Washington prohibits any person from carrying, exhibiting, displaying or drawing any firearm or other weapon “apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner…that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.”1 Any person violating this law is criminally liable for a gross misdemeanor and the loss of his or her concealed pistol license, if any. Exceptions include:
- Persons acting by virtue of their office or public employment who are vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety or order;
- Any person making or assisting in making a lawful arrest for the commission of a felony;
- Any person engaged in military activities;
- Persons acting in self-defense or in defense of another; or
- Any act committed by a person while in his or her place of abode or fixed place of business.2
See our Open Carrying of Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.