Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2023 ‘Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Washington.’ Who Can Have a Gun. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 31 January
Minimum Age to Purchase and Possess in Washington
In Washington, a person under age 18 may not own or possess a firearm, unless he or she is:
- In attendance at a hunter's safety course or a firearms safety course;
- Engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located or any other area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited;
- Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm;
- Participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of the performance;
- Hunting or trapping under a valid license;
- In an area where the discharge of a firearm is permitted, when the individual is not trespassing and is either:
At least 14 years of age, having been issued a hunter safety certificate, and using a lawful firearm other than a handgun; or
Under the supervision of a parent, guardian, or other adult approved for the purpose by the parent or guardian;
- Traveling with an unloaded firearm to or from any activity described above;
- On real property under the control of his or her parent, other relative, or legal guardian and has permission of the parent or legal guardian to possess a firearm;
- At his or her residence and, with the permission of his or her parent or legal guardian, in possession of a firearm for the purpose of lawful self-defense, defense of others, or defense of property; or
- A member of the armed forces of the United States, National Guard, or organized reserves, when on duty.
Washington law provides that, unless one of the above exceptions applies, persons who are at least 18 years of age, but under age 21 may possess a handgun only:
- In the person's "place of abode;"
- At the person's fixed place of business; or
- On real property under his or her control.
In addition, an applicant for a concealed pistol license must be 21 years of age or older.
Federal age restrictions impose stricter limits…
[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]