The Washington Attorney General’s Office has a limited role with regard to Washington’s firearms laws. While we cannot interpret the firearms laws for you or give you legal advice, there are a few ways in which the Washington Attorney General’s Office is involved in this area of the law.
High-Capacity Magazine Restrictions
On July 1, 2022, a law prohibiting the sale, attempted sale, manufacture and distribution of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds went into effect in Washington. The law does not prohibit the possession of high-capacity magazines. Washington joined nine states that already restricted high-capacity magazines. With Washington’s legislation in place, more than 100 million people live in states that block the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds.
In November 2018, the voters of Washington adopted Initiative 1639, which made a number of changes to Washington’s firearms laws. To facilitate a better understanding of what the new law does, and does not require, the Attorney General’s Office has developed a Frequently Asked Questions list that answers questions about the new law that have come to our attention. You can access the FAQs here
On February 12, 2019, Attorney General Ferguson issued an open letter to Washington’s sheriffs and police chiefs regarding the enforcement and implementation of Initiative 1639. The letter can be accessed here.
Ban on the Sale of Assault Weapons
Effective April 25, 2023, Washington prohibits the sale, manufacture, and import of assault weapons in Washington state while allowing reasonable exemptions for manufacture and sale to law enforcement and the military. The legislation does not prohibit the possession of assault weapons. Washington joined nine other states to adopt similar legislation banning these weapons.
Concealed Pistol License Reciprocity
The Attorney General’s Office periodically reviews the laws of other states to determine whether those laws meet the requirements for Washington to recognize a concealed pistol license issued by those states. The Attorney General is required by law to publish a list of states that Washington has reciprocity with. That list is periodically updated and can be accessed here.
For more information on how to obtain a concealed pistol license in Washington, please consult the relevant law and contact your local police or sheriff’s office.
If you have a question about whether another state will recognize your Washington concealed pistol license, you can check our reciprocity page, and you may also consider contacting that state directly. Information generally on concealed pistols can be found in the list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Legislation Reforming Firearms Laws
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is committed to taking steps to reduce firearms fatalities and injuries in Washington, with a goal towards making our homes and communities safer. As part of this commitment, Attorney General Ferguson’s legislative agenda has consistently included common sense and meaningful changes to Washington’s firearms laws. Information on Attorney General Ferguson’s current legislative agenda can be found here.
Attorney General’s Office White Paper: Firearms Access in Washington
Though the Attorney General does not have general authority to regulate firearms access in Washington, in 2016 at the request of Governor Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson prepared and submitted a White Paper on the subject. The White Paper makes findings and recommendations for administrative improvements and legislative changes that Washington policy makers could consider or should take to improve Washington’s laws and policies related to access to firearms in our state. Some of the recommendations in the White Paper have been adopted by policymakers at the state or local level, others continue to be considered. Access the White Paper and other related documents and information here.
Frequently Asked Questions: Firearms Generally
While the Attorney General’s Office cannot interpret the law for you or provide you legal advice, we can provide information of a general nature. Answers to questions that are frequently asked can be found here.