Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Location Restrictions in Washington.’ Guns in Public. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 1 March
Other Location Restrictions in Washington
Subject to exceptions, Washington prohibits all persons, including concealed pistol license holders, from possessing a firearm in:
- Any area of a building used in connection with court proceedings, including courtrooms, jury rooms, judge's chambers, offices and areas used to conduct court business, waiting areas, and corridors adjacent to areas used in connection with court proceedings. The local judicial authority must designate and clearly mark all areas where weapons are prohibited, and shall post notices at each entrance to the building of the prohibition against weapons in the restricted areas;
- Restricted access areas of a public mental health facility certified by the state Department of Social and Health Services for inpatient hospital care and state institutions for the care of the mentally ill, excluding those facilities solely for evaluation and treatment;
- Any portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under 21 years of age; or
- Restricted access areas of a commercial service airport designated in the airport security plan approved by the federal Transportation Security Administration, including passenger screening checkpoints at or beyond the point at which a passenger initiates the screening process. Any restricted access area shall be clearly indicated by prominent signs indicating that firearms and other weapons are prohibited in the area.
Concealed pistol license holders are generally prohibited from possessing a firearm in any restricted access areas of a jail, law enforcement facility, or any place used for the confinement of a person, unless the holder obtains from the facility's administrator written permission to possess the firearm while on the premises, or checks the firearm upon entering the facility.
Washington prohibits any person from knowingly possessing or having under his or her control a firearm in the buildings or adjacent grounds subject to the care, control, or supervision of a state correctional institution. This provision does not apply, however, to a concealed pistol license holder who, upon entering the correctional institution premises, proceeds directly to the administration building, and promptly checks his or her firearms.
State law also prohibits bringing any firearm into any state institution for the care and treatment of mental illness or within the grounds thereof.
Washington also prohibits the possession of a firearm on the site of an outdoor music festival.
State administrative regulations prohibit all persons, including concealed pistol license holders, from possessing a firearm:
- In all facilities owned, leased, or operated by the office of administrative hearings and in rooms where the office of administrative hearings is conducting an administrative hearing;
- In all facilities of the Washington State School for the Blind and the Washington State School for the Deaf; or
- On the grounds of any horse racing association.
In addition, administrative regulations prohibit persons other than concealed pistol licensees from carrying firearms on the state capitol grounds. State regulations may impose other location restrictions.
Washington has no statutes prohibiting firearms in the following places, although administrative regulations may apply:
- Places of worship;
- Sports arenas;
- Gambling facilities other than horse racing associations; or
- Polling places…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]