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Washington law says that you commit a crime if you manufacture, import, distribute, sell, or offer for sale any large capacity magazine. The offense is considered a gross misdemeanor in Washington (as opposed to a felony) that is punishable by up to one year in jail. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you or a loved one is facing any type of charge related to a firearm.
What is Washington’s Law on Large Capacity Magazines?
Washington law defines a “large capacity magazine” as any ammunition magazine that can hold 10 or more rounds.
RCW 9.41.370 is the Washington statute that says it is illegal for a person to do any of the following with a large capacity magazine:
- Manufacture one,
- Import one,
- Distribute one,
- Sell one, or
- Offer one for sale.
There is one common exception to this general rule. This exception states that it is still legal for a licensed firearm manufacturer to manufacture, import, distribute, sell, or offer for sale a large capacity magazine to:
- Any branch of the armed forces of the U.S., or
- A law enforcement agency in Washington State.
Note that Washington law says that it is perfectly legal for you to possess a large capacity magazine.
What are the Penalties?
A violation of RCW 9.41.370 is a gross misdemeanor under Washington law. A gross misdemeanor is punishable by:
- Custody in county jail for up to one year, and/or
- A maximum fine of $5,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. You have the right to challenge a large capacity magazine charge with a legal defense. A common defense is for you to show that your acts fell into the exception outlined above.
Your criminal defense attorney can also try to raise the defense that the police violated one of your rights. For instance, maybe the authorities:
- Arrested you without probable cause,
- Coerced a confession, or
- Conducted an unlawful search and seizure.
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 large capacity magazine 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. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!