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AGO Opinions with Topic: FIREARMS
AGO 1982 No. 14 >  November 3, 1982
COUNTIES - CITIES AND TOWNS - FIREARMS - POLICE POWER
REGULATION OR PROHIBITION OF HANDGUNS OR OTHER FIREARMS BY COUNTUES, CITIES OR TOWNS (1) A county, city or town may not, in the exercise of its police power, enact a general prohibition against the sale or possession of handguns, at any time or place, within the limits of its territorial jurisdiction because such an ordinance would have the effect of prohibiting conduct which state law, instead, sanctions and regulates. (2) A county, city or town may not require the presentation of a concealed weapons permit as a condition to the sale of handgun ammunition because of an express statutory preemption by the state, in RCW 70.74.201, of the regulation, in general, of small arms ammunition. (3) A county, city or town police power ordinance prohibiting the possession of firearms, including handguns, on public or private school grounds or college campuses within its territorial jurisdiction would be valid because such an ordinance would not be in conflict with state law under the applicable, judicially enunciated, test.
AGO 1983 No. 14 >  July 28, 1983
COUNTIES - CITIES AND TOWNS - FIREARMS - POLICE POWER
REGULATION OR PROHIBITION OF HANDGUNS OR OTHER FIREARMS BY COUNTIES, CITIES OR TOWNS (1) The provisions of § 12, chapter 232, Laws of 1983, prohibiting cities, towns and counties from enacting local laws and ordinances which are inconsistent with, or more restrictive than, that 1983 act do not bar such a municipality from regulating or restricting the possession or use of firearms in specified places (such as taverns, cocktail lounges, public and private schools and institutions of higher learning, municipal and superior court rooms, or city and county jails by visitors and inmates) -even by one who has lawfully obtained a state concealed weapons permit. (2) The provisions of RCW 9.94.040 and 9.94.043, relating to the possession of firearms on the premises of state penal or correctional institutions, do not apply to county or city jails. (3) Although a superior court may, under certain circumstances, order the forfeiture of a firearm possessed by one who was under the influence of intoxicating liquor pursuant to § 6(1)(d), chapter 232, Laws of 1983, the aforesaid act does not make the mere possession of a concealed weapon by such a person a misdemeanor.
AGO 1983 No. 21 >  October 13, 1983
COUNTIES - CITIES AND TOWNS - COURTS - FIREARMS - WEAPONS
INFORMATION WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED OF APPLICANT FOR CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT A county sheriff, municipal police chief or judge of a court of record may not refuse to issue a concealed weapons permit to an applicant, otherwise qualified, simply because of his or her refusal to be photographed, to produce a valid Washington driver's license, or to indicate his or her federal social security number, or solely on the ground that the applicant lives outside the particular county or municipality involved.  
AGO 1984 No. 27 >  November 16, 1984
COUNTIES - CITIES AND TOWNS - FIREARMS - POLICE POWER
REGULATION OF FIREARMS POSSESSION BY PERSONS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUGS (1) The validity of a local ordinance making it either a criminal or civil offense to be in possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs will not turn on RCW 9.41.290, in the sense that such a local ordinance is, or is not, thereby statutorily preempted; instead, it will depend upon the effect which a particular ordinance has on constitutionally-protected rights. (2) A local ordinance providing for the mandatory forfeiture of a firearm in the possession of one who is intoxicated would be within the purview of RCW 9.41.290 and, therefore, would be required to be consistent with its state statutory counterpart (RCW 9.41.098) in order to be legally effective.
AGO 1991 No. 26 >  July 24, 1991
FIREARMS - MILITARY
Application of machine gun prohibition to members of the armed forces RCW 9.41.190 prohibits the ownership or possession of a machine gun.  This prohibition does not apply to any officer or member of the armed forces.  The exception to the machine gun prohibition for officers or members of the armed forces is not related to the discharge of the officer's or member's official duties.
AGO 2002 No. 4 >  July 9, 2002
FIREARMS - CRIMES
When convicted persons are entitled to restoration of firearm possession rights 1.  RCW 9.41.040 defines the circumstances under which a person convicted of a misdemeanor might lose the right to possess a firearm and the circumstances in which such a right might be restored.  2.   If a person is convicted of a crime for which RCW 9.41.040 prescribes no procedure for the restoration of firearm possession rights, the only available statutory remedy is a pardon by the governor with a finding either of innocence or of rehabilitation.
AGO 1987 No. 28 >  December 17, 1987
FIREARMS - JUVENILES - POLICE POWER
REGULATION OR PROHIBITION OF HANDGUNS OR OTHER FIREARMS BY CITY AND COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT ‑- PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT APPLICATIONS RCW 9.41.040(1) does not prohibit a person, found in juvenile court to have committed an offense, from purchase and possession of a handgun, or the issuance of a concealed weapon permit. City and county law enforcement agencies may refuse issuance of a concealed weapon permit to any person who admits, orally or in writing, his intent to commit a crime in the future with or without a handgun. The Public Disclosure Act allows public inspection of copies of concealed weapon permit applications for handgun purchases.
AGO 1988 No. 10 >  May 17, 1988
FIREARMS - MENTAL ILLNESS - CRIMES‑
MENTAL ILLNESS 1.  A person who has been convicted of a crime of violence as defined in statute, or a felony in which a firearm was used or displayed, or a felony violation of Washington's Uniform Controlled Substances Act or an equivalent statute of another jurisdiction, remains ineligible to receive a license to carry a concealed pistol in any of the following circumstances: a. the person has received a suspended sentence, the suspended sentence has terminated and the person has had civil rights restored pursuant to RCW 9.92.066; b. the person has completed parole and has received a certificate of discharge pursuant to RCW 9.96.050; c. the person has completed sentence and received a certificate of discharge pursuant to RCW 9.94A.220; or d. the record of the person's conviction has been vacated pursuant to RCW 9.94A.230.2.A person who has been convicted of a crime of violence as defined in statute, or a felony in which a firearm was used or displayed, or a felony violation of Washington's Uniform Controlled Substances Act or an equivalent statute or another jurisdiction, and has been placed on probation, may or may not be eligible to receive a license to carry a concealed pistol upon completion of probation and dismissal of the indictment or information against him pursuant to RCW 9.95.240, depending on the crime involved.3.A person who has been subject of a period of confinement for mental illness pursuant to RCW 71.05.320 is ineligible to receive a license to carry a concealed pistol.4.A person with a record of commitment for criminal insanity pursuant to RCW 71.05.320 is ineligible to receive a license to carry a concealed pistol.
AGO 1994 No. 22 >  December 13, 1994
FIREARMS - AMMUNITIONS - LICENSING
Necessity to obtain license to sell firearms and ammunition 1.  The employees of a firearms dealer are required to undergo fingerprinting and a background check before they can sell firearms, in addition to the requirement that they be eligible to possess a firearm and obtain a concealed weapons permit.  2.  Firearms dealers who permit employees to sell firearms who do not meet the qualifications set forth in RCW 9.41.110(5)(b) are subject to license revocation, as well as to possible criminal penalties as outlined in RCW 9.41.810.  3.  An employee of a firearms dealer does not have to obtain his or her own dealer's license in order to sell firearms, if the employee does not own, control, or profit from the business and otherwise meets the requirements contained in RCW 9.41.110 for an employee of a dealer.  4.  A person who is engaged in the business of selling ammunition in the state of Washington, but is not engaged in the business of manufacturing or importing ammunition or of selling firearms, does not have to obtain a state license, nor are the employees of such a person subject to a licensing requirement.
AGO 1988 No. 16 >  August 30, 1988
CRIMES - FIREARMS
FIREARMS It is not unlawful under RCW 9.41.250 to merely possess a device for suppressing the noise of a firearm.
AGO 1989 No. 19 >  October 23, 1989
FIREARMS - AUCTION OF FIREARMS - CITIES AND TOWNS - SHERIFF - STATE PATROL - LAW ENFORCEMENT
FIREARMS ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT ‑- STATE PATROL ‑- SHERIFF ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- AUCTION OF FIREARMS In order to comply with the auction requirements of RCW 9.41.098, a law enforcement agency must conduct its initial auction of firearms within one year after accumulating ten "forfeited" firearms as defined in the statute, excluding any firearms which the agency is legally entitled to retain for its own use; agencies which have not accumulated ten "forfeited" firearms may use their own discretion in deciding when to conduct an auction.
AGO 1993 No. 10 >  June 1, 1993
FIREARMS - CRIMES
Ability of an individual convicted of certain crimes to regain the right to possess a handgun upon pardon or final discharge a
AGO 1969 No. 5 >  February 26, 1969
FIREARMS - OWNERSHIP OR POSSESSION OF PISTOLS - PROBATION - RESTORATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
FIREARMS - OWNERSHIP OR POSSESSION OF PISTOLS - PROBATION - RESTORATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS (1) The provisions of RCW 9.41.040, which prohibit certain convicted persons from owning or carrying a pistol, do not apply to an individual who has obtained a dismissal of criminal proceedings under RCW 9.95.240. (2) The prohibitions contained in RCW 9.41.040 continue to apply to a convicted person who has obtained a restoration of his civil rights upon parole discharge under RCW 9.96.050.
AGO 1999 No. 6 >  July 12, 1999
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS - FIREFIGHTERS - PRISONS - EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL - MINORS - FIREARMS
Eligibility of persons between the ages of 18 and 21 to serve in various positions There is no statute barring a person over 18 years of age but less than 21 years of age from serving as a law enforcement officer, a prison guard, a firefighter, or a paramedic, provided that the person otherwise meets all qualifications for the job in question.
AGO 1994 No. 1 >  January 12, 1994
FIREARMS - WEAPONS - SCHOOLS
Possession of firearms in facilities used exclusively by schools RCW 9.41.280 prohibits possession of firearms in areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools.  An area of a facility is used exclusively by a school when the school has sole possession, control, or use of an area of the facility, regardless of the duration of the use.
AGO 1954 No. 283 >  July 13, 1954
FIREARMS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - POWER TO REGULATE
FIREARMS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- POWER TO REGULATE County commissioners may make ordinance regulating possession and use of firearms by minors, not in conflict with RCW 9.41.240.
AGO 1951 No. 424 >  January 11, 1951
FIREARMS - LICENSES - ALIENS
FIREARMS ‑- LICENSES ‑- ALIENS Notwithstanding the licensing authority being changed from the Director of Licenses to others enumerated in the statute, chapter 72, Laws of 1935, does not repeal chapter 52, Laws of 1911, requiring as a prerequisite that an alien, before being licensed to possess or carry any firearm, must present a certificate of the consul of the country from which he came that he is a responsible person.
AGO 2007 No. 4 >  April 10, 2007
FIREARMS
Whether certain weapons meet the statutory definition of “short-barreled shotgun If a weapon, as originally manufactured, did not meet the statutory definition of a “shotgun,” then the weapon is not a “short-barreled shotgun” for purposes of state law, either as originally manufactured or as later modified.
AGLO 1975 No. 16 >  February 18, 1975
FIREARMS - STATE, COUNTY AND CITY POLICEMEN
USE OF CONCEALED WEAPON WITHOUT LICENSE (1) A state patrolman, county sheriff or deputy sheriff, city policeman, town marshal or other law enforcement officer need not actually be on duty as such in order to be exempt, under RCW 9.41.060, from the prohibition in RCW 9.41.050 against carrying a pistol concealed on his person without a license. (2) The exemption of RCW 9.41.060 is applicable both to law enforcement officers of our own state and its political subdivisions and to those from other states and municipalities.
AGLO 1978 No. 11 >  March 21, 1978
CRIMES - PUNISHMENT - PAROLE BOARD - PRISONERS - FIREARMS - MANDATORY MINIMUM TERM OF CONFINEMENT
CRIMES ‑- PUNISHMENT ‑- PAROLE BOARD ‑- PRISONERS ‑- FIREARMS ‑- MANDATORY MINIMUM TERM OF CONFINEMENT The Washington State Board of Prison Terms and Paroles is not required to fix a mandatory minimum prison term under RCW 9.95.040 in those cases where a conviction is accompanied only by a special finding, entered pursuant to the provisions of RCW 9.41.025, that the individual in question was armed with a firearm at the time of the commission of his offense; in order for the Board's discretion to be so restricted there must, either in addition or instead, be a special finding entered pursuant to RCW 9.95.015 specifying that the individual was armed with a deadly weapon at the time of commission of the crime.
AGO 2008 No. 8 >  October 13, 2008
CITIES AND TOWNS - FIREARMS - PREEMPTION
Authority of city to enact a local law prohibiting possession of firearms on city property or in city-owned facilities RCW 9.41.290 preempts a city’s authority to enact local laws that prohibit possession of firearms on city property or in city-owned facilities.
AGO 2009 No. 7 >  November 16, 2009
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS - LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES - FIREARMS - DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Authority Of Limited Authority Washington Peace Officers Employed By The Department Of Corrections To Carry Concealed Pistols While Off Duty 1.      Community corrections officers, corrections officers, and other Department of Corrections employees who qualify as limited authority Washington peace officers are exempt from the prohibition against carrying a concealed pistol without a license to the extent that they are authorized to do so by the Department in order to carry out the law enforcement duties the Department authorizes them to perform.  2.      Limited authority Washington peace officers who have retired are not authorized to carry a concealed pistol without a license.
AGO 2006 No. 15 >  July 6, 2006
FIREARMS - DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Authority of corrections officers to carry concealed weapon without obtaining a concealed weapon permit(1)

1.  Corrections officers may carry concealed pistols without obtaining a concealed weapon permit if they meet the statutory definition of a law enforcement officer and are authorized by the Department of Corrections to carry a concealed weapon.  2.  Under RCW 10.93.020(4), corrections officers are limited authority Washington peace officers if they meet the requirements set forth in that statute.  3.  Corrections officers who meet the definition of “limited authority Washington peace officers” under RCW 10.93.020(4) are “law enforcement officers” for the purposes of RCW 9.41, but not necessarily for other purposes.

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