enacted statutes.

Legal use of deadly force was already case law in Georgia and Washington.
Arizona defeated a bill under opposition from prosecutors and police chiefs who argued the legislation would give gang members carte blanche to kill without fear of legal retribution.
Five states failed to enact laws only because the sessions ended before both chambers of the legislature could complete action.
Law enforcement groups in Missouri made arguments similar to Arizona police without success, claiming a deadly force statute would help gang members avoid prosecution.
The Mississippi Prosecutors Association also opposed the law on grounds that it would be a boon for gang members.
But Mississippi Senate Judiciary Chairman Charlie Ross, who sponsored the bill, said, "This allows lawabiding citizens the right to shoot and defend themselves and the law will not second guess them."
The Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys did not fight the bill because it had overwhelming support by legislators in both parties, said Meresa Fawns, the organization's executive director.
The Florida law, which served as a model, authorizes lethal force against intruders entering homes or vehicles on grounds that the gun user feared a "forcible felony."
The law states that an individual in self-defense "has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force."
Florida also forbids the arrest, detention or prosecution of the shooters covered by the law, and it prohibits civil suits against them.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush attributed the 2005 decline in the state's crime rate to the lowest level since 1971 partly to legally arming homeowners, toughening sentences and increasing funds for law enforcement.
Florida already has several incidents involving a cab driver who killed a drunken passenger, a prostitute who shot to death a customer and a retired police officer who wounded a neighbor in a dispute over garbage.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said there also appear to be court cases in Florida involving gang killings that the perpetrators claimed to be justified for safety reasons.
Of 15 self-defense incidents the center has identified, 13 of the alleged assailants were unarmed.
In Louisiana, the new law would presume a shooter using deadly force acted "reasonably" if evidence shows an entry was unlawful and forced.
Louisiana earlier enacted a companion law that allows the legal use of force to ward off a violent attack in a home, business or vehicle.
Besides approval of self-defense legislation in 15 states, Kansas, Kentucky and Minnesota legalized the carrying of concealed weapons. Kansas blocked a bill to prohibit gun ownership by a mentally ill person.
Utah and Wyoming defeated bills to authorize concealed weapon laws similar to those in effect in 24 states.
Copyright Washington Crime News Service Aug 11, 2006

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Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:56 pm
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An update to states that accept the WA CPL: Wisconsin DOES accept WA's CPL.

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Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:14 pm
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root wrote:
An update to states that accept the WA CPL: Wisconsin DOES accept WA's CPL.


FIXED


Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:07 pm
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AWESOME resource here. Thanks!


Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:26 pm
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You might also want to pick up one of these.
http://www.danddgunleather.com/pages/wa ... rights.htm

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Tue May 15, 2012 7:15 pm
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Dave Workman wrote:
You might also want to pick up one of these.
http://www.danddgunleather.com/pages/wa ... rights.htm

Great book have had mine forever even before I knew what a Dave Workman was.:grin:

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Tue May 15, 2012 10:12 pm
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2 questions I have.

I do have my CPL first but something that always had me wondering, and I could never figure out the correct...

1. if I want to go fishing could I legally carry concealed without a cpl. I understand that I can open carry. but concealed carry would I be able to do that also?

2. hunting as it is a Law that you are not allowed to have a loaded weapon in the vehicle while hunting does the rule change for if you have your CPL?

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:49 pm
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Just in joy wrote:
2 questions I have.

I do have my CPL first but something that always had me wondering, and I could never figure out the correct...

1. if I want to go fishing could I legally carry concealed without a cpl. I understand that I can open carry. but concealed carry would I be able to do that also?

2. hunting as it is a Law that you are not allowed to have a loaded weapon in the vehicle while hunting does the rule change for if you have your CPL?




My guess you would have to be 12 miles from any shore to be in international waters with then there would be 14 USC 89 and 14 USC 2. As being concealed you have to notify USC. that you have one on board before their permitted on, they will ask you to lock it up for their safety. closest that I could see was article 19 http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_ ... /part2.htm

Hunting you are not allow a loaded long gun. you can have a loaded pistol with no cpl (open carry) or have your cpl and still be fine. I have been given a random search by FWL to check long guns if they were loaded and tags were in order. they were fine with my pistol

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:18 pm
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Just in joy wrote:
2 questions I have.

I do have my CPL first but something that always had me wondering, and I could never figure out the correct...

1. if I want to go fishing could I legally carry concealed without a cpl. I understand that I can open carry. but concealed carry would I be able to do that also?

2. hunting as it is a Law that you are not allowed to have a loaded weapon in the vehicle while hunting does the rule change for if you have your CPL?

Number 2 only pertains to rifles and shotguns

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:26 pm
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okay rifles and Shot guns

about fishing though I was looking for more of a river or lake Pier type fishing area. on a boat I am not all that concerned where it would be as it is not like someone will steal it.

I heard you can supposed CC when Hiking but I am not sure how true that is...

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Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:42 pm
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Just in joy wrote:
okay rifles and Shot guns

about fishing though I was looking for more of a river or lake Pier type fishing area. on a boat I am not all that concerned where it would be as it is not like someone will steal it.

I heard you can supposed CC when Hiking but I am not sure how true that is...

See (8)


RCW 9.41.060

Exceptions to restrictions on carrying firearms.




The provisions of RCW 9.41.050 shall not apply to:

(1) Marshals, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens or their deputies, correctional personnel and community corrections officers as long as they are employed as such who have completed government-sponsored law enforcement firearms training and have been subject to a check through the national instant criminal background check system or an equivalent background check within the past five years, or other law enforcement officers of this state or another state. Correctional personnel and community corrections officers seeking the waiver provided for by this section are required to pay for any background check that is needed in order to exercise the waiver;

(2) Members of the armed forces of the United States or of the national guard or organized reserves, when on duty;

(3) Officers or employees of the United States 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) Regularly enrolled members of any organization duly authorized to purchase or receive pistols from the United States or from this state;

(6) Regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for the purpose of target shooting, when those members are at or are going to or from their places of target practice;

(7) Regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for the purpose of modern and antique firearm collecting, when those members are at or are going to or from their collector's gun shows and exhibits;

(8) Any person engaging in a lawful outdoor recreational activity such as hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or horseback riding, only if, considering all of the attendant circumstances, including but not limited to whether the person has a valid hunting or fishing license, it is reasonable to conclude that the person is participating in lawful outdoor activities or is traveling to or from a legitimate outdoor recreation area;

(9) Any person while carrying a pistol unloaded and in a closed opaque case or secure wrapper; or

(10) Law enforcement officers retired for service or physical disabilities, except for those law enforcement officers retired because of mental or stress-related disabilities. This subsection applies only to a retired officer who has: (a) Obtained documentation from a law enforcement agency within Washington state from which he or she retired that is signed by the agency's chief law enforcement officer and that states that the retired officer was retired for service or physical disability; and (b) not been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of a crime making him or her ineligible for a concealed pistol license.


Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:18 pm
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thanks STB but that I do know already what I am trying to understand where is states someone can CC while fishing hunting ect...

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Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:07 pm
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