Washington Gun Laws: Update on New Gun Registration Laws

Get an update on Washington state's new gun laws.

In November, 60 percent of voters voted YES o new Washington gun laws. The new initiative partially went into effect in January. But before these new restrictions could even get off the ground, sheriffs in at least 12 counties declared they will not implement the restrictions. Here’s your guide to what’s going on, what’s coming up and how to get your gun rights restored.

New Initiative

In November, Washington state voters made their voices heard on I-1639, an initiative to raise the minimum age required to buy semi-automatic rifles. In addition, these new Washington gun laws mean buyers must also pass a firearms safety course and wait 10 days before purchasing the rifles. Expanded background checks and requirements for gun storage were also included. The initiative also makes it a felony if a gun is not stored properly and is then used in a crime. In addition, a gun registry will be created for transfers of semi-automatic rifles. The initiative also requires that the state charge $25 on sales of the semi-automatic rifles.

What Happened Next?

In November, the initiative was passed on Washington state voters. Immediately after, the National Gun Association (NRA) and Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in federal court and questions the constitutionality of the initiative. According to numerous new sources, these organizations feel the initiative violates the 2nd and 14th Constitutional amendments.

Taking a Stand

Sheriffs in 12 counties in eastern Washington have made a stand. They say they won’t enforce the new law until the courts decide on the lawsuit. But the sheriff’s offices in King and Clark counties have said they will enforce the measure while it goes through the courts, according to KOMO News.

What’s Next?

As of July 1st, the expanded background checks go into effect as part of the new Washington gun laws. The background checks are already a requirement for buying pistols.

In addition, House Bill 2103, a bill to repeal the new gun law, will be voted on this week in the Washington State House of Representatives. If the bill passes in the House, a similar bill will be introduced to the Senate.

Restore Your Gun Rights

If you were convicted of a crime, your gun rights might have been revoked. To find out if your gun rights can be restored, see our recent blog post, Restore Gun Rights in Washington State: What to Know and How to Get Your Rights Back. You can also order our DIY Restore Firearms Kit, complete with instructions and all documents required to petition the court. The kit is available as an instant download, or we can mail you a copy. Click here for details.