Just two months after the tragic Charleston shooting, the nation is once again shaken by another high-profile shooting in Virginia. This has naturally thrust the debate over firearms back into the spotlight, and what should be legal, illegal, etc. However, it is important to note that owning a firearm is a right if done in the legal and correct manner. This blog seeks to review the current state of the laws governing weapons in the state of Washington.
The Second Amendment
The right to possess a firearm is a fundamental right under the second amendment in our constitution. This right is also codified in the Washington constitution in Article I, Section 24. However, this right is not absolute. Those who want to own a gun must still abide by federal and state laws.
Are You Prohibited from Owning a Gun?
State law governing firearms and dangerous weapons are covered in Chapter 9.41 RCW. It is a crime in Washington to manufacture, transport, own, buy, sell, or possess a machine gun, short-barreled rifle, or a short-barreled shotgun. See RCW 9.41.190. Additionally, RCW 9.41.040 prohibits those with prior convictions of serious offenses from lawfully purchasing a firearm. This includes those with: any felony, assault, coercion, stalking, domestic violence, criminal trespass, or violation of court orders. The state law also prohibits those who have been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment from owning a firearm, as well as those under 18 years old.
Those who fulfill the requirements for a lawful firearm may apply for a concealed carry permit. To obtain a permit, applicants have to submit an application to the local county sheriff's office. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, a citizen of the United States, and be legally able to possess a firearm under federal law. Washington also recognizes permits from other states.
Penalties related to weapons conviction differ from case to case. For example, it is a misdemeanor to carry a weapon without a concealed carry permit. The crime is punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and 90 days imprisonment. However, the use of a banned weapon such as a machine gun, is a Class A felony, punishable by life imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 (RCW 9.41.225).
“Let My Extensive Experience as a Former Prosecutor Work For You."
The Law Offices of Steve Karimi is dedicated to protecting the freedom, constitutional rights, criminal record, and reputation of each of his clients. As a former prosecutor for the state of Washington, Mr. Karimi will handle everything in your case with detail and zeal, including all steps necessary to build your defense, and to keep you out of jail. If you have been convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon/firearms, do not hesitate to contact Snohomish and King County criminal defense attorney Steve Karimi. Courts and law enforcement are increasingly cracking down on those who have a possession of illegal weapons.