Each state has its own laws on conceal carry. All 50 states allow residents to carry a weapon in public places as long as it is concealed (hidden) to surrounding observers, though many states require a permit for concealed carry. The opposite of concealed carry is called open carry. Washington State is an open-carry state. Our state requires a permit for concealed carry, but does not require a permit or license to openly carry a firearm. The only restriction is that openly carrying a firearm is prohibited in all areas where concealed carry is prohibited.
New York State has some of the nation’s strictest gun laws. A U.S. Supreme Court decision in June 2022 ruled that a New York state law requiring gun owners to show cause to obtain a concealed carry permit was unconstitutional, describing the discretionary requirement as a violation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas reads, “The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees’.”
The court was split 6-3 on the decision, with every liberal justice dissenting and every member of the conservative majority opting to strike down the law.
How Does the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Concealed Carry Affect WA Concealed Carry Laws?
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on concealed carry does not directly affect carry permit laws in Washington State and it could make future gun-safety legislation more of a challenge, according to state officials.
In Washington, gun owners can obtain concealed carry permits as long as they meet certain requirements under RCW 9.41.070, including a condition to be at least 21 years old and in possession of a valid state ID. A permit will also be denied to anyone who is pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony offense, has an outstanding warrant for their arrest, or has been ordered to forfeit a firearm under RCW 9.41.098 within the year before submitting the application.
The state does not have any discretionary criteria like the criteria New York had implemented but it has strengthened gun safety laws over the last couple of decades by:
- Restricting the purchase of semi-automatic rifles,
- Expanding background checks, and
- Establishing red flag laws.
- This past spring, the state Legislature approved a ban on the manufacture, distribution, and sale of firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The ban went into effect on July 1, 2022.
Has your concealed carry permit been denied or revoked? Call a local criminal defense attorney
As criminal defense attorneys, we defend our clients’ rights and freedoms every day. If your concealed carry license is denied or revoked, call a local criminal defense attorney for help right away. Choose a criminal defense lawyer with knowledge and experience about WA concealed carry laws and other state firearms laws. A firearms lawyer can examine the facts of your case and provide legal advice about whether you have grounds to appeal the revocation or denial of your concealed carry license. If you do, your lawyer can handle the challenge process for revocation or denial of a concealed carry license, which must be completed following very specific protocols. The sooner you call, the sooner your rights can be restored!
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We understand that being charged with a crime is a stressful and upsetting situation. Having an aggressive advocate in your corner who can offer legal guidance and craft a strategic, practical approach to your case is so important. The experienced Mount Vernon criminal defense lawyer at Fields Law Office provides legal representation to criminal defense clients in Skagit, Island, and Whatcom Counties.
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