In Washington State, a person gains the right to possess a firearm at the age of 18. This right can be lost, however, in a number of different ways, and often before the right is ever even gained:
Loss of Firearm Rights – RCW 9.41.040:
All Felony Offenses: Firearm rights are lost under state law whenever a person is convicted of any felony offense.
- Domestic Violence Offenses Committed After July 1, 1993 : Firearm rights are lost under state law whenever a person is convicted of the following offenses, when the offense was committed after July 1, 1993, and the offense was committed by a family or household member against another, or by an intimate partner against another (domestic violence):
- Assault 4th degree.
- Reckless Endangerment.
- Criminal Trespass first degree.
- Violation of a Protection Order or No Contact Order
- After June 7, 2018, a person convicted of Harassment (DV)
Juvenile Convictions: Firearm rights are lost under state law through most juvenile convictions.
Domestic Violence Offenses Committed After July 23, 2023: Firearm rights are lost under state law whenever a person is convicted of the following offenses, when the offense is committed
AFTER July 23, 2023:
- Any offense defined as “domestic violence.”
- Cyber Harassment.
- Aiming or Discharging a Firearm
- Unlawful Carrying/Handling of a Firearm.
- Animal Cruelty 2nd degree.
- Violating an order to surrender and prohibit weapons
- Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO)
Prior DUI Offenses: A person is subject to loss of firearm rights if the person was previously convicted of a “prior offense” within seven years of the commission of the new offense. A “prior offense” can be Driving Under the Influence, Physical Control, Reckless Driving, Negligent Driving 1st Degree, Reckless Endangerment, Felony DUI/Vehicular Assault/Vehicular Homicide, or even a Deferred Prosecution.
Restoration of Firearm Rights – RCW 9.41.041:
No Restoration Possible: If a person is convicted of any of the following, it is not possible to restore their right to possess a firearm:
- Any class A felony
- Any felony sex offense
- Involuntary commitment, or found not guilty by reason of insanity
- Any felony conviction with a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Firearm Restoration Possible: If a person does not fit the category above, their right to possess a firearm may be restored, under certain circumstances. To restore the right to possess a firearm in Washington State, the following criteria must be met:
Time: Five Years must have passed with a person being crime-free in the community (no convictions since release from jail or prison if a sentence was served), or no convictions since a guilty plea was entered with no time served.
No Pending Charges: The person must not have any pending charges against them in State, Federal, or Municipal Court, or courts in any other states or jurisdictions
No Offender Score: The person must have no “points” on their record. Their prior conviction(s) must be “washed” from their offender score
- Class C Felony = 5 years
- Class B Felony = 10 years
- Class A Felony = Never
Completion of Conditions: The person has completed all conditions of their sentence. This includes court-ordered treatment or restitution to parties or victims of their case(s)
A person that meets the conditions listed above may be eligible to have their firearm rights in Washington State restored. Once this occurs, they should be able to obtain a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) and purchase firearms. If a person’s rights have been lost federally, which can occur for a number of different reasons, they may never be able to purchase a long gun (shotgun or rifle), but they may still be able to possess one under Washington State law.
Please contact our team directly for information on restoring your right to possess a firearm.