Whether you've been a firearms enthusiast for years or are a new gun owner in Washington, you are likely aware of many requirements and laws that govern the possession, buying and selling, and use of firearms. Hopefully, you researched both federal and state laws ahead of time to avoid running into any type of legal problem.
The federal government has limited oversight on gun possession. Most laws exist at state level. However, such laws often vary from state to state (and can change as well) so it's crucial that you not only learn the gun laws in Washington but look into regulations in surrounding regions or any state you plan to enter while carrying a gun. Air transportation officials also regulate your ability to fly on planes with firearms or gun components. It's always best to thoroughly research these before you board a flight.
Here's the low-down on gun laws in Washington
The last thing you need is to purchase a gun then wind up facing legal challenges because someone accuses you of violating a regulation you didn't know existed. The following list provides useful information regarding gun laws in this state:
- There's a waiting period to purchase certain types of firearms, such as handguns. In this state, it's typically five days if you happen to be a resident. If not, you may have to wait up to 60 days for approval.
- You must also be a U.S. citizen to possess a firearm in Washington. In some circumstances, green card holders may apply.
- Concerning age, the state prohibits minors from possessing firearms. If you plan to apply for a license to conceal a weapon, you must be age 21 or older.
- No one with a domestic violence conviction on a criminal record may possess a firearm in Washington.
- To apply for a concealed carry license, you may not have any criminal charges pending against you that may ultimately impede your right to bear arms.
- Washington also prohibits you from gun possession if you are addicted to a controlled substance or the court convicted you of unlawful use of such in the past.
Situations involving firearms charges often get much worse before they get better. You may not be able to avoid conviction by simply explaining that you did not realize you were breaking the law. If you look up Washington firearm regulations, you may notice that potential penalties under conviction can be quite severe. In short, it can really mess up your life if the court finds you guilty of a firearms violation.
Not everyone charged with gun crimes incurs conviction, however. Many in Washington have been able to rectify their situations by asking experienced attorneys to defend them in court.