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Washington prohibits any person from carrying, exhibiting, displaying or drawing any firearm or other weapon “apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner…that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.”1 Any person violating this law is criminally liable for a gross misdemeanor and the loss of his or her concealed pistol license, if any. Exceptions include:

  • Persons acting by virtue of their office or public employment who are vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety or order;
  • Any person making or assisting in making a lawful arrest for the commission of a felony;
  • Any person engaged in military activities;
  • Persons acting in self-defense or in defense of another; or
  • Any act committed by a person while in his or her place of abode or fixed place of business.2

 See our Open Carry policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.270.[]
  2. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.270(3).[]