Over the past several years Washington has significantly strengthened its gun laws and recently earned a B+ in our Annual Gun Law Scorecard. In 2016 and 2017, respectively, Washington voters approved ballot measures that enacted universal background checks and an extreme risk protection order law to temporarily disarm high-risk individuals. In 2018, voters approved measures to raise the minimum age to buy guns to 21 and enact a child access prevention law. In 2017, the state had the 13th-lowest gun death rate in the country and supplied crime guns to other states at the 14th-lowest rate. To further improve its gun laws, Washington could invest in community violence intervention programs and close the dangerous loophole that allows abusive dating partners to keep their guns.

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.

  • Universal background checks

  • Gun and ammunition dealer licensing and employee background checks

  • Firearm prohibition for some domestic abusers

  • Assault weapon, 50 caliber rifle, and large capacity magazine ban

  • Firearm owner licensing

  • Firearm registration

  • Bulk firearm purchase restrictions

  • Handgun design safety standards

  • Waiting period

  • Licensing authority has discretion to deny a concealed carry permit