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Mental health and gun rights in Washington

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2022 | Firearms rights |

In the state of Washington, a conviction for a felony crime will result in a loss of your right to own or possess guns and firearms.

You will regain your civil rights upon satisfying all sentence conditions and filing a Certificate of Discharge with the court. However, this is not enough to restore your gun rights.

Mental health and the Second Amendment

The right to bear arms is constitutional, but it is not absolute. If your mental health is a contributing factor to your criminal conviction, it can be especially difficult to regain your right to possess firearms for hunting, sporting or personal protection.

Restoring your rights

In the state of Washington, you cannot legally possess a firearm if a court has found you incompetent to stand trial or committed you to a mental health facility. However, under Washington State Legislature RCW 9.41.047, you can petition the superior court that ordered your commitment to have your gun rights restored if you can meet the following criteria:

  • You are no longer required to participate in court-ordered inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment
  • You have successfully managed the mental health condition that relates to your incompetency or detention
  • You are no longer a substantial danger to yourself, others or the public at large
  • It is reasonably unlikely that your mental health symptoms will reoccur in the future

Even if you meet the criteria for restoring your gun rights, the process can be complex and time-consuming. It is important to understand your rights under the law.