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American citizens are heirs of a long history and tradition of gun ownership. Much of this tradition pre-dates the founding of the United States and is secured as a citizen’s fundamental right as memorialized in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as the constitutions of the various states. Washington State is no exception.
The possession and ownership of firearms, however, can raise some very specific and unique legal issues. These issues require a solid understanding of the law. The legal right to ownership of firearms comes with the responsibility to know and comply with the various laws and regulations surrounding them, and ignorance of the law is no excuse. Possinger Law Firm is dedicated to providing valuable counsel and legal services to Washington gun owners and their families to assist them in enforcing their legal rights and for remaining in compliance with the law.
Laws at both the Federal and State level govern the ownership, possession, sale, and transfer of firearms. State laws can vary significantly from one state to the next. As a result, those that live in Washington or who come into Washington with a firearm must comply with both Federal as well as Washington law. Violation of those laws can carry with them significant penalties.
Some of the legal issues that can arise for those who own firearms are listed below. Although not a complete list of all legal issues that can come up, this provides an overview of some of the legal issues that can arise, and where Possinger Law Firm can provide both legal counsel and services to assist its clients.
Lawful Ownership and Possession: The law governs who can legally own and possess firearms. In addition to possession of a firearm, this issue is significant for anyone interested in acquiring a firearm as well as anyone interested in selling or transferring that firearm to another person. (Read More).
Purchase, Sale, and Transfer of Firearms: The purchase, sale, and transfer of firearms is one of the most regulated industries in the United States. Compliance with these laws and regulations is important in order to stay out of trouble and avoid penalties. (Read More)
Open Carry and Concealed Carry Laws: Washington law governs where and how a person who is legally entitled to possess a firearm can carry that firearm outside of their home or place of business. (Read More)
NFA Firearms: There are some categories of firearms that are governed by the National Firearms Act (Citation), sometimes referred to as “Class III Weapons” These can include fully-automatic and select-fire weapons as well as short-barreled rifles (SBR) and sound suppressors (“silencers”). Certain NFA Firearms can be lawfully owned in Washington, but have very specific requirements for legal ownership. For various legal reasons, those that purchase NFA Firearms do so in connection with an NFA Firearms Trust. (Read More)
Estate Planning and NFA Firearms Trusts (“Gun Trusts”): Owning firearms creates a number of significant legal issues related to Estate Planning, especially if you own NFA Firearms. In addition to Estate Planning reasons, there are several good reasons to consider the use of a NFA Firearms Trust for the ownership and management of both NFA and other firearms. (Read More)
Recovery of Confiscated Firearms: There are times when law enforcement officers may confiscate firearms found during police assistance calls, even when the firearms are not evidence and the officers do not suspect the owner of any crime. We can assist clients to recover confiscated firearms and avoid loss of ownership under forfeiture laws. (Read More)
Domestic Violence, Anti-Harassment Orders, No-Contact Orders, Restraining Orders, and Firearms: Many owners of firearms do not realize that court orders that restrict contact between people can pose a significant threat to lawful firearm possession. Some of these can last a lifetime. (Read More)
Dealing with Criminal History and Civil Rights Restoration: Some citizens lose the rights to lawful possession of firearms because of errors in their criminal history records or prior convictions. In some cases, we can assist in removing those blocks to lawful possession. (Read More)
Washington’s Law of Self-Defense: Many people own firearms as a way to protect themselves, their families, and others. It is very important that those that make the choice to use firearms as part of their self defense planning understand Washington’s law of self-defense. (Read More).
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
-- Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment II (1791)
The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.
-- Constitution of the State of Washington, Article I, Section 24 (1889)
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LEGAL SERVICES FOR FIREARMS OWNERS
The following are some of the services that Possinger Law Firm provides to its clients.
NEWS AND USEFUL RESOURCES
Below are some useful links for news and information related to Washington firearms law, as well as a link to our "Washington Gun Law Blog" with some of our most recent posts.
Useful Resources (General Legal)
Useful Resources (Firearms)
Washington Gun Law Blog
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