- General Information
- Possession of a Firearm
- Carrying Handguns Without a License
- Obtaining A Concealed Pistol License
- Leaving a Pistol in A Vehicle
- Use of a Firearm By A Minor
- Short Barreled Shotguns and Rifles
- The Use of Deadly Force
Both state and federal laws govern the use of firearms. Here in Washington, most state firearm laws are found in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW Chapter 9.41) while many federal laws and regulations are listed in the United States Code. Although these two legal reference sources are informative, they are not all-inclusive, and additional firearm restrictions apply in certain cases.
One familiar example of additional firearms restrictions is in airports, where the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits carrying firearms in certain restricted areas on or about a person or accessible property (such as carry-on luggage). No private citizen-not even with a valid concealed pistol license-is exempt from this special restriction. Another example of general restriction are weapons on school premises.
Cities, counties and municipalities in Washington are prohibited from enacting firearms laws and ordinances unless such ordinances are specifically authorized by and consistent with state law. For example, you may be legally entitled to own a handgun and carry it with a concealed pistol license, but you may be prevented by county or municipal regulations from discharging that firearm for target practice in certain areas.
Just as with firearms safety, it is your responsibility as a firearm owner to know applicable firearm laws and regulations. Although no single informational can possibly list all firearm laws and regulations, the ones below are of general interest to all firearm owners. Remember this is only a brief summary of selected laws.