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Reasons you may lose your gun rights in Washington State

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2023 | Firearms rights |

Today, there is much controversy over gun rights. Many believe that no one should have these weapons, but the Constitution assures the people that they have the right to bear arms.

Some states have very strict gun laws, and individuals can lose their rights to own and carry a firearm. These are reasons citizens may lose their gun rights in Washington State.

Federal laws

The federal government has gun restriction laws. Individuals cannot own a gun if they receive a felony conviction. Those with mental illness or challenges also experience firearms restrictions. In addition, domestic violence convictions, even misdemeanors, can impact an individual’s ability to own a firearm.

State laws

Washington laws reflect and expand federal laws. For example, if the courts find an individual innocent of a crime due to insanity or if an individual receives a domestic violence conviction for crimes against family members, a court may eliminate that person’s gun rights.

Those who have undergone involuntary mental health treatment, including those who go through involuntary 72-hour observation or treatment ordered by a judge, will likely lose their right to own a firearm. In these cases, a judge may find think these individuals are a danger to themselves or others.

Incompetence can also impact gun rights, especially if the individual is violent. Also, anyone who is out on bond and awaiting trial or an appeal cannot possess a firearm.

Court petitions

Washington also has an Extreme Risk Protection Order law that allows family members, friends, teachers or law enforcement to submit a petition to the court about removing firearms from a specific individual. A judge will then rule on whether this individual can still own a weapon.

Some people have voluntarily forfeited or waived their firearm rights, but that individual can revoke the waiver after seven days.