Concealed Carry License in Washington

Concealed Carry License in Washington


It seems that every time there is a school shooting, social media booms with individuals who deem themselves strong supporters of gun control, while seemingly not caring about the topic minutes before they heard the news. Rest assured, in the wake of any school shooting, citizens can expect to see a politician milking and exploiting the tragedy to turn it into an opportunity to try to rile up the masses to garner emotional, rather than logical, support of stricter gun control in order to prevent you, me, and other law abiding citizens from protecting themselves and their family from the monsters of the world. Since Justice Alito penned a short list of presumptively lawful restrictions (infringements) on our Second Amendment rights, the question remains: What restrictions are in place within the State of Washington?

The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer are strong supporters of the Second Amendment.Because we devote a substantial portion of our practice to such an endeavor, we are able to expedite the process of restoring your right to possess firearms We pride ourselves on the fact that we have handled hundreds of cases restoring a client’s right to possess firearms. But, not only to we help our clients restore their firearm possession rights, we also offer services to clients wishing to obtain a Washington concealed carry permit.

Because pistol concealed carry permits, often also referred to as carrying a concealed weapon or CCW, are created by and issued under state law, the laws governing what is permissible and prohibited can vary greatly from state-to-state. Because of these differences, it is important to understand not only your rights, but also the restrictions placed on your right to carry a concealed pistol.

Pursuant to RCW 9.41.070, “The chief of police of a municipality or the sheriff of a county shall within thirty days after the filing of an application of any person, issue a license to such person to carry a pistol concealed on his or her person within this state for five years from date of issue, for the purposes of protection or while engaged in business, sport, or while traveling. However, if the applicant does not have a valid permanent Washington driver's license or Washington state identification card or has not been a resident of the state for the previous consecutive ninety days, the issuing authority shall have up to sixty days after the filing of the application to issue a license. The issuing authority shall not refuse to accept completed applications for concealed pistol licenses during regular business hours.”

This means that the chief of police or sheriff MUST issue your CCW permit within 30 days and the only exception to extend that time period to 60 days is if you have not been a Washington resident for 90+ days.

Washington and Federal statutes lay out a framework of various reasons why your CCW permit may be denied. RCW 9.41.070 provides some reasons why the CCW will not be issued, such as:

  1. You are under the age of 21;
  2. You currently have pending criminal charges;
  3. You have outstanding arrest warrants;
  4. You have felony convictions on your record
  5. You are subject to a court order or injunction that concerns the possession of a firearm
  6. You are free on bond or recognizance and are currently awaiting trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony charge;
  7. You have been asked to forfeit a firearm in the last 12 months;
  8. You have a revoked concealed pistol license;
  9. You have no mental health conditions;
  10. You meet all of the Federal Law Requirements.

Under Federal law, the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal omnibus consolidated Appropriations Act make possession of a firearm unlawful if they are:

  • Fugitives from justice;
  • Persons who are unlawful users of or are addicted to narcotics or any other controlled substances;
  • Persons adjudicated as a mental defective or who have been committed to a mental institution;
  • Persons who have been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one (1) year;
  • Persons who are under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one (1) year;
  • Military veterans discharged under dishonorable conditions;
  • Persons who have renounced U.S. citizenship;
  • Aliens illegally in the U.S.;
  • Persons subject to a court order that restrains them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner;
  • And persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Possessing a Washington CCW permit does not grant you unfettered movement throughout the United States. It is extremely important to understand that a Washington CCW permit is only valid in the State of Washington and in any states that honor Washington’s CCW permit. There are currently twenty states that honor a Washington CCW permit, which are as follows: 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.