State Law Background
Among other things, Washington:
- Requires a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between private parties;
- Requires firearm dealers to obtain a state license, and imposes a background check on all dealer employees;
- Prohibits certain domestic violence misdemeanants and persons subject to a domestic violence order of protection from purchasing or possessing any firearms; and
- Requires that all firearms dealers have a state license in order to transfer ammunition.
However, Washington does not:
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- License firearm owners;
- Require the registration of firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Impose a waiting period on firearm purchases;
- Regulate unsafe handguns; or
- Significantly regulate ammunition sales.
- Local governments in Washington have limited authority to regulate firearms or ammunition, and the state requires local law enforcement to issue a concealed handgun license to any applicant who meets certain basic qualifications.
In 2016, Washington had the 10th lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. Washington had the 15th lowest rate of crime gun exports among the states in 2016–meaning that crime guns originally sold in Washington were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 15th lowest rate among the states.
Washington Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Washington, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.