A hunter wearing an orange cap standing in the woods, with a rifle strapped to her back.

So You Want a Firearm: What You Need for a Firearm Permit in Washington State

Findley & Rogers is dedicated to helping ordinary folks exercise their gun rights to the fullest extent of the law. We believe these rights are a fundamental part of our liberties as citizens (and lawful residents) of the United States. Gun rights are also a part of our everyday lives from sports and hunting to target practice and home defense, yet many people aren’t aware of their firearm rights under the law. To get a firearm permit in Washington, there are a few eligibility requirements for a gun permit that you must complete.

When Is a Firearm Permit Required?

In Washington, the only type of firearm license available is a concealed pistol license (CPL). This license allows you to lawfully concealed carry a pistol anywhere in Washington that it is legal to do so.

You also need a concealed pistol license in order to lawfully carry a loaded pistol in your vehicle. Otherwise, the gun must be unloaded and placed in a closed container.

Eligibility Requirements for a Gun Permit

To obtain a concealed firearm permit in Washington, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must be 21 years old or older.
  • You must not have any mental health conditions.
  • You must not have any felony convictions on your record.
  • You must not be currently facing criminal charges (misdemeanor or felony).
  • You must not have any active warrants for your arrest.
  • You must not have been ordered by a court that you may not possess firearms.
  • You must not have had a previous concealed pistol license revoked.
  • You must not have been ordered to forfeit a firearm at any point within the past 12 months.

Once you can meet these eligibility requirements for a gun permit, then the authorities are required by law to issue you a concealed carry license.

If your efforts to purchase a firearm or obtain a firearm permit have been complicated due to a prior criminal conviction, we can also help you with the following legal services:

How to Apply for a Firearm Permit

To get your concealed pistol license, you must apply in person at your county sheriff’s office or your municipal police department. We can let you know what to expect, and we can help you make sure you get the paperwork right the first time — but you do have to show up at the sheriff’s office yourself.

Be sure to bring proof that you meet all the requirements for a gun permit, and once you’re there, ask for a “concealed pistol license application.”

What Does It Cost to Get a Concealed Firearm Permit?

According to the state Department of Licensing concealed pistol license fees webpage, as of 2019, these are the fees for getting your concealed pistol license:

  • New license application: $36 (plus additional fees for fingerprinting, if required)
  • Renewing an existing license: $32
  • Renewing an existing license after the deadline: $42
  • Replacing a lost, damaged, or outdated license: $10
  • Surcharge for semiautomatic assault rifles: $18

Concealed pistol licenses last for 5 years before they must be renewed.

Man unloads smoking shotgun

Open Carry Laws in Washington State

In Washington State, you do not need a permit to open carry your firearm, provided that you have not lost your right to possess a firearm, and that the firearm itself is lawful. You should take care while open carrying a firearm because firearms are not allowed in most government building,s stadiums, event centers, and private businesses. Also, carrying a firearm in an ‘intimidating fashion’ is a crime, so be careful how you comport yourself while carrying a firearm. Your firearm should always remain holstered or shouldered. (Note that bump-fire stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to behave more like an automatic weapon, are now illegal. Additionally, publicly loading and unloading your gun at your vehicle is itself a potential violation of the state’s brandishing law.)

What If You’ve Lost Your Firearm Rights in the Past?

There are many ways to lose your right to a firearm in Washington, from domestic violence situations to drug addiction. In these situations, the first requirement for a gun permit is to restore your right to possess guns again. This is a complicated legal process, and success is really about the details.

That’s why you need experienced firearms attorneys like our legal team here at Findley & Rogers. We’ll handle the paperwork for you and make sure everything’s done correctly so that you make the strongest case you possibly can for restoring your firearm rights and then obtaining your firearm permit. Our goal is to provide you with hassle-free legal services that give you the results you want at a price that’s worth your while.

Let Findley & Rogers Help You Exercise Your Gun Rights

At Findley & Rogers, gun rights are one of our main areas of legal practice. We can help you:

Now that you know the requirements for a gun permit, and you know who to trust to help you get it done right, it’s time to get started! Contact us today for a free consultation and to discuss your firearm rights questions!