Legal Information: Washington

State Gun Laws

August 10, 2017

If the abuser's gun is taken away, what will happen to it?

Washington state law says that when a person is required to surrender his/her firearms, they can be surrendered to the sheriff, the chief of police, the abuser’s attorney (if s/he has one), or to any person chosen by the judge.*  If the firearms are given to law enforcement, it may be possible for you to be notified prior to the firearms being returned.  The law says that a family or household member can use "an incident or case number" to request notification from law enforcement when the firearm is going to be returned.**  The same case number (or "cause number") that is on your protection order should also be on the order to surrender, proof of surrender, and receipt for the weapons.  

From the moment you are notified (by telephone, email, text message, or another method), law enforcement must wait at least 72 hours before returning the firearm.***  

* R.C.W. § 9.41.800(7)
** R.C.W. § 9.41.340(1)
*** R.C.W. §§ 9.41.340(1)(a); 9.41.345(3)(b)