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What are the penalties for unlawful possession of a firearm in Washington?

Unlawful possession of a firearm is a felony in Washington.

There are two types of firearms charges in Washington

  • Unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree

Under RCW 9.41.040(1)(a), you are guilty of unlawful possession in the first degree if you have been previously convicted--or found not guilty by reason or insanity--of any "serious offense."

Unlawful possession in the first degree is a class B felony, which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.  

What is a serious offense?

For purpose of a firearm conviction, a "serious offense" means:

  • Any Class A felony or solicitation or conspiracy to commit a Class A felony
  • Any Class B drug felony
  • Manslaughter in the first degree
  • Manslaughter in the second degree
  • Rape in the third degree
  • Child molestation in the second degree
  • Incest when committed against a child under 14 years old
  • Indecent liberties
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Promoting prostitution in the first degree
  • Assault in the second degree
  • Assault of a child in the second degree
  • Extortion in the first degree
  • Robbery in the second degree
  • Burglary in the second degree
  • Residential burglary
  • Drive-by shooting
  • Vehicular homicide if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving recklessly
  • Vehicular assault if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving recklessly 
  • Any other felony with a deadly weapon verdict

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree

Under RCW 9.41.040(2)(a), you are guilty of unlawful possession in the second degree if one of the following applies:

  • You have been convicted of a felony in Washington or any out of state felony that is equivalent  to a felony in Washington
  • You have been convicted of certain domestic violence-type charges
  • You have been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment
  • You are currently restrained by certain types of protection orders

Unlawful possession in the second degree is a class C felony, which carries a maximum punishment of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.  

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