Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Domestic Violence & Firearms in Washington.’ Who Can Have a Gun. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 18 April
Domestic Violence and Firearms in Washington
Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants in Washington
Washington prohibits possession of a firearm by anyone who has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of any of the following crimes when committed by one family or household member against another on or after July 1, 1993:
- Assault in the fourth degree;
- Reckless endangerment;
- Criminal trespass in the first degree; or
- Violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from a residence.
Washington defines "family or household members" as:
- Spouses, former spouses;
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
- Adult persons related by blood or marriage;
- Adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
- Persons age 16 or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship;
- Persons age 16 or older with whom a person age 16 or older has or has had a dating relationship; and
- Persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.
Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders and Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued
If a protective or restraining order states that the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by any party presents a serious and imminent threat to public health or safety or the health or safety of any individual, the court may:
- Require the party to surrender any firearm or other dangerous weapon;
- Require the party to surrender any concealed pistol license issued by the State of Washington;
- Prohibit the party from obtaining or possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapon;
- Prohibit the party from obtaining or possessing a concealed pistol license.
The court may also make such an order if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the party used, displayed, or threatened to use a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a felony or committed any offense that renders him or her ineligible to possess a firearm. If the court makes this finding upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence, then it is required to make such an order.
The court may order the temporary surrender of a firearm or other dangerous weapon without notice to the other party if it finds that irreparable injury could result if an order is not issued until the time for a response has elapsed. These requirements may be for a period of time less than the duration of the order. The court may require the party to surrender any firearm or dangerous weapon in his or her immediate possession or control or subject to his or her immediate possession or control to local law enforcement, his or her counsel, or to any person designated by the court. These provisions apply to:
- No-contact orders issued after a conviction for harassment under Washington Rev. Code Ann. § 9A.46.080;
- Anti-harassment protective order, including ex parte orders, under Washington Rev. Code Ann. § 10.14.080;
- No-contact orders issued when a domestic violence defendant is released on bail or personal recognizance, under Washington Rev. Code Ann. § 10.99.040;
- No-contact orders issued after a charge of domestic violence has been made under Washington Rev. Code Ann. § 10.99.045;
- Restraining orders issued upon filing of a complaint for dissolution of marriage, including ex parte orders, under Washington Rev. Code Ann. §§ 26.09.050 and 26.09.060;
- Restraining orders issued in cases where parental rights and child support issues are adjudicated, including ex parte orders, under Washington Rev. Code Ann. § 26.10.040, 26.10.115, 26.26.130, and 26.26.590;
- Domestic violence protective order under Washington Rev. Code Ann. § 26.50.060; and
- Ex parte domestic violence protective orders under Washington Rev. Code Ann. § 26.50.070.
Domestic violence protective orders are available to family and household members as defined above, plus domestic partners and former domestic partners.
Washington does not authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident…
[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]