New Limits on Firearms in Washington State
On May 7, Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation placing new limits on undetectable firearms but lesser restrictions on untraceable ones in Washington State. Specifically, the law places an outright ban on manufacturing, owning, buying, selling, transporting or possessing undetectable firearms. These include any firearm without enough metal to be detectable by walk-through metal detectors commonly used at airports or any firearm whose barrel, slide, cylinder, frame or receiver would not generate an image that accurately shows the shape of the part when examined by an X-ray. This means that printing complete plastic guns on 3D printers is prohibited, unless metal parts are included.
However, the bill only bans manufacture of untraceable firearms with intent to sell. These include any firearm manufactured after July 1, 2019 that is not an antique and that cannot be traced by law enforcement by means of a serial number. Currently, under federal law, making untraceable guns for personal use is allowed, with certain limits. The bill does not seek to change that, as it does not ban untraceable guns.
The state of Washington takes firearms very seriously, and in most cases, the presence or use of a firearm can result in serious charges and longer sentences for criminal defendants charged with other crimes. Still, in many cases, use can be ruled justifiable. Assault and even homicide with a firearm can be found justifiable if it is in defense of self, family or someone in a person’s immediate vicinity. The use of force, if not found to be excessive, is also lawful in other circumstances, such as when needed to detain someone who has entered one’s property or to prevent damage to one’s property.
At Peale Law Firm in Seattle, Washington, we’ve achieved positive results providing criminal defense for many clients who were charged with major offenses involving firearms and other weapons. If you or someone you love has been charged with such a crime, call us at 206-906-9112 or contact us online for a free consultation.