Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Firearm Prohibitions in Washington.’ Who Can Have a Gun. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 13 April
Prohibited Purchasers Generally in Washington
Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.
Washington provides that no person may own, possess, or have in his or her control any firearm, if that person:
- Has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of a "serious offense" which includes any crime of violence, certain felony drug crimes, certain sex crimes, and vehicular assault or homicide (violators of this prohibition are criminally liable for unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree while those violators listed below are guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree) and has not had his or her right to possess a firearm restored;
- Has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of any felony other than a "serious offense" or certain crimes committed against a member of his or her family or household (…);
- Has been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment under Washington Rev. Code Ann. §§ 71.05.240 (involuntary or alternative treatment for 14 days), 71.05.320 (treatment for an adult for 90 or 180 days), 71.34.740 (involuntary commitment hearing for a minor), 71.34.750 (treatment a minor for 180 days) or chapter 10.77 (treatment when found not guilty by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial), and has not had his or her right to possess a firearm restored;
- Is under 18 years of age (…); or
- Is free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a "serious offense."
Washington also prohibits any person who is not a U.S. citizen from possessing a firearm without first obtaining an "alien firearm license" or meeting other state-defined requirements.
Moreover, the state prohibits any person serving a sentence in a state correctional institution and any person confined in a county or local correctional institution from knowingly possessing or controlling a firearm while in the institution or being conveyed to or from the institution or while under the custody or supervision of institution officials, officers, or employees, or while on any premises subject to the control of the institution…
[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]