Under Washington law, you commit a crime if you carry a concealed gun without having a valid Washington Concealed Pistol License (CPL) on your possession. Carrying a concealed gun without a CPL is a serious misdemeanor offense, punishable by jail time and/or a fine. Please speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you are facing any type of criminal charge involving a weapon or firearm.
What is Washington’s Law on Carrying a Concealed Gun?
RCW 9.41.050 is the Washington statute that sets forth the law on carrying a concealed gun. Per this law, you are guilty of a crime if you have a gun concealed on your person without possessing a valid CPL. This means you must have a CPL on your immediate possession whenever you are carrying a concealed gun.
Note that you do not need a CPL to carry a concealed gun at your place of abode or fixed place of business.
CPLs are issued to Washington residents and non-residents that are at least 21 years old. There is no current requirement to attend a firearms training course to obtain a CPL.
What are the Penalties?
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.
You can also contest a charge by showing that an emergency necessitated you to commit the offense. For example, maybe you had to carry a concealed gun without a permit because you were protecting yourself from an aggressor or someone trying to harm you.
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 charge or dismiss your case in its entirety.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a concealed carry 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 misdemeanor charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!