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.
Washington Open Gun Laws Quick View
|State permit for open carry.||No||No||No license required for open carry.|
|Firearm registrations for open carry.||No||No||No requirement for firearm registration.|
|Assault weapon for open carry.||Yes||No||Assault weapons generally prohibited except for specific cases.|
|Magazine limit||No||No||No magazine limits or prohibition on large-capacity ammunition.|
|License for the owner of a firearm.||Not req.||Not req.||No license required for firearm ownership.|
|Red flag law||Yes||Yes||Extreme risk protection orders can be issued based on petitions.|
|Castle doctrine law||Not def.||Not def.||No specific castle doctrine policy, but no-duty-to-retreat policy applies where lawful.|
|Background check for private dealers||Yes||Yes||Criminal record background check mandatory for all firearm sales.|
|Preemption||Yes||Yes||State government has regulatory authority, with local areas having certain control.|
|Concealed carry permit.||No||Yes||Concealed carry possible with a Washington concealed firearm permit.|
|Concealed carry in personal vehicle||No||Yes||Concealed carry allowed in personal vehicles with valid permit.|
|Open carry in Schools||No||No||Open carry prohibited in schools, colleges, and universities.|
Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Washington?
Individuals can legally open carry firearms in various parts of Washington, including:
- Restaurants and Bars: Open carry is allowed unless there’s specific signage prohibiting it.
- Private Vehicles: You can openly carry firearms in your private car.
- Roadside Areas: No state prohibition on open carry in roadside areas.
- State Forests and Parks: Open carry permitted in these areas, including wildlife management zones.
- Places of Worship: Generally allowed, unless the governing body prohibits it.
Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Washington?
Washington prohibits open carry in certain areas, including:
- Schools: Firearms are banned on school premises, buses, and transportation for students.
- Correctional Homes: Firearms are unlawful in correctional homes, prisons, and similar facilities.
- Law Enforcement Offices: Open carry is not allowed in state law enforcement offices.
- Courthouses: Firearms are prohibited in courthouses and courtrooms during proceedings.
- Mental Health Hospitals: Firearms are prohibited in psychiatric hospitals and mental homes.
- Off-Limit Areas: Areas restricted to individuals under twenty-one prohibit open carry.
- Airport Zones: Safety areas of airports are firearm-free zones.
- Children Facilities: Open carry is banned in buildings used for children’s care.
- Public Events: Open carry is not allowed at public events such as music festivals.
- Racetracks: Open carry is prohibited during racetrack events.
- Prohibited Places: Firearms are illegal in areas prohibited by federal gun laws.
FAQs About Open Carry Washington
Do I Need A Permit To Open Carry Firearms In Washington?
No, Washington does not require a permit for open carry.
Do I Need A Permit For Concealed Carry In Washington?
Yes, a concealed firearm license is required for concealed carry in Washington.
What Is The Age Limit For Open Carry In Washington?
To open carry in Washington, you must be at least twenty-one years old.
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.
At What Age Can I Apply For Washington Firearm License?
You must be at least twenty-one years old to apply for a firearm permit in Washington.
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.
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.
Is Washington A Constitutional Carry State?
No, Washington does not allow constitutional carry.
Can I Open Carry Knives And Other Weapons In Washington?
Certain knives and weapons can be openly carried, but there are restrictions on dangerous weapons like switchblades.
Does Washington Have Restrictions For Firearms?
Washington restricts assault weapons and machine guns, but antique firearms and large-capacity guns are allowed.
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.