Washington Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW): Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

Washington is a shall-issue state for CCW permits.

A local county or law enforcement agency is responsible for processing the permit application.

The state issues a concealed pistol license to both residents and non-residents.

However, you must meet all the requirements before you apply.

There are no purchase permits and firearm registration in the state, but you must go through the criminal record background check, except in certain situations.  

To conceal carry in Washington, you must be familiar with all gun laws.

Washington Gun Laws

In Washington, you can conceal carry with you a concealed pistol license issued in the state. Non-residents can also apply for the CCW permit.

You can also conceal carry with a permit from every other state that meets Washington concealed carry requirements.

You must be at least twenty-one years old before Washington concealed carry permit application.

Without the necessary permit, concealed carry is illegal in the state except you are in your place of residence or any property that you own or occupy.

Washington CCW Permit Reciprocity.

Washington has requirements for permits not issued in the state.

Therefore, Washington will not honor other state permits that do not meet up with these requirements.

Other aspects of its CCW permit reciprocity includes the following:

  • States that Washington will accept their CCW permit: If your state of residence permits meet the requirements and standards provided by Washington, you can conceal carry from the state. Note that this requirement is different for each state. Washington will only accept enhanced permits from Idaho and South Dakota. But you can conceal carry with an ordinary Oklahoma CCW permit. There are ten states of such in the USA.
  • States that will accept a Washington CCW permit: You can conceal carry with Washington CCW permit in these states. There are thirteen of them in the state.
  • State that has restricted reciprocity with Washington: Michigan will only accept a resident-only permit from Washington. Therefore, you cannot conceal carry with a non-resident CCW permit from Washington.
  • States that have a permitless carry policy: These states have a permitless policy, and you do not need a permit from any state before you can conceal carry. But you have to meet all the requirements to conceal carry provided by these states. These are fourteen of them.

Before Washington honors a CCW permit from a state, the state’s permit must meet the following requirements.

  • The state must have reciprocity and honor Washington concealed pistol licenses.
  • They must issue CCW permits to only those above the age of twenty-one.
  • Fingerprint and mental health checks must be a requirement to issue a permit in the state.
  • The state must conduct a criminal record background check before issuing a permit.

Also, as a resident of Washington looking to conceal carry in other states, you must understand the gun laws in the state as well as firearm handling requirements.

Location Restrictions For CCW In Washington

In Washington, you cannot conceal carry in every area, even with your concealed pistol license.

These areas are off-limits, and some of them usually have signage to restrict firearm possession.  

The only exception to this law is law enforcement officers and peace officers in the state.

Breaking this law can lead to a court charge; therefore, you must know where you can conceal carry and where you cannot conceal carry in Washington.

Places Where You Cannot Conceal Carry In Washington.

  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in schools (primary, secondary, and elementary). The only exceptions to these are concealed pistol license holders, who can keep the firearms in their vehicle while dropping off kids at the school, as well as students more than eighteen years old who are legally possessing a firearm.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in school buses or any other transportation meant for school purposes.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in buildings or locations used by schools.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in prisons and correctional facilities.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any facility used by law enforcement agencies.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any building used for court proceedings, and this includes courtrooms, chambers, and officers used by judges, business areas, jury rooms, etc.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in safety areas of hospitals and mental health homes.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any state institutions for mental health.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in areas that are off-limits to those under the age of twenty-one in the state.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in safety areas of an airport.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in licensed children facilities or any state emergency center.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in the University of Washington.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any free music festival in an outdoor center.
  • You cannot conceal carry on racing grounds.
  • You cannot conceal carry in programs hosted for pregnant women and parents.
  • You cannot conceal carry in any residence used by the state juvenile rehab administration.
  • You cannot conceal carry while riding a snowmobile.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any place prohibited by federal law.

Places Where You Can Conceal Carry In Washington

Washington gun laws do not restrict you from possessing your firearm in the following places or situations:

  • Restaurants and Bars: You can only conceal carry in the eatery area. Concealed carry is not allowed in bars and places restricted to people under the age of twenty-one.
  • Personal car: You can conceal carry in your car. However, if you do not have a permit for your firearm, keep the firearm away from the public view.
  • Concealed carry in roadsides: You can conceal carry in roadsides and recreational areas.
  • State/National forests and parks: You can conceal carry in state parks and forests as well as wildlife management areas.
  • Public transport while traveling: You can conceal carry in a train, bus, or any other mass transit as long as you are with your Washington concealed pistol license.
  • Airplane: You can conceal carry in areas that are unrestricted except there is a post prohibiting the possession of firearms.
  • Places Of Worship: No Washington gun laws prohibit the possession of firearms in places of worship. But since they are also private properties, they can carry signage prohibiting firearm possession.

Concealed Carry For Law Enforcement Officers In Washington

Law enforcement officers in the USA can conceal according to the Law enforcement officers’ safety act.

This act means that law officers (active and retired) cannot be restricted from the possession of firearms according to any state or municipality law in the jurisdiction of the country.

Retired officers in Washington can conceal carry from the agency they retired from, submitting the necessary documents.

As long as the officer was not a convict, insane, or committed a crime that makes him or her eligible for a concealed carry permit, he or she will get an approved application.

Buying And Selling Of Firearms In Washington

To deal with firearms in Washington, you have to understand the laws and requirements for possession, transferring, transporting, buying, and selling.

Purchase Permit And Handgun Registration In Washington

There are no purchasing permits for buying firearms in Washington. However, if you are buying high-end ammunition, you must provide a firearm training certificate.

Also, there is no firearm registration in the state. The dealer must write out the details of a sale and submit it by the licensing department.

Criminal Record Background Check For CCW Purchase

Every firearm dealer in the state must conduct a background check before the sales are complete.

Private dealers who do not have the means to do so can make the check through a federally licensed dealer.

A background check is not necessary for the following situations.

  • The transfer of firearms between immediate family members such as parents, spouses, children, cousins, nieces, nephews, siblings, etc.
  • A transfer to prevent an imminent danger like a severe injury and bodily harm, as long as the transfer lasts for a period that is necessary to alleviate the danger. The transferee, in this case, must be someone that can legally possess a firearm in Washington.
  • Temporary transfer of firearms between partners or friends during a live-wire session or firearm competition.

Note that your concealed pistol permit does not exempt you from the criminal record background check.

Waiting Period For Purchasing Firearm In Washington

There is no required period stated by the gun laws of Washington to complete firearms purchases.

However, completing a criminal background check can take up to ten days.

For people who do not have a state ID or driver’s license and are not a resident of the state, the criminal record background check may take ten to sixty days.

Age Requirement For The Possession And Handling Of Firearm In Washington

You must be at least eighteen years old before you possess or transport a firearm in Washington.

Possession Of Firearm In Personal Properties

You can possess your firearm in your home of residence, place of business, or any property that you lease or rent.

CCW Permit Requirement In Washington

For Washington concealed carry permit application, you must meet all the requirements provided by gun laws in the state.

They include the following:

  • You must be at least twenty-one years old.
  • You must not be a convict or have any pending indictment.
  • You must not be a fugitive or have an arrest warrant in your name.
  • You must not be a felon or have any felony conviction.
  • You must not have any court protection order that has to do with the handling or possession of firearms.
  • You must not be awaiting trial or during a sentencing process or a felony crime.
  • You must not be a drug abuser or deal with substances under control by the Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
  • You must not have any firearm restrictions in the past year.
  • You must not have a previously revoked Washington concealed pistol license.
  • You must not be a mentally impaired person or have any reoccurring mental illness.
  • You must meet all federal law requirements for the CCW permit.

Castle Doctrine In Washington

Washington does not specifically have a castle doctrine law. But the state’s supreme court always reaches a verdict that as long as a person is in a place where he or she has a legal right to be, the person does not have a duty to retreat at an attack.  

This means that the person will get immunity from civil liability for self-defense or protection of property and family members.

This also applies if you are protecting someone from an injury, imminent death, or crimes such as robbery, rape, burglary, kidnapping, etc.

How To Apply For CCW Permit In Washington

Having met Washington concealed carry permit requirements, you can go ahead to apply for your CCW permit.

The procedure includes the following:

Complete Your Application

You can either visit your local county sheriff’s office to pick up the application or download it from the web portal.

Submit The Necessary Documents

Submit at a local law enforcement agency. Other documents you will provide includes:

  • Proof that you are a resident of the state. You must stay in Washington for at least ninety days before application.
  • Means of identification, either a state-issued ID card or your driver’s license.
  • Submit a permanent resident card if you are a resident alien.
  • Your fingerprint.

Receive Mail Notification

You will receive a mail to notify you of an approved or a denied CCW application.

Firearm Training Requirement In Washington.

Unlike in most states of the USA, there is no requirement for a Washington concealed carry permit course or firearm training before CCW permit application.

However, having firearm knowledge is for your benefit, and it would make you a responsible armed American.

Therefore, you can enroll for a Washington concealed carry online firearm course. Make sure that a certified and experienced instructor is in charge of the course.

Washington Concealed Carry FAQs

Here are some of the things you should know about CCW in Washington.

For How Long Is My Washington CCW Permit Valid?

The permit is valid for five years, after which you have to apply for a renewal.

How Much Is the Washington CCW Permit Application?

Initial permit and renewal permit cost thirty-six and thirty-two dollars, respectively. However, there is an extra charge for fingerprints.

How Long Will It Take To Get My Washington CCW Permit Application?

The processing period for permits is thirty days. If you do not have a driver’s license, it might take up to sixty days to process your concealed pistol license.

When Can I Apply For CCW Renewal Permit In Washington?

You can start applying for a renewal permit ninety days before your permit expires, and you have till ninety days after the expiry date.