Washington Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in Washington

The State of Washington’s Constitution protects the rights of residents to bear arms. Gun laws for the state, govern how people can use, sell, purchase and transfer firearms in the state. These laws also apply to ammunition. Washington prohibits counties to mandate rules that are stricter than governing statutes. Towns and counties can impose rules about discharging a firearm and where you can carry. Short-barrel shotguns and machine guns are illegal in Washington. Washington has a very long list of restricted areas where you cannot carry a firearm such as airports, courthouses, mental health facilities, schools, jail, prisons, outdoor music festivals, colleges, daycare centers, shelters, and teen program centers. Private firearm sales much go through a licensed dealer with special paperwork that must be filled out. The only exceptions to this are gifts between family members, antique guns, and when guns are bequeathed to you upon someone’s death.

State CCW Quick Facts

  • Shall Issue State gun policy
  • Yes Open Carry Permitted
  • No Constitutional Carry
  • Yes-In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol Carry In Restaurants
  • No Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents/Non-residents License issued to
  • 578,299 Number of Active CCW Permits
  • 25 # of states that honor Washington license
  • 9 # of state licenses that Washington honors
  • 5 Years license is valid
  • 36 $ cost of the license
  • 21 Minimum age for license permit

Washington’s policy is Shall Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: state parks, state and national forests, road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.

Washington CCW Reciprocity Map

These twenty-five states allow a gun permit from Washington for residents, Alabama 

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

These states allow a Washington gun permit for non-residents 

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington only honors gun permits from these nine states, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah. These twenty-five states do not allow a Washington gun permit, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Washington Concealed Carry Permit and Laws

Washington is a “Shall Issue” state. Open carry is allowed without a permit, but few residents do it. You do need a permit to carry in your car or public transportation. Washington issues permits to residents and non-residents. The state police or local sheriff’s office can issue permits. You cannot carry in your vehicle without a permit. You do not need to alert an officer if you are carrying but you can legally carry in state parks, national forests, and restaurants that serve alcohol. You do not have to honor “no weapons” signs. Open carry is legal in Washington. You cannot carry in schools, correction facilities, law enforcement buildings, courthouses, mental health families, outdoor music festivals, colleges, parts of airports, childcare facilities, racing grounds, emergency respite centers, youth shelters, rehabs, and teen service areas.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

To qualify for a handgun permit in Washington, you first must be 21 years or older. You cannot have any outstanding warrants, arrests or charges against you. You cannot have any felony convictions either. You cannot be awaiting trial for a felony conviction or have any past convictions of firearm offenses. You cannot have a revoked license or been asked to hand over your firearm in the last 12 months. You cannot have any mental health issues. Gun permits cost $36 and last for five years. You must prove you have lived locally for at least 90 days and you will need a valid, photo ID when applying. You will also be fingerprinted, and must agree to a background check.

Washington Gun Background Check

Washington is a partial “point of contact” state, and the local police handle all background checks for licensed dealers per the Brady Act. Washington requires dealers to report anyone who fails the background check to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. They have five days to report the denial. People with a handgun permit are not subject to background checks. Washington has an automated system that alerts dealers of people convicted of domestic abuse offenses so they cannot purchase any firearms.

  • Permits
  • Handguns
  • Long Guns
  • Total

WA CCW and Pistol Permit Information

State Concealed Carry Requirements

  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Have no pending charges.
  • Have no outstanding arrest warrants.
  • Have no felony convictions.
  • Are not subject to a court order or injunction concerning the possession of firearms.
  • Are not free on bond or personal recognizance while awaiting trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony offense.
  • Have not been asked to forfeit a firearm within the last 12 months.
  • Do not have a revoked concealed pistol license.
  • You have no mental health conditions.
  • Federal law requirements

Gun CCW Permit Application

  1. You may complete an application form at one of the following law enforcement offices: If you live in the unincorporated area of a county you must apply in person at your sheriff’s office. If you live in an incorporated city within the county, you may apply in person at either the city police department or sheriff’s office. If you are not a Washington State resident, you may apply at any local law enforcement agency in Washington.
  2. Download the application in the forms section on this page.
  3. Complete the form and take it to the law enforcement office with the following; Proof you have lived in the state for at least 90 days Photo ID such as a state ID card or drivers license. If you are a resident alien, a permanent resident card.
  4. Your fingerprints will be taken at the sheriffs office.
  5. You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved. It will take 30 to 60 days to complete the background check and issue the license
  6. Non-Residents Applications cannot be made via mail so you will need to make a trip to Washington if you want to apply for a CCW license.

CCW Renewal

  • CCW licences can be renewed within 90 days before the permits expiry date but not before the 90 days.
  • Licenses can also be renewed for up to 90 days past the expiry date. There is late fee of $42.
  • If a license has expired for more than 90 days then a new application process will need to be started.
  • All renewals must be made in person at your local law enforcement office. The requirements are the same as when you apply for a new license with the only difference being; you will not need to be fingerprinted and you should receive your license in about two weeks.

WA Concealed Carry License Fee information

Permit typeFees when getting a new permitRenewalCurrent license amendmentFingerprint scan feeFee for firearm classesAdditional state fees
Individual | Concealed pistol license$36.00 + fingerprint fee$32.00Replacement: $10.00$12.00$220 - $300
Firearms Dealer License$125.00Replacement: $10.00$12.00$220 - $300
Alien Firearms License$50.00 + fingerprint feeReplacement: $10.00$12.00$220 - $300

Places Where You Can & Can’t Carry a Gun in Washington

State parksPublic schools
State and national forestsCorrectional facility
Road side rest areasLaw enforcement facility
VehicleState courthouses
All areas of the state not listed as ForbiddenMental health facilities
Outdoor music festival
Secured areas in airports
Licensed Child Care Facilities
Racing Association Grounds
An Emergency Respite Center
Licensed Pregnant and Parenting Teen Residential Programs And Their Facilities
Licensed Homes and Facilities That Provide Care To Children
Overnight Youth Shelter & Residence Operated By the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration
All facilities operated by the Office of Administrative Hearings
Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law

Washington CCW Contact

Washington Bureau of Firearms


Monday – Friday:8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Address:1125 Washington St SE,
City:Olympia, WA 98504
Phone:(360) 753-6200

CCW Licensing Offices in Washington

Adams County Sheriff Office

Office Address
210 West Broadway Ritzville, WA 99169

(509) 659-3326

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Asotin County Sheriff’s Office

Office Address
127 2nd St, Asotin, WA 99402

(509) 243-4717

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Benton County Sheriff Office

Office Address
7122 W. Okanogan Place, Bldg. A Kennewick, WA 99336

(509) 737-2777

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Chelan County Sheriff Office

Office Address
401 Washington St # 101, Wenatchee, WA 98801

(509) 667-6875

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Clallam County Sheriff Office

Office Address
223 E. 4th Street, Suite 12 Port Angeles, WA 98362

(360) 417-2266

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Clark County Sheriff Office

Office Address
Clark County Law Enforcement Center Front Desk Reception (main floor) 707 W 13th St. Vancouver, WA 98660

(360) 397-2366

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Columbia County Sheriff Office

Office Address
341 East Main Street Suite 1 Dayton, WA 99328

(509) 382-2518

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Cowlitz County Sheriff Office

Office Address
312 SW 1st Ave. Kelso, WA 98626

(360) 577-3092

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Reference Links

Counties in Washington