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In recent years, Washington has made significant progress on gun safety, passing a number of lifesaving pieces of firearm legislation. 

In 2016 and 2017, respectively, Washington voters approved ballot measures that enacted universal background checks and an extreme risk protection order law to temporarily disarm high-risk individuals. In 2018, voters approved measures to raise the minimum age to buy guns to 21 and enact a child access prevention law. In 2019, the state had the 15th-lowest gun death rate in the country and supplied crime guns to other states at the 14th-lowest rate. To further improve its gun laws, Washington could invest in community violence intervention programs and close the dangerous loophole that allows abusive dating partners to keep their guns.

What Washington Does Well

  • Universal background checks
  • Partial minimum age laws
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Domestic violence gun laws
  • Partial assault weapon restrictions
  • Certain waiting period laws
  • Child access prevention laws
  • Extended background check period
  • State database background checks for handguns

What Washington Is Missing

  • Gun owner licensing
  • Large capacity magazine ban
  • Strong concealed carry law
  • Open carry regulations
  • Bulk firearm purchase restrictions
  • Lost and stolen firearm reporting
  • Safe storage laws
  • Handgun design safety standards


We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.