Image by on Freepik

Washington law says that it is not a crime to possess a pistol, rifle, assault rifle, or shotgun without a license. Similarly, you do not need a permit to possess one of these firearms. Please note, however, that Washington law does impose several legal restrictions on the use and possession of certain firearms, and a violation of these restrictions could lead to criminal charges. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you are facing any type of criminal charges involving a gun or weapon.

What is Washington’s Law on Possessing a Firearm without a License?

Under Washington Law, you are not required to have a license to possess any of the following firearms:

  • Pistols,
  • Rifles,
  • Assault rifles, and
  • Shotguns.

This means it is not a crime to possess one of these objects without a license.

There is also no requirement in Washington to possess one of the above guns without a permit.

However, please note that Washington law states that you cannot possess a firearm in any of the following places:

  • Elementary and secondary schools (both public and private),
  • Courthouses,
  • Offices of administrative hearings,
  • Mental health institutions,
  • Correctional facilities, and
  • Airports.

Please also note that, per RCW 9.41.050, it is a crime if you carry a concealed handgun without having a valid Washington Concealed Pistol License (CPL) on your possession.

What Is the Penalty for Not Having a CPL?

Carrying a concealed gun without a license is a misdemeanor offense (as opposed to a felony). The crime is punishable by:

  • Imprisonment for up to 90 days in jail, and/or,
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?

Yes. You have the right to challenge a concealed carry charge with a legal defense. A valid defense is to show that you did in fact have a valid CPL when you were carrying a concealed pistol.

Your criminal defense attorney can also raise a defense that the police somehow violated one of your constitutional rights. For example, maybe the authorities:

  • Coerced your confession,
  • Arrested you without probable cause, or
  • Discovered a concealed pistol while conducting an illegal search.

If any of the above, then a judge may decide to reduce your concealed carry charge or dismiss the charge in its entirety.

Contact Black & Askerov for Help

While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a gun charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on various criminal charges involving guns and weapons. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!