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Washington law says that a person cannot possess, make, sell, transfer, or purchase an untraceable firearm. A violation of this law can lead to misdemeanor charges punishable by up to one year in county jail. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you’re facing any type of gun charge.
What is Washington’s Law on Untraceable Firearms?
RCW 9.41.326 is the Washington statute that sets forth the law on untraceable firearms. According to this statute, a person can’t manufacture, sell, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, or knowingly possess any untraceable firearm.
An “untraceable firearm” is a firearm that doesn’t have a serial number affixed to it. The lack of a serial number means that the gun can’t be traced by law enforcement. An untraceable firearm is sometimes referred to as a “ghost gun.”
What are the Penalties?
A first-time violation of RCW 9.41.326 is a civil infraction (and not a crime) that is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
A second-time violation of Washington’s ghost gun law is a misdemeanor offense punishable by:
- Custody in county jail for up to 90 days, and/or
- A maximum fine of $1,000.
If you violate RCW 9.41.326 a third or subsequent time, you commit a gross misdemeanor that 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 an untraceable firearm charge with a legal defense. A common defense is to show that you fall within an exception to this law. RCW 9.41.326 states that the law does not apply to any firearm that:
- Has been rendered permanently inoperable,
- Is an antique firearm, or
- Was manufactured before 1968.
As to the possession of an untraceable firearm, note that you only violate the law if you knowingly possess a ghost gun. Therefore, a defense is to show that you did not know that the gun you possessed was in fact untraceable.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge an untraceable firearm 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 firearm and gun 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!