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Washington Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

Washington state has garnered attention for its nuanced approach to firearm regulations, particularly in relation to open carry. While the state permits the use of firearms within its borders, there are certain locations and firearm types that are subject to restrictions. In this guide, we’ll delve into the specifics of Washington’s open carry laws, covering the essential details every gun owner or enthusiast should be aware of.

Introduction to Washington’s Firearm Laws

The state of Washington embraces an intricate set of firearm regulations, extending to both open carry and concealed carry. This guide will primarily focus on open carry laws within the state.

Washington Gun Laws Summary

In Washington, concealed pistol licenses are issued to individuals seeking to possess firearms. The application process is overseen by local sheriff’s offices or state police departments, and the state operates under a shall-issue policy. While no purchase permits are required, individuals must undergo a mandatory criminal record background check before acquiring firearms. This regulation applies to both residents and non-residents.

Is Open Carry Legal In Washington?

Yes, open carry is legal in Washington. Individuals aged twenty-one and above without federal restrictions against firearm usage can openly carry firearms within the state.

Open Carry Laws In Washington?

Washington is considered a permissive open-carry state. This means that individuals do not need a license to openly possess firearms. Notably, there are no ammunition restrictions, and antique firearms as well as large-capacity firearms are permitted. However, assault weapons are illegal for civilians, with exceptions granted to law enforcement officers and military personnel.

See also  Louisiana Open Carry

Washington Open Gun Laws Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoNoAssault weapons are generally prohibited except for specific cases.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoNo requirement for firearm registration.
Assault weapon for open carry.YesNoNo magazine limits or prohibitions on large-capacity ammunition.
Magazine limitNoNoCriminal record background checks mandatory for all firearm sales.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not req.Not req.Criminal record background checks are mandatory for all firearm sales.
Red flag lawYesYesExtreme risk protection orders can be issued based on petitions.
Castle doctrine lawNot def.Not def.No specific castle doctrine policy, but no-duty-to-retreat policy applies where lawful.
Background check for private dealersYesYesThe state government has regulatory authority, with local areas having certain control.
PreemptionYesYesConcealed carry is possible with a Washington concealed firearm permit.
Concealed carry permit.NoYesOpen carry is prohibited in schools, colleges, and universities.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleNoYesConcealed carry is allowed in personal vehicles with valid permits.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoNo license is required for firearm ownership.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Washington?

Individuals can legally open carry firearms in various parts of Washington, including:

  1. Restaurants and Bars: Open carry is allowed unless there’s specific signage prohibiting it.
  2. Private Vehicles: You can openly carry firearms in your private car.
  3. Roadside Areas: No state prohibition on open carry in roadside areas.
  4. State Forests and Parks: Open carry is permitted in these areas, including wildlife management zones.
  5. Places of Worship: Generally allowed, unless the governing body prohibits it.
See also  Nebraska Open Carry

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Washington?

Washington prohibits open carry in certain areas, including:

  1. Schools: Firearms are banned on school premises, buses, and transportation for students.
  2. Correctional Homes: Firearms are unlawful in correctional homes, prisons, and similar facilities.
  3. Law Enforcement Offices: Open carry is not allowed in state law enforcement offices.
  4. Courthouses: Firearms are prohibited in courthouses and courtrooms during proceedings.
  5. Mental Health Hospitals: Firearms are prohibited in psychiatric hospitals and mental homes.
  6. Off-Limit Areas: Areas restricted to individuals under twenty-one prohibit open carry.
  7. Airport Zones: Safety areas of airports are firearm-free zones.
  8. Children Facilities: Open carry is banned in buildings used for children’s care.
  9. Public Events: Open carry is not allowed at public events such as music festivals.
  10. Racetracks: Open carry is prohibited during racetrack events.
  11. Prohibited Places: Firearms are illegal in areas prohibited by federal gun laws.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Washington

Preemption Gun Law

Washington’s preemption gun law grants the government regulatory power over firearm use. Local areas can regulate the discharge of firearms within their boundaries and may enforce specific restrictions.

Brandishing Of Firearms

Brandishing a firearm in a way that endangers others’ lives is a criminal offense in Washington unless used for self-defense or legal purposes.

Red Flag Law

Washington’s red flag law allows family members or law enforcement to petition for extreme risk protection orders, temporarily prohibiting firearm possession.

Open Carry While Hunting

Open carry is allowed while hunting with a valid hunting permit, but certain restrictions apply.

Washington’s open carry laws strike a balance between individual rights and public safety. Understanding these regulations is crucial for responsible firearm ownership and usage within the state. Remember that local laws and regulations may further impact the application of these rules. Stay informed and always prioritize safety when exercising your rights as a gun owner.

See also  Kansas Open Carry Laws: Rights & Regulations


1- Do I Need A Permit To Open Carry Firearms In Washington?

No, Washington does not require a permit for open carry.

2- Do I Need A Permit For Concealed Carry In Washington?

Yes, a concealed firearm license is required for concealed carry in Washington.

3- What Is The Age Limit For Open Carry In Washington?

To open carry in Washington, you must be at least twenty-one years old.

4- What Is The Age Requirement For Concealed Carry In Washington?

The minimum age requirement for concealed carry in the state is twenty-one years old.

5- At What Age Can I Apply For a Washington Firearm License?

You must be at least twenty-one years old to apply for a firearm permit in Washington.

6- Does Washington Have A Red Flag Law?

Yes, family members and law enforcement can petition for an extreme risk protection order to limit firearm possession.

7- Is Washington Concealed Firearm Permit Valid For Non-residents?

Yes, non-residents can apply for a concealed firearm license in Washington, provided they meet the necessary criteria.

8- Is Washington A Constitutional Carry State?

No, Washington does not allow constitutional carry.

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