In Washington, a person under age 18 may not own or possess a firearm, unless he or she is:
- In attendance at a hunter’s safety course or a firearms safety course;
- Engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located or any other area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited;
- Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm;
- Participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of the performance;
- Hunting or trapping under a valid license;
- In an area where the discharge of a firearm is permitted, when the individual is not trespassing and is either:
At least 14 years of age, having been issued a hunter safety certificate, and using a lawful firearm other than a handgun; or
Under the supervision of a parent, guardian, or other adult approved for the purpose by the parent or guardian;
- Traveling with an unloaded firearm to or from any activity described above;
- On real property under the control of his or her parent, other relative, or legal guardian and has permission of the parent or legal guardian to possess a firearm;
- At his or her residence and, with the permission of his or her parent or legal guardian, in possession of a firearm for the purpose of lawful self-defense, defense of others, or defense of property; or
- A member of the armed forces of the United States, National Guard, or organized reserves, when on duty.1
- In the person’s “place of abode;”
- At the person’s fixed place of business; or
- On real property under his or her control.
In addition, an applicant for a concealed pistol license must be 21 years of age or older.4
Federal age restrictions impose stricter limits.
See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.