Washington prohibits any person from carrying any firearm onto, or possessing a firearm on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or in areas of other facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools.1

Exceptions include:

  • Involvement in a convention, showing, demonstration, lecture, or firearms safety course authorized by school authorities in which the firearms of collectors or instructors are handled or displayed;
  • Engagement in military, law enforcement, or school district security activities;
  • Participation in a firearm or air gun competition approved by the school or school district;
  • Possession of a handgun pursuant to state licensing requirements (or otherwise exempt) while picking up or dropping off a student;
  • Lawful possession of a firearm by any non-student at least age 18 who has secured the firearm within an attended vehicle or concealed from view within a locked unattended vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school; and
  • Lawful possession of an unloaded firearm by any non-student at least age 18 who has secured the firearm in a vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school.2

Elementary or secondary school students violating this gun-free schools law are subject to expulsion from the state’s public schools.3

State administrative regulations may prohibit the possession of firearms on particular college or university campuses.

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.280(1)(a). Any person convicted of violating this provision shall have his or her concealed pistol license revoked for a period of three years, and is prohibited from applying for a concealed pistol license for a period of three years. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.280(2). ⤴︎
  2. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.280(3). ⤴︎
  3. Id. See also Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.600.420(1), which requires expulsion for not less than one year for any elementary or secondary school student who is determined to have carried a firearm onto, or to have possessed a firearm on, public elementary or secondary school premises, public school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public schools. School district superintendents may modify such expulsion on a case-by-case basis. Id. Expelled students may receive educational services in an alternative setting by a school district or similar entity. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.600.420(4). ⤴︎