Washington Gun Law

New Washington State Law Expands Ways to Lose Second Amendment Rights

Video Highlights

  • House Bill 1562, signed into law by Governor Inslee, will take effect on July 23rd.
  • The new law expands the list of offenses that can result in the loss of Second Amendment rights.
  • Offenses such as domestic violence, stalking, and unlawful firearm handling are now disqualifiers.
  • Prior DUI offenses within seven years can also result in the loss of firearm rights.
  • Violating an order to forfeit firearm rights can lead to the loss of Second Amendment rights.
  • Petitioning to restore firearm rights may only be possible after seven years.

Video Summary

The Washington State Legislature recently passed House Bill 1562, which was signed into law by Governor Inslee and is set to take effect on July 23rd. This new law amends several portions of RCW 9.41, with a focus on RCW 9.41.040, which outlines the ways individuals can lose their right to possess a firearm.


Traditionally, individuals could lose their firearm rights if convicted of a felony, certain domestic violence offenses, found not guilty by reason of insanity for similar offenses, or involuntarily committed into a mental institution. However, House Bill 1562 introduces additional offenses that can lead to the loss of Second Amendment rights.


One of the key additions to the list is domestic violence under RCW 10.99.020. While assault and malicious mischief offenses related to domestic violence already resulted in the loss of firearm rights, now any offense in the Washington state criminal code that receives a domestic violence designation can lead to the loss of Second Amendment rights. This includes offenses such as theft in the third degree.


The new law also includes disqualifiers such as stalking, cyber stalking, and cyber harassment, with the exception of cyber harassment committed solely through the use of electronic tracking devices. Unlawful aiming or discharging of a firearm, unlawful carrying, handling, or display of a firearm, and animal cruelty in the second degree are also now disqualifying offenses.


Of particular concern to lawful gun owners are the provisions related to prior DUI offenses. If an individual has a prior offense within seven years that started as a DUI charge and resulted in a DUI conviction, deferred prosecution, or plea to reckless driving, reckless endangerment, or negligent driving, a second offense DUI conviction will result in the loss of Second Amendment rights. This disqualification does not require any finding of chemical dependency or mental health issues.


Lastly, violating an order to forfeit firearm rights can lead to the loss of Second Amendment rights, provided that the order was lawful in its inception.


It is important to note that the soonest an individual can petition to restore their firearm rights is likely seven years from the resolution of their case. This is due to the requirement of at least two years of probation and five full years after satisfying the judgment.


It is crucial for gun owners to be aware of these new ways in which they can lose their Second Amendment rights. House Bill 1562 will not apply retroactively, meaning that offenses committed before July 23rd are not affected. However, any offense committed on or after July 23rd can result in the loss of firearm possession rights.


For more information on House Bill 1562 or any other questions related to Second Amendment rights, viewers can contact Washington gun law through the provided contact information. As responsible gun owners, it is essential to understand and comply with the law in order to protect our rights and ensure our safety.