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What's new: Firearms

September 2020

Eligibility update

We submitted an Eligibility Report to the Legislature. This report is about the eligibility of individuals to possess firearms RCW 9.41.139. We will work with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to collect this data. They are creating a new background check unit and expect to complete it in 2023. We will wait until the unit is complete to collect the data.

Concealed pistol licenses

We maintain records of firearms transactions. We can’t provide data about how law enforcement is conducting their CPL business. Please contact them by phone or email to:

  • Learn about your options for getting a first time CPL.
  • Renew your existing CPL.

Volunteers for WSP new background system focus group

WSP is looking for volunteers for a focus group on their background check system. If you are a Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) or representative and want to volunteer, email NICSRequest@wsp.wa.gov or Kateri Candee.

May 2020

Firearms Modernization (FMP) Project Stopped

A new law passed this year (HB 2467) required the Washington State Patrol to create a new centralized background check unit. Because of this, we have made the decision to stop further activity of the FMP. It will allow us to explore a partnership with WSP and their new requirements. We will keep all the pre-FMP data to use for this partnership.

Updates to the firearm system

  • OCR/ICR technology resulting in shorter processing time for current firearm transfer applications
  • Implemented the ability for WSP to search all firearm records, eliminating the backlog
  • Utilizing IS innovations to stabilize current firearm system

We thank all those who participated in this work.

April 2020

COVID-19 - What is happening for Firearms?

We're receiving calls about CPLs and Firearm sales during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation. Please understand that we're only the record keeper of licenses and data. We have no authority over CPL issuance or firearms. If you have questions about CPLs, please check the website of the issuing Law Enforcement Agency in your county. Many firearm businesses are closed due to the proclamation.

For more information, please visit our Essential Business Q&A page.


We got 2 bills approved by the legislature and impact how we do business:

  • E2SHB 2467: “Firearm background checks”
    This establishes a state background check unit managed by the Washington State Patrol. Once implemented, a new background check fee will replace the $18 Semiautomatic Assault Rifle fee (9.41.090(7)).
  • HB 2555: “Other firearms/background”
    This bill requires licensed firearm dealers to send firearm transfers to law enforcement agencies to conduct background checks on the purchase/transfer of a firearm frame or receiver. This will go into effect once WSP has their background check system in place and notification has been sent out.

Firearms Modernization Project (FMP)

We concluded our evaluations and look forward to demos by the prospective vendors.

February 2020

We released a Request for Proposal (RFP) on January 23, 2020 for a new Firearms system. We plan to select a vendor by April. We have completed behind the scenes requirements and business rules. When we sign the contract, our vendor can hit the ground running with our requirements.

Legislative session started in January and runs until March 12, 2020. We are watching some bills related to firearms and will post an update here if any of them pass.

Reminder: Firearm dealers must collect the SAR fee with sales and transfers. This fee must match and balance when you submit paperwork to us.

November 2019

Thank you, Volunteers!

Thanks to those of you from law enforcement and dealers who offered to test for us. We're building a system to replace Firearms Online. Our goal is to replace the current system with something more robust, versatile, and reliable. Your feedback has been crucial to make a system that meets your needs, as our business partners.

Eligibility to possess firearms requirement

Initiative 1639 (approved by voters in 2018) created a new requirement for us (RCW 9.41.139). We must develop a process for doing routine checks on who's eligible to possess firearms by July 2020.

We have formed a team to address this, including:

  • DOL Firearm staff
  • Washington State Patrol
  • Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
  • Office of Administrative Courts
  • Health Care Authority

June 2019

Why are we requiring transfer applications for semiautomatic assault rifles (SAR)?

Washington voters approved Initiative 1639 in 2018. I-1639 requires firearms dealers to report any transfer of a SAR and collect a fee from customers. Department of Licensing holds records on firearms for law enforcement.

What is changing starting July 1, 2019?

We have a new firearm transfer application for:

  • Semiautomatic assault rifle transfers
  • Pistol transfers

The dealer and the buyer must each fill in parts of the form. Dealers can fill in their portion once and reuse an electronic copy with multiple customers. Read our tutorial or review our video (YouTube.com) for help getting started.

Upon transfer of a semiautomatic rifle, dealers must submit the transfer form and a fee to us. The amount of the fee will be finalized after the adoption of rules.

Semiautomatic assault rifle transfers require a paper form, along with the associated fee. Mail completed forms to the PO Box listed on the form. Be sure to select the PO Box for the type of transfer you are reporting.

What about other requirements of I-1639?

Visit the Attorney General's list of frequently asked questions.

Questions? Need help?

Email us: firearms@dol.wa.gov

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