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Washington Concealed Pistol License

What is a concealed pistol license?

A concealed pistol license (CPL) allows you to carry a pistol concealed on your person or in close proximity except in prohibited areas (e.g. schools, airports, hospitals). 

A CPL license is valid for five (5 years) from the date of issuance.  

The fee for a first-time CPL is approximately $50.

Am I eligible for a concealed pistol license?

You must meet the following seven (7) requirements to carry a concealed pistol in Washin

  • You must be at least 21 years old when you apply
  • You are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (i.e. green card holder)
  • You are not prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law?
  • You are not been convicted of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanor under Washington law
  • You are not subject to a court order prohibiting you from possessing firearms
  • You do not have an outstanding warrant for a felony or misdemeanor arrest in any court anywhere in the country
  • You have been charged with a felony offense and you are out of custody awaiting trial, sentencing, or appeal

You also must have a valid Washington State driver's license or State issued ID

Washington is considered a “shall issue” state.  That is, the State must issue you a CPL if you meet the statutory eligibility requirements.  

How do I apply for a concealed pistol license?

First, you must complete an application.  

Second, you must apply with in-person with your local county sheriff or your local police department.  If you live in an unincorporated area, you can go to your local sheriff.

If you a non-resident, you can apply at any local law enforcement agency in Washington.  

You will be fingerprinted as part of the application process.

You do not need to attend a firearms training course before applying for a CPL.  

How long does it take to get a concealed pistol license?

You will be issued a CPL in approximately 30 days if you have a valid Washington driver's license.  If you don't have a license, you must wait approximately 90 days.  

Can I carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle?

Yes, if one of the following applies:

  • You are carrying the pistol on your person
  • You are inside the vehicle and your pistol is in the vehicle with you at all times
  • You can leave a pistol in your car, but your weapon must be locked inside the vehicle and concealed from view outside the vehicle 

Without a CPL, your weapon must be unloaded and locked within the vehicle and concealed from public view.  

Where can I carry a concealed firearm in Washington with a CPL?

  • Restaurants (areas where persons under 21 are allowed)
  • Roadside rest areas
  • State / National parks and forests 
  • Traveling by bus / train / mass transit (with a permit)
  • Airport (in the unrestricted area of the terminal, unless posted)

Without a CPL, you can only carry a concealed pistol at your residence or business.  

You can only carry a concealed pistol at your residence or your business.  

What weapons can I carry with a concealed pistol license?

You can only carry handguns with a CPL.  

Where am I not able to carry a concealed firearm?

  • Jails / Correctional facilities
  • Law enforcement facilities
  • Licensed child care facilities
  • Courthouses
  • Public schools
  • Mental health facilities (restricted areas)
  • Bars or Bar areas of restaurants
  • Airports (secured areas)

Of course, cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities can (and do) create additional gun-free zones.  

Do other states recognize a Washington concealed pistol license?

Not likely.

Each State is different, but most do not recognize a Washington CPL, for one reason or another.

Oregon, California, and Hawaii, for example, do not recognize any out-of-state concealed pistol licenses.  

Alaska will not recognize a CPL from Washington because Alaska requires a more stringent mental health background check than does our state.  

Idaho does recognize a Washington CPL.  

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