Washington is one of the nation’s most permissive states when it comes to regulating citizens who want to carry a concealed weapon, says the Seattle Times. The law, often referred to as a “shall issue” law, requires law-enforcement agencies to issue a concealed-weapons permit to all citizens who meet a specific list of requirements. To carry a concealed pistol in Washington, applicants must be at least 21 years old, have no outstanding warrants, no felony convictions, and no conviction or pending trial or sentence for fourth-degree assault, coercion, stalking, second-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree criminal trespass, or violation of a protective order against a family member.
Unlike some states, Washington requires no training. Statewide, there are about 239,000 active concealed-pistol licenses. Forty states allow people to carry concealed weapons, and at least eight other states have what are called “may issue” laws, which require applicants to demonstrate a specific need for a concealed weapon. Paul Nickle, who teaches a course called “Legal Aspects of Armed Self Defense,” says many people don’t realize that just because they might be in the right legally if they shoot in self-defense, they could end up being liable in civil court.