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Restoring Gun Rights There are a number of circumstances where you could lose your firearm rights. Each situation has its own varying levels of complexity etc.

How Do I Restore My Firearm Rights in Washington State ? See Chapter RCW 9.41

There are a number of circumstances where you could lose your firearm rights. Each situation has its own varying levels of complexity. To find out about your particular situation, we advise you contact an attorney. However, here is a very general summary of how it works in Washington State.

If it is a Class A felony or a sex offense, you must seek a Pardon, Annulment, Certificate of Rehabilitation. Future posting will review these processes. This is also true if the Class A felony or sex offense was committed as a juvenile offender.If it is a Class B or C Felony the following three conditions must be met:

(1) More than 5 years have passed in the community without being convictedof any crime (misdemeanor or felony);

(2) No criminal charges are currently pending in any federal, state or local court;

(3) The person does not have a prior felony prohibiting the possession of firearms counted as part of the offender score.If these three conditions are met you may be eligible to seek restoration of Firearm Rights. If the crime is Domestic Violence related and the person is prohibited to own or possess firearms, then the four conditions must be met:

(1) More than 3 years have passed in the community without being convicted of any crime;

(2) No criminal charges are currently pending in any federal, state or local court;

(3) The person does not have a prior felony prohibiting the possession of firearms counted as part of the offender score;

(4) The person has successfully completed all conditions of their Judgment & Sentence including any financial obligations.

There is a sweeping exception to what is set forth above. If the conviction is for an offense committed prior to July 1, 1984; an order of dismissal was entered after completion of supervision, and the conviction is for an offense other than murder, manslaughter, robbery, rape, indecent liberties, arson, assault, kidnapping, extortion, burglary, or violations with respect to controlled substances. Speak with an attorney to learn more.


You will need to schedule a hearing date at the court that originally sentenced you, and notify the prosecuting attorney who was involved in your case. This process varies from court to court, so it’s best to contact the court clerk and ask about the rules for scheduling a hearing and notifying the prosecuting attorney. In addition, some courts require a civil petition, while others allow the petition to be done under the criminal cause number. Those interested in learning more about restoring Firearm Rights in Washington.

Do you need help getting back your firearm rights in Washington State? We are uniquely qualified to help you regain your rights because we have years of experience helping people restore their rights.

Our right to bear arms is guaranteed by the second amendment. A past criminal record may curtail these firearm rights. In Washington restoration of your ability to possess guns is possible under certain circumstances. We have helped a countless number of clients get their rights restored. Let us use our expertise to help you gain these important rights back. Regaining your gun rights can be an important step to putting your past conviction behind you.

Having a criminal record in Washington State may have caused you to lose your right to own a gun. However, you may qualify to have your gun rights restored. Certain felony violations require a five-year waiting period after a conviction, while others require a three-year waiting period, as well as the completion of all the terms of probation. A petition to restore your firearm rights must be filed at either the court of record that ordered the original prohibition on your possession or at the court in the county where you reside.

The courts in Washington take varying times to process these types of cases, depending on many factors including how busy the court is in a particular county. You can anticipate that your case may take 3 to 6 months or longer. Every case is different. If more time has passed since your release we may be able to show how well you have been doing and that you can be a positive member of society, and this information would help your case.

5 Steps to Restore Your Gun Rights in Washington State

Your right to possess a gun in Washington State will be suspended if you have a conviction for a felony crime. A conviction for a misdemeanor involving domestic violence will also take away your right to possess a gun.

The right to possess a gun, and the process for restoring the right to possess a gun, in Washington State is often misunderstood. In Washington State, a person's civil rights are restored after all sentence conditions are satisfied and probation ends. For a felony conviction civil rights are restored when a document called a Certificate of Discharge is filed with the court. However, this does not restore the right to possess a gun or any type of firearm. The right to possess a firearm is separate, and must be specifically restored by a court.

Similarly, having a criminal conviction expunged does not restore the right to possess a gun. In fact, when a court expunges a criminal conviction the Order specifically states the right to possess a firearm is not restored.

In Washington State, there are 5 steps, or criteria, that must be satisfied to restore your right to possess a gun.

1. To be eligible to restore your right to possess a firearm, you cannot have any criminal charges pending against you. This means if you are currently charged with any crime in a court in Washington State, a federal court, or a court in any other state, you are ineligible to have your right to possess a gun restored.

2. The required amount of time has passed.
Your right to possess a firearm can be restored in Washington State if at least five consecutive years have passed without being convicted of any crime. The five year period applies if the conviction that suspended your right to possess a firearm was a class B or class C felony. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor that suspended your right to possess a gun, then three years must pass before you can have your right restored.

3. You were not convicted of a crime that permanently prohibits you from possessing a firearm.
Convictions for certain crimes take away your right to possess a gun permanently. In Washington State, if you were convicted of a class A felony (most serious), you cannot have your firearm possession right restored. Additionally, if you were convicted of a crime in another state or in federal court that would constitute a class A felony in Washington State, or which has a maximum sentence of twenty years or longer, Washington State law does not permit your gun rights to be restored. The last category is sex crimes. If you have a conviction for an offense classified as a sex crime under Washington law, then a Washington State court will not restore your right to possess a gun or other firearm.

4. There is no court order currently in force that prohibits you from possessing a firearm.
Conviction of a crime is not the only means by which your right to possess a gun in Washington State can be taken away. Some criminal court orders, and certain civil court orders such as a domestic violence protection order, will prohibit possessing a gun.

5. You have never been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility for treatment.
If you were ever committed to a mental health facility without your consent, then you are not eligible to have your right to possess a firearm restored in Washington State.

As you can see, you can have your right to possess a gun restored in Washington State if you meet the criteria. In most cases, these 5 steps take only a few weeks to complete.


2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 9.41.040: Unlawful possession of firearms — Ownership, possession by certain persons — Penalties.

(1)(a) A person, whether an adult or juvenile, is guilty of the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree, if the person owns, has in his or her possession, or has in his or her control any firearm after having previously been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity in this state or elsewhere of any serious offense as defined in this chapter.

(b) Unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree is a class B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.

(2)(a) A person, whether an adult or juvenile, is guilty of the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree, if the person does not qualify under subsection (1) of this section for the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree and the person owns, has in his or her possession, or has in his or her control any firearm:

(i) After having previously been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity in this state or elsewhere of any felony not specifically listed as prohibiting firearm possession under subsection (1) of this section, or any of the following crimes when committed by one family or household member against another, committed on or after July 1, 1993: Assault in the fourth degree, coercion, stalking, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass in the first degree, or violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from a residence (RCW 26.50.060, 26.50.070, 26.50.130, or 10.99.040);

(ii) After having previously been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment under RCW 71.05.320, * 71.34.090, chapter 10.77 RCW, or equivalent statutes of another jurisdiction, unless his or her right to possess a firearm has been restored as provided in RCW 9.41.047;

(iii) If the person is under eighteen years of age, except as provided in RCW 9.41.042; and/or

(iv) If the person is free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a serious offense as defined in RCW 9.41.010.

(b) Unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree is a class C felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.

(3) Notwithstanding RCW 9.41.047 or any other provisions of law, as used in this chapter, a person has been "convicted", whether in an adult court or adjudicated in a juvenile court, at such time as a plea of guilty has been accepted, or a verdict of guilty has been filed, notwithstanding the pendency of any future proceedings including but not limited to sentencing or disposition, post-trial or post-factfinding motions, and appeals. Conviction includes a dismissal entered after a period of probation, suspension or deferral of sentence, and also includes equivalent dispositions by courts in jurisdictions other than Washington state. A person shall not be precluded from possession of a firearm if the conviction has been the subject of a pardon, annulment, certificate of rehabilitation, or other equivalent procedure based on a finding of the rehabilitation of the person convicted or the conviction or disposition has been the subject of a pardon, annulment, or other equivalent procedure based on a finding of innocence. Where no record of the court's disposition of the charges can be found, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person was not convicted of the charge.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1) or (2) of this section, a person convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of an offense prohibiting the possession of a firearm under this section other than murder, manslaughter, robbery, rape, indecent liberties, arson, assault, kidnapping, extortion, burglary, or violations with respect to controlled substances under RCW 69.50.401 and 69.50.410, who received a probationary sentence under RCW 9.95.200, and who received a dismissal of the charge under RCW 9.95.240, shall not be precluded from possession of a firearm as a result of the conviction or finding of not guilty by reason of insanity. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, if a person is prohibited from possession of a firearm under subsection (1) or (2) of this section and has not previously been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of a sex offense prohibiting firearm ownership under subsection (1) or (2) of this section and/or any felony defined under any law as a class A felony or with a maximum sentence of at least twenty years, or both, the individual may petition a court of record to have his or her right to possess a firearm restored:

(a) Under RCW 9.41.047; and/or

(b)(i) If the conviction or finding of not guilty by reason of insanity was for a felony offense, after five or more consecutive years in the community without being convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity or currently charged with any felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor crimes, if the individual has no prior felony convictions that prohibit the possession of a firearm counted as part of the offender score under RCW 9.94A.525; or

(ii) If the conviction or finding of not guilty by reason of insanity was for a nonfelony offense, after three or more consecutive years in the community without being convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity or currently charged with any felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor crimes, if the individual has no prior felony convictions that prohibit the possession of a firearm counted as part of the offender score under RCW 9.94A.525 and the individual has completed all conditions of the sentence.

(5) In addition to any other penalty provided for by law, if a person under the age of eighteen years is found by a court to have possessed a firearm in a vehicle in violation of subsection (1) or (2) of this section or to have committed an offense while armed with a firearm during which offense a motor vehicle served an integral function, the court shall notify the department of licensing within twenty-four hours and the person's privilege to drive shall be revoked under RCW 46.20.265.

(6) Nothing in chapter 129, Laws of 1995 shall ever be construed or interpreted as preventing an offender from being charged and subsequently convicted for the separate felony crimes of theft of a firearm or possession of a stolen firearm, or both, in addition to being charged and subsequently convicted under this section for unlawful possession of a firearm in the first or second degree. Notwithstanding any other law, if the offender is convicted under this section for unlawful possession of a firearm in the first or second degree and for the felony crimes of theft of a firearm or possession of a stolen firearm, or both, then the offender shall serve consecutive sentences for each of the felony crimes of conviction listed in this subsection.

(7) Each firearm unlawfully possessed under this section shall be a separate offense.


2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 9.41.047: Restoration of possession rights.

(1) At the time a person is convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of an offense making the person ineligible to possess a firearm, or at the time a person is committed by court order under RCW 71.05.320, * 71.34.090, or chapter 10.77 RCW for mental health treatment, the convicting or committing court shall notify the person, orally and in writing, that the person must immediately surrender any concealed pistol license and that the person may not possess a firearm unless his or her right to do so is restored by a court of record. For purposes of this section a convicting court includes a court in which a person has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

The convicting or committing court also shall forward a copy of the person's driver's license or identicard, or comparable information, to the department of licensing, along with the date of conviction or commitment.

(2) Upon receipt of the information provided for by subsection (1) of this section, the department of licensing shall determine if the convicted or committed person has a concealed pistol license. If the person does have a concealed pistol license, the department of licensing shall immediately notify the license-issuing authority which, upon receipt of such notification, shall immediately revoke the license.

(3)(a) A person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm, by reason of having been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment under RCW 71.05.320, * 71.34.090, chapter 10.77 RCW, or equivalent statutes of another jurisdiction may, upon discharge, petition a court of record to have his or her right to possess a firearm restored. At the time of commitment, the court shall specifically state to the person that he or she is barred from possession of firearms.

(b) The secretary of social and health services shall develop appropriate rules to create an approval process under this subsection. The rules must provide for the restoration of the right to possess a firearm upon a showing in a court of competent jurisdiction that the person is no longer required to participate in an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, is no longer required to take medication to treat any condition related to the commitment, and does not present a substantial danger to himself or herself, others, or the public. Unlawful possession of a firearm under this subsection shall be punished as a class C felony under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

(c) A person petitioning the court under this subsection (3) shall bear the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the circumstances resulting in the commitment no longer exist and are not reasonably likely to recur. If a preponderance of the evidence in the record supports a finding that the person petitioning the court has engaged in violence and that it is more likely than not that the person will engage in violence after his or her right to possess a firearm is restored, the person shall bear the burden of proving by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that he or she does not present a substantial danger to the safety of others.

(4) No person who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity may petition a court for restoration of the right to possess a firearm unless the person meets the requirements for the restoration of the right to possess a firearm under RCW 9.41.040(4).

2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 9.41.050: Carrying firearms.

(1)(a) Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, a person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his or her person without a license to carry a concealed pistol.

     (b) Every licensee shall have his or her concealed pistol license in his or her immediate possession at all times that he or she is required by this section to have a concealed pistol license and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or to any other person when and if required by law to do so. Any violation of this subsection (1)(b) shall be a class 1 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW and shall be punished accordingly pursuant to chapter 7.80 RCW and the infraction rules for courts of limited jurisdiction.

     (2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.

     (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.

     (3)(a) A person at least eighteen years of age who is in possession of an unloaded pistol shall not leave the unloaded pistol in a vehicle unless the unloaded pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.

     (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.

     (4) Nothing in this section permits the possession of firearms illegal to possess under state or federal law.

2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 9.41.098: Forfeiture of firearms — Disposition — Confiscation.

(1) The superior courts and the courts of limited jurisdiction of the state may order forfeiture of a firearm which is proven to be:

     (a) Found concealed on a person not authorized by RCW 9.41.060 or 9.41.070 to carry a concealed pistol: PROVIDED, That it is an absolute defense to forfeiture if the person possessed a valid Washington concealed pistol license within the preceding two years and has not become ineligible for a concealed pistol license in the interim. Before the firearm may be returned, the person must pay the past due renewal fee and the current renewal fee;

     (b) Commercially sold to any person without an application as required by RCW 9.41.090;

     (c) In the possession of a person prohibited from possessing the firearm under RCW 9.41.040 or 9.41.045;

     (d) In the possession or under the control of a person at the time the person committed or was arrested for committing a felony or committing a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed;

     (e) In the possession of a person who is in any place in which a concealed pistol license is required, and who is under the influence of any drug or under the influence of intoxicating liquor, as defined in chapter 46.61 RCW;

     (f) In the possession of a person free on bail or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony or for a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed, except that violations of Title 77 RCW shall not result in forfeiture under this section;

     (g) In the possession of a person found to have been mentally incompetent while in possession of a firearm when apprehended or who is thereafter committed pursuant to chapter 10.77 or 71.05 RCW;

     (h) Used or displayed by a person in the violation of a proper written order of a court of general jurisdiction; or

     (i) Used in the commission of a felony or of a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed.

     (2) Upon order of forfeiture, the court in its discretion may order destruction of any forfeited firearm. A court may temporarily retain forfeited firearms needed for evidence.

     (a) Except as provided in (b), (c), and (d) of this subsection, firearms that are: (i) Judicially forfeited and no longer needed for evidence; or (ii) forfeited due to a failure to make a claim under RCW 63.32.010 or 63.40.010; may be disposed of in any manner determined by the local legislative authority. Any proceeds of an auction or trade may be retained by the legislative authority. This subsection (2)(a) applies only to firearms that come into the possession of the law enforcement agency after June 30, 1993.

     By midnight, June 30, 1993, every law enforcement agency shall prepare an inventory, under oath, of every firearm that has been judicially forfeited, has been seized and may be subject to judicial forfeiture, or that has been, or may be, forfeited due to a failure to make a claim under RCW 63.32.010 or 63.40.010.

     (b) Except as provided in (c) of this subsection, of the inventoried firearms a law enforcement agency shall destroy illegal firearms, may retain a maximum of ten percent of legal forfeited firearms for agency use, and shall either:

     (i) Comply with the provisions for the auction of firearms in RCW 9.41.098 that were in effect immediately preceding May 7, 1993; or

     (ii) Trade, auction, or arrange for the auction of, rifles and shotguns. In addition, the law enforcement agency shall either trade, auction, or arrange for the auction of, short firearms, or shall pay a fee of twenty-five dollars to the state treasurer for every short firearm neither auctioned nor traded, to a maximum of fifty thousand dollars. The fees shall be accompanied by an inventory, under oath, of every short firearm listed in the inventory required by (a) of this subsection, that has been neither traded nor auctioned. The state treasurer shall credit the fees to the firearms range account established in RCW 79A.25.210. All trades or auctions of firearms under this subsection shall be to licensed dealers. Proceeds of any auction less costs, including actual costs of storage and sale, shall be forwarded to the firearms range account established in RCW 79A.25.210.

     (c) Antique firearms and firearms recognized as curios, relics, and firearms of particular historical significance by the United States treasury department *bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are exempt from destruction and shall be disposed of by auction or trade to licensed dealers.

     (d) Firearms in the possession of the Washington state patrol on or after May 7, 1993, that are judicially forfeited and no longer needed for evidence, or forfeited due to a failure to make a claim under RCW 63.35.020, must be disposed of as follows: (i) Firearms illegal for any person to possess must be destroyed; (ii) the Washington state patrol may retain a maximum of ten percent of legal firearms for agency use; and (iii) all other legal firearms must be auctioned or traded to licensed dealers. The Washington state patrol may retain any proceeds of an auction or trade.

     (3) The court shall order the firearm returned to the owner upon a showing that there is no probable cause to believe a violation of subsection (1) of this section existed or the firearm was stolen from the owner or the owner neither had knowledge of nor consented to the act or omission involving the firearm which resulted in its forfeiture.

     (4) A law enforcement officer of the state or of any county or municipality may confiscate a firearm found to be in the possession of a person under circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this section. After confiscation, the firearm shall not be surrendered except: (a) To the prosecuting attorney for use in subsequent legal proceedings; (b) for disposition according to an order of a court having jurisdiction as provided in subsection (1) of this section; or (c) to the owner if the proceedings are dismissed or as directed in subsection (3) of this section.

2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 9.41.190: Unlawful firearms — Exceptions.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, own, buy, sell, loan, furnish, transport, or have in possession or under control, any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or any part designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, or in converting a weapon into a machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle; or to assemble or repair any machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle.

     (2) This section shall not apply to:

     (a) Any peace officer in the discharge of official duty or traveling to or from official duty, or to any officer or member of the armed forces of the United States or the state of Washington in the discharge of official duty or traveling to or from official duty; or

     (b) A person, including an employee of such person if the employee has undergone fingerprinting and a background check, who or which is exempt from or licensed under federal law, and engaged in the production, manufacture, repair, or testing of machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, or short-barreled rifles:

     (i) To be used or purchased by the armed forces of the United States;

     (ii) To be used or purchased by federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agencies; or

     (iii) For exportation in compliance with all applicable federal laws and regulations.

     (3) It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution brought under this section that the machine gun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle was acquired prior to July 1, 1994, and is possessed in compliance with federal law.

     (4) Any person violating this section is guilty of a class C felony.

2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 9.41.250: Dangerous weapons — Penalty.

Every person who:

     (1) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement;

     (2) Furtively carries with intent to conceal any dagger, dirk, pistol, or other dangerous weapon; or

     (3) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm,

is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 9.41.300: Weapons prohibited in certain places — Local laws and ordinances — Exceptions — Penalty.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to enter the following places when he or she knowingly possesses or knowingly has under his or her control a weapon:

     (a) The restricted access areas of a jail, or of a law enforcement facility, or any place used for the confinement of a person (i) arrested for, charged with, or convicted of an offense, (ii) held for extradition or as a material witness, or (iii) otherwise confined pursuant to an order of a court, except an order under chapter 13.32A or 13.34 RCW. Restricted access areas do not include common areas of egress or ingress open to the general public;

     (b) Those areas in any building which are used in connection with court proceedings, including courtrooms, jury rooms, judge's chambers, offices and areas used to conduct court business, waiting areas, and corridors adjacent to areas used in connection with court proceedings. The restricted areas do not include common areas of ingress and egress to the building that is used in connection with court proceedings, when it is possible to protect court areas without restricting ingress and egress to the building. The restricted areas shall be the minimum necessary to fulfill the objective of this subsection (1)(b).

     In addition, the local legislative authority shall provide either a stationary locked box sufficient in size for pistols and key to a weapon owner for weapon storage, or shall designate an official to receive weapons for safekeeping, during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building. The locked box or designated official shall be located within the same building used in connection with court proceedings. The local legislative authority shall be liable for any negligence causing damage to or loss of a weapon either placed in a locked box or left with an official during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building.

     The local judicial authority shall designate and clearly mark those areas where weapons are prohibited, and shall post notices at each entrance to the building of the prohibition against weapons in the restricted areas;

     (c) The restricted access areas of a public mental health facility certified by the department of social and health services for inpatient hospital care and state institutions for the care of the mentally ill, excluding those facilities solely for evaluation and treatment. Restricted access areas do not include common areas of egress and ingress open to the general public;

     (d) That portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under twenty-one years of age; or

     (e) The restricted access areas of a commercial service airport designated in the airport security plan approved by the federal transportation security administration, including passenger screening checkpoints at or beyond the point at which a passenger initiates the screening process. These areas do not include airport drives, general parking areas and walkways, and shops and areas of the terminal that are outside the screening checkpoints and that are normally open to unscreened passengers or visitors to the airport. Any restricted access area shall be clearly indicated by prominent signs indicating that firearms and other weapons are prohibited in the area.

     (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

     (a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and

     (b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:

     (i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060; or

     (ii) Any showing, demonstration, or lecture involving the exhibition of firearms.

     (3)(a) Cities, towns, and counties may enact ordinances restricting the areas in their respective jurisdictions in which firearms may be sold, but, except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a business selling firearms may not be treated more restrictively than other businesses located within the same zone. An ordinance requiring the cessation of business within a zone shall not have a shorter grandfather period for businesses selling firearms than for any other businesses within the zone.

     (b) Cities, towns, and counties may restrict the location of a business selling firearms to not less than five hundred feet from primary or secondary school grounds, if the business has a storefront, has hours during which it is open for business, and posts advertisements or signs observable to passersby that firearms are available for sale. A business selling firearms that exists as of the date a restriction is enacted under this subsection (3)(b) shall be grandfathered according to existing law.

     (4) Violations of local ordinances adopted under subsection (2) of this section must have the same penalty as provided for by state law.

     (5) The perimeter of the premises of any specific location covered by subsection (1) of this section shall be posted at reasonable intervals to alert the public as to the existence of any law restricting the possession of firearms on the premises.

     (6) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:

     (a) A person engaged in military activities sponsored by the federal or state governments, while engaged in official duties;

     (b) Law enforcement personnel, except that subsection (1)(b) of this section does apply to a law enforcement officer who is present at a courthouse building as a party to an action under chapter 10.14, 10.99, or 26.50 RCW, or an action under Title 26 RCW where any party has alleged the existence of domestic violence as defined in RCW 26.50.010; or

     (c) Security personnel while engaged in official duties.

     (7) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not apply to a person licensed pursuant to RCW 9.41.070 who, upon entering the place or facility, directly and promptly proceeds to the administrator of the facility or the administrator's designee and obtains written permission to possess the firearm while on the premises or checks his or her firearm. The person may reclaim the firearms upon leaving but must immediately and directly depart from the place or facility.

     (8) Subsection (1)(c) of this section does not apply to any administrator or employee of the facility or to any person who, upon entering the place or facility, directly and promptly proceeds to the administrator of the facility or the administrator's designee and obtains written permission to possess the firearm while on the premises.

     (9) Subsection (1)(d) of this section does not apply to the proprietor of the premises or his or her employees while engaged in their employment.

     (10) Any person violating subsection (1) of this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

     (11) "Weapon" as used in this section means any firearm, explosive as defined in RCW 70.74.010, or instrument or weapon listed in RCW 9.41.250.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Washington may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.


Firearm Rights and Restoration of Gun Rights A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment II (1791)

The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

Constitution of the State of Washington, Article I, Section 24 (1889)

From Colonial times, Americans have nurtured an enduring belief in private ownership of firearms and the safe, lawful use of guns for hunting, sport, and self-defense. At Citizens Court Watch.Com we understand and respect the rich tradition of American arms.  We also understand that gun owners often must defend the tradition, and themselves, against enemies of the right to keep and bear arms.  We are ready to assist you with self help information only in all areas related to gun rights, including:

Restoration of firearm possession rights: Some citizens lose the rights to lawful possession of firearms because of errors in their criminal-history records or prior convictions. In many cases, we can help remove the hurdles to lawful possession.

Vacating & sealing convictions, sealing juvenile records, deleting non-conviction data: Washington law permits many old criminal-history records to be sealed or deleted; call us for a complimentary review.

Recovery of confiscated firearms: Law-enforcement may confiscate guns found during police assistance calls, even when the guns are not evidence and officers do not suspect the owner of any crime. We help clients recover confiscated firearms and avoid loss of ownership under forfeiture laws.

Protection orders, anti-harassment orders, no-contact orders: Many gun owners do not realize that court orders restricting contact between people are a grave threat to lawful firearm possession...for a lifetime! We have defended many clients against protection orders.

Washington State law makes restoration of gun rights possible for many with a history of felony or misdemeanor convictions

Raise your hand if this sounds like someone you know:  As a not-yet-fully-baked adult, he made what today’s parents refer to as “bad choices.”  A few too many traffic tickets.  A bit of theft.  An unsuccessful attempt to outrun the cops.  A bar brawl.  A burglary.  Some or all of the above . . . and then some.

Fast forward to today.  It’s been 10 . . . 15 . . . maybe 20 years since any trouble with the law.  He has a career, or maybe his own business, and a family.  But here’s what he doesn’t have: the right under Washington law and federal law to own or possess firearms.   He has one or two, or even more, felony convictions on his record, and every felony conviction disqualifies him.

It does not even take a felony case to lose firearm rights.  Conviction for a misdemeanor offense with a “domestic violence” tag also terminates gun rights.

And in nearly every case, it does not matter whether the conviction has been expunged, or whether the charge was dismissed under some deferral program offered as a plea deal by the prosecuting attorney.  As far as the authorities are concerned, the conviction still prohibits firearm possession.

That’s a grim picture for a guy who outgrew the “bad choices” period of his life long ago, and now just wants to hunt with his dad and grandfather, or take his own kid to the range.

For the vast majority of such people, however, Washington law offers a way to restore gun rights.  A Superior Court will issue a court order restoring gun rights for an eligible person.  So who is eligible?  These are the basic criteria: five years have elapsed since the date of the felony conviction (three years if the conviction was for a misdemeanor), and there are no pending criminal charges or arrest warrants.  And, of course, the person must not be prohibited from firearm possession due to some other factor unrelated to the old conviction, such as a mental-health commitment, or a court order that limits firearm rights, such as a protection order, restraining order, or no-contact order.

Some offenses are so serious that a convicted person can never restore firearm rights.  These are the sex offenses and Class A felonies, such as homicide, robbery, and other violent crimes.

In Washington, if an eligible person asks a Superior Court judge to restore firearm rights, the judge must grant the request.  It’s mandatory.  The judge cannot refuse the request just because the judge thinks the applicant is a bad actor.  On the other side of the coin, the judge cannot grant the request of an ineligible person just because the person has a long list of accomplishments and a fistful of character references.  This is a pass/fail test.  The applicant either meets the criteria or he doesn’t.

The law on restoration of firearm rights is surprisingly complex and confusing.  There are rules, and exceptions to rules, and exceptions to the exceptions.   There is an intricate intersection of state and federal law, especially when it comes to domestic-violence offenses.  And there is a driving blizzard of bad information about firearm rights put out by everyone from bloggers and forum contributors to sheriff’s staffs and lawyers who ought to know better.    Given the right guide through that blizzard, the guy described at the beginning of this post stands a pretty good chance of recovering his gun rights.

PETITION RCW 9.41.040/9.41.047 CERTIFICATE RESTORATION OF GUN RIGHTS

FOR YOUR INFORMATION:

1. SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THIS PROCESS WILL NOT EXPUNGE A CRIMINAL CONVICTION FROM YOUR RECORD.

2. SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THIS PROCESS WILL NOT GUARANTEE THE APPROPRIATE LICENSING AGENCY WILL ISSUE A FIREARM(S) POSSESSION PERMIT.

3. IF YOU ARE PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING A FIREARM BY REASON OF HAVING BEEN INVOLUNTARILY COMMITTED FOR MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION, YOU MUST COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RCW 9.41.047 (3).

4. YOU MAY ONLY PETITION THIS COURT FOR RESTORATION OF FIREARM RIGHTS IF SPOKANE SUPERIOR COURT ORDERED THE PROHIBITION ON POSSESSION OF A FIREARM, OR IF YOU CURRENTLY RESIDE IN SPOKANE COUNTY.

I N S T R U C T I O N S

1. This packet contains an instruction sheet and four forms, a Petition for RCW

9.41.040/9.41.047 Certificate, Note for Hearing and Order/Certificate. There are two versions of the Petition, one for convictions and one for involuntary commitment for mental health treatment. Use only the Petition that applies to you.

2. Please read and fill-out the Petition carefully and check only the boxes that apply to you. Sign and date the petition.

For Convictions:

3. You must attach to the Petition a certified copy of the order of the court where you were sentenced that you have successfully completed the terms and conditions of your sentence. An order needs to be provided for each offense. If the offense was ordered in a court that is outside of this county or state, you must contact that court to obtain the necessary order.

4. You must attach to the Petition a certified copy - issued not more than thirty (30) days prior to filing the Petition - of your local, state and national (FBI NCII) criminal history. In order to obtain your record you must contact the Washington State Patrol (WSP), and they will make a copy of your state criminal record for a fee. This record must be attached to your Petition. The WSP can be contacted as follows:

Washington State Patrol

Identification and Criminal History Section

P.O. Box 42633

Olympia, WA 98504-2633

Customer Service: 360-534-2000

Email: crimhis@wsp.wa.gov or watch.help@wsp.wa.gov

Url: http://watch.wsp.wa.gov

5. Items 3 and 4 above must be attached to your Petition before the Petition is filed in the Superior Court with the Spokane County Clerk.

For Involuntary Commitment:

6. If your right to possess a firearm was taken by reason of having been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment under RCW 71.05.240, 71.05.740, 71.34.740, 71.34.750, chapter 10.77 RCW or equivalent statutes of another jurisdiction, at your hearing you must prove that you (1) are no longer required to participate in any inpatient or outpatient treatment program; (2) have successfully managed the condition related to the commitment; (3) do not present a substantial danger to yourself, others, or the public; and (4) the circumstances resulting in the commitment are not reasonably likely to recur.

7. Attach the order of commitment, a certified copy of your local, state (WSP) and national (FBI NCII) criminal history, (issued not more than thirty (30) days prior to filing the Petition) along with any paperwork regarding your release to the petition. Contact information for the WSP can be found above in item four.

8. While not required, attachment of copies of official records from the commitment treatment facility establishing each of the facts in Item 6 is encouraged.

Service and Filing:

9. Make at least two copies of the Petition and the documents attached to the Petition so that you have the original and two additional copies. One copy is for you and one copy is for the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney.

10. File the original Petition with the Spokane County Superior Court Clerk (Rm. 300, Spokane County Superior Courthouse) and conform (Clerk’s date stamp) both copies. There is a $240 filing fee.

11. Take the Note for Hearing form, which is in your packet, to the Superior Court Presiding Court Judicial Assistant with a conformed copy of your Petition and attachments within 60 days of filing the petition. If you do not, you will be required to provide updated copies of your criminal background checks.

12. The Presiding Court Judicial Assistant will give you a court date for a hearing on your Petition at least ten days from the date the Petition was filed.

13. Complete the Note for Hearing form with the date and time given to you by the Presiding Court Judicial Assistant. Make at least two copies of the form, one for yourself and one for the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

14. You must serve the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s office with a copy of your Petition, attachments, and a copy of the Note for Hearing that indicates the date and time of hearing. The Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s office has agreed to accept service of this paperwork at their main office in the City-County Public Safety Building. The Note for Hearing form has a place where the Prosecutor’s office can stamp the original document accepting service. The Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney is entitled to a minimum of seven working days’ notice of the hearing. Serve the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney with the papers as soon as possible.

15. When you have completed service and the Spokane County Prosecutor has stamped the original Note for Hearing, file the original Note for Hearing with the Spokane County Clerk. This form is your proof the Petition and attachments were served on the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney.

16. Call the Spokane County Superior Court Presiding Department no later than 12:00 P.M. two court days prior to your scheduled hearing and let the Court know you are ready to proceed with your hearing.

17. Appear in the Presiding Court on the date and time of hearing and present the signed Certificate form in this packet. If it is not made available at the time of hearing, a Certificate will not be signed.by the judge. If the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney has an objection to your Petition, the Prosecuting Attorney will be present at the hearing.

18. If the judge approves your petition and signs the Order, then obtain a certified copy of the Order for you records.



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