In Washington, much like many other states in the country, it’s only possible for an individual to purchase a firearm through a licensed dealer. Any prospective buyer must successfully pass a background check before being allowed to buy a gun.

All retailers must report pistol sales to the appropriate local law enforcement agencies and state licensing authorities. Individuals who transfer the ownership of firearms must also meet certain requirements. Anyone who violates Washington’s gun laws may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealers are prohibited from turning over possession of a firearm to anyone who hasn’t yet undergone a successful background check in the state. An FFL dealer may do so after 60 days following an individual’s request though.

The individual who takes possession of the gun must have a valid Washington state identification card or driver’s license. The individual must be able to prove that they have resided in the state for at least 90 days if they don’t have either one of these.

Individuals must be at least 21 to receive a Washington Concealed Pistol License (CPL), but they’re not required to undergo any specialized training to receive such a permit.

Concealed carry of a pistol is legal in the state, however, that’s not the case with a handgun.

Anyone age 21 or over can carry a loaded handgun in most public places without a license in Washington. The main exceptions to this rule include courtrooms and schools.

Carrying a concealed handgun is largely prohibited in the state unless someone is at their place of business or home. It’s illegal for an individual to transport a loaded handgun in their vehicle in this state without having a valid permit to do so.

Washington is generally very permissive of a resident’s right to bear arms. The state recognizes permits issued in many other states through its participation in reciprocity agreements.

While Washington’s gun ownership laws may be fairly lax, it doesn’t mean that individuals found guilty of unlawful possession of a weapon and other related gun-related offenses won’t be prosecuted. They will be.

This is why you must be represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a gun-related offense here in Spokane. Your attorney can discuss potential defense strategies that you may want to pursue to minimize the damage of criminal charges here in Washington.