Archive for March, 2012

CCW Reciprocity Rules for Washington State

March 15, 2012 1 comment
English: BERSA Thunder 380 Concealed Carry

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CCW reciprocityis when a concealed carry weapon (ccw) permit issued by one state is honored by another state. The state of Washington has specific rules that govern which states’ permits they will honor. Other states may also honor Washington’s concealed pistol license.

The office of the Washington Attorney General provides a website with a list of the states that have ccw reciprocity with Washington. The state’s ccw reciprocity law requires that the list is updated annually. However, laws can change at any time throughout the year, so it is essential that the gun owner research concealed carry laws before traveling to other states, or to Washington from another state.

If you reside in the state of Washington and have a concealed pistol license, that permit will currently be honored by twelve other states in the Union. Anyone traveling to these twelve states must be sure to follow the concealed weapons laws for that state, as one of the ccw reciprocity stipulations is that handguns must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are in, as opposed to the licensing state.

Washington’s ccw reciprocity laws were amended in 2004. Since that time, Washington will allow a non-resident to carry a concealed weapon while visiting the state if that person has a permit to conceal and carry guns from another state. That state permit process must meet specific conditions laid out by Washington’s ccw reciprocity law. One of these requirements is that the state must require a background check of criminal and mental health for applicants. This check is conducted based on fingerprinting. Another requirement is that the state does not issue a permit to anyone under 21 years of age. Finally, the other state must also honor the Washington license.

Residents applying for a concealed pistol license will do so through their local sheriff’s department or police department. It is possible for non-residents to get a license to carry a concealed weapon while in Washington. Non-residents wishing to apply for a license may apply to any local law enforcement agency in Washington.

All applicants for the permit to carry concealed will have to provide a government issued photo identification card, be fingerprinted, and pass a thorough background check. The background check for a resident can take up to 30 days to complete, but for non-residents it may take twice as long.

All twelve states that have ccw reciprocity with Washington will honor the Washington permit, however Florida and Michigan will only honor permits that are issued to Washington residents.

The majority of states do not have ccw reciprocity with Washington. The reasons vary, but in most cases it is because the licensing process in the state in question does not meet the minimum standards set forth by Washington’s ccw reciprocity law. For example, eleven states do not require a fingerprint-based criminal background check in order to get a permit. Other states either do not have a mental health background check, or they have one, but it does not meet the Washington standard.

On the other hand, the license in Washington does not meet the training requirements set forth by Minnesota or South Carolina law, so there is not ccw reciprocity with these states.

Some states do not require a permit to conceal and carry guns. Others do not recognize a permit issued by any other state. In other cases, a state or jurisdiction such as Illinois and the District of Columbia, does not allow for the carrying of concealed weapons at all. CCW reciprocity with Washington is not possible under these circumstances.

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