Washington's Firearms Statute
Washington’s Firearms and Dangerous Weapons statute (RCW 9.41) was amended in 2004 to allow non-Washington residents to carry a concealed pistol in Washington if they have obtained a concealed pistol license or permit from another state that meets certain conditions imposed by Washington’s reciprocity law, RCW 9.41.073. Those conditions are:
- The other state must have a reciprocal statute allowing Washington residents to carry concealed weapons in the other state if the resident has a Washington concealed pistol license; and
- The other state does not issue concealed pistol licenses to persons under twenty-one years of age; and
- The state requires mandatory fingerprint-based background checks of criminal and mental health history for all persons who apply for a concealed pistol license.
If the above conditions are met, the concealed pistol license or permit of an out-of-state resident will be recognized in Washington as long as the license holder does not become a resident of Washington State. Additionally, the license holder from another state must carry the pistol in compliance with the laws of Washington State*. Washington concealed pistol licenses will be recognized in those states which have a reciprocal agreement with Washington. Washington residents should check the laws of the state they are traveling to, in order to comply with the concealed weapons law of that state.
We send out an annual survey to request updated information from each state. As we obtain updated information we update the list of reciprocal states.
If you have questions about non-resident concealed pistol licenses or lawfully carrying a firearm without a concealed pistol license, visit www.dol.wa.gov/business/firearms or contact local law enforcement.
*Persons who are not U.S. citizens who are temporarily residing in Washington, such as students on temporary school visas and people on temporary work visas, are required to obtain a two-year alien firearm license before possessing any firearm in Washington. This law went into effect July 26, 2009 and is found in RCW 9.41.171.