Washington lawmakers mapping strategy to reduce Concealed Carry

Concealed carry
Concealed carry

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Against the backdrop of a push for gun control by Democrats on Capitol Hill, Democrats in the Washington’s state Legislature are pushing a pair of bills, one in the Senate and its companion in the House, that amount to a guide for anti-gun state lawmakers anywhere to reduce the number of concealed carry licenses or permits by discouraging applications and renewals via extremist requirements.

Joe Waldron

Joe Waldron, former executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and past president of the Washington Arms Collectors, contended in an email to several colleagues that the two bills, SSB 5174 and HB 1315 “serve no useful purpose other than to reduce…significantly” the number of active concealed pistol licenses in the Evergreen State, which now hovers around 613,000, the highest number of any western state.

But for the first time in the state’s history, anti-gun-rights lawmakers want to slap possibly the strictest training requirements in the West on those armed citizens.

A bit of history is in order. Washington’s concealed carry statute dates back to 1935. While the law has gone through several changes, the tradition dates back nearly 75 years. Prior to that it was not uncommon for Evergreen State citizens to openly carry sidearms thanks to the state’s right-to-bear-arms constitutional provision, which reads:

“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.”—Article 1, Section 24, adopted Nov. 11, 1889

Under the proposed legislation, anyone applying for a concealed pistol license would have to take a minimum of eight hours of instruction to include the following:

  • Basic firearms safety rules
  • Safe handling of firearms
  • Firearms and suicide prevention
  • Safe storage of firearms to prevent unauthorized access and use
  • State and federal firearms laws, including prohibited firearms transfers
  • State laws pertaining to the use of deadly force for self-defense
  • Techniques for avoiding a criminal attack and how to manage a violent confrontation, including conflict resolution
  • Firearms and children including safe storage of firearms and talking to children about firearms safety
  • Live-fire shooting exercises on a firing range that include a demonstration by the applicant of safe handling of, and shooting proficiency with, each firearm that the applicant is applying to be licensed to carry

Waldron, a retired Marine Corps Lt. Colonel, raises some questions about all of this. For decades, he noted, there has never been what amounts to a “literacy test” (he calls it a “poll test”) in order to obtain a CPL.

Many people are asking who teaches such a course? How much will it cost? Where and how often will it be offered? Where are the shooting ranges to accommodate all of the people taking the course?

“Why now,” he wonders. “Where is the problem that has never made itself obvious until 2019? How frequently is the law abused? It’s not.”

He notes that one line of the proposed law strikes this language: “The applicant’s constitutional right to bear arms,” replacing it with “An application for a concealed pistol license” shall not be denied, unless…and then details several reasons for denial.

“The intent of (the legislation) is clearly to impair an individual’s right to bear arms,” Waldron asserts.

He believes the reason for striking a reference to the constitutional right to bear arms is to sever the concealed license program “from the fundamental, enumerated right listed in Article 1, Section 24.”

The landmine contained in the bill is a requirement for anyone applying for a CPL to provide proof that he or she has completed “a recognized” firearms safety training program within the last five years.” Because the lifespan of a Washington CPL is five years, this translates to requiring repeat training every time someone renews their concealed carry license.

“Why duplicate renewal training every five years, other than to discourage renewal of the license,” Waldron wonders. “Do we make drivers take a new driving test or even a written test every renewal cycle? No.

“Most of the states that mandate a training requirement to acquire a concealed carry license merely state that the individual must pass a suitable course,” he notes, “typically conducted by a nationally-recognized gun safety organization such as the National Rifle Association. And rarely do they require refresher training.”

But what if the state makes it impossible for instructors to be certified? What happens if courses are limited and inconveniently scheduled? One sure way to eliminate concealed carry is to require training that is never available.

If this legislation is adopted in a state that has never before had a training requirement, it will provide a road map to anti-gunners in every other state on how to reach their goal of severely limiting, if not eliminating, lawful concealed carry, which is now exercised by some 17.5 million citizens, according to some estimates.

Washington state gun owners have concluded that they are being used as guinea pigs by anti-gunners to see just how much they will tolerate, before either submitting to the demagoguery or simply moving to a more gun-friendly state.

There is no small irony in the fact that, while Washington lawmakers want to make it tougher to carry, the new governor of Oklahoma just signed “constitutional carry” legislation allowing permitless carry, starting this fall. South Dakota’s new governor signed similar legislation in January.

Evergreen State activists have been emailing their legislators and calling the Legislative Hotline in Olympia, urging that the proposed laws be rejected.

About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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When I obtained Washington’s carry permit in the late 80’s it was a permit to carry either a pistol or a knife. The knife part went away in the 90’s but the State has had a nice system and I have enjoyed and respected those liberties.
To see onerous legislation like this simply reminds me that carrying concealed means concealed – if you know what I mean- and furthermore, before submitting to this foolishness I will leave the State, and I will take my business with me. Period.

Clark Kent

Now THAT will show them! (NOT).


Well Clark Kent :: think about it this way if there is about 1500 – 2000 Carters who move out of WA, because of the stupid laws there are a lot of dollars that go to fix Roads pay Police salary etc. that will not be in WA. anymore so the Roads become crappier than they are now. Less money for Police salary means less Police which means more crime. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS ?


WELL CLARK KENT if enough carters move out of Washington who will pay for the roads and police salary ? Soon the roads will become impassable and there will be fewer police which means more crime ! Are you ready to walk and be robbed at least once a week ? This will be the end result watch and see.!!


That s a very californian attitude. What are u going to do when u run out of states? If all the gun owners in CA stood up and said no then CA would not have fallen. Man up and fight, fight, fight. Never give up, use your age and experience and help those younger than u to fight as well! Use your wisdom. Your smart outsmart them. They want you to quit!! Don t quit, fight.


The best action to take is email the legislative body in Wa State..that does change through pressure. Public awareness and pushing emails can and do change minds.

Vic cusworth

Outlaw permits then I well strap one on my hip which I think is legal. Jackass liberal democrats. and yes I was a democrat for oiver 50 years but that is no longer the case,we have raised a bunch of pussy’s that have no respect for the men and women that died for this country. Leave the 2nd amendment alone.

Eric Olmstead

I can’t help but notice that BOTH the U.S. Constitution, and the Washington State Constitution allows me to keep and bear arms. However, due to political correctness, ignorance of the correct and safe use of firearms, ignorance of the controlled power and force of a firearm used against an active shooter, I am disallowed, and thereby forbidden, to protect the 10 and 11 year old fifth graders in my classroom as their teacher. For me it’s about my love of the kids I have had the honor and pleasure of teaching. I wonder if I could live with myself if… Read more »


There is so constant (for decades) an anti constitution mind set from the democrat party, I have to ask, would some of you hard line democrat voters please tell us what attracts you to this party? WHY would/do you vote to have your God (not man) given rights taken away? Yes the elephant party is quite lethargic in getting anything done but at least most of them still believe in the constitution.

James Andrews

Vote all of the anti-gun, anti-concealed carry loonies OUT of OFFICE!


Where is the research proving that concealed weapon license holders, as a group, are committing violent crimes and causing problems at a higher rate than the general public? This information would certainly warrant the creation of such laws, however, the facts and evidence prove the opposite is true. This group has proven to be historically non-problematic. So where’s the fire? Why punish a group of law-abiding citizens? Not a good look libtards. Not good at all. People are waking up and walking away – even some of the sheeple.




Gosh, Mark, that’s a compelling argument.


Actually, not true. Their crime rates are lower than the Swiss?


Mark? Are you describing the pile between your ears where a brain usually goes? SMFH

Leonard Jackson

I grew up with firearms. My grandfather had a loaded firearm in every room in his house. We were taught the safe use and handling of firearms. I spent 20 years in the Navy, earning marksmanship awards. Always on the security forces, usually as a high point sniper. I now live in WA state and, took an NRA Hunter’s Safety course just to CMOA. I have been a CCP holder for 20 years. These demoncrats now want me to “qualify” more with my firearms? KISS THIS! I’ll just openly carry whatever I darned well choose.

Bob Koceja

How about every Legislator, be required to take an 8hr (or more) class on understanding and following the Constitution.
Legislators should be required to have a copy on their person, while conducting official business.
Also violating the Constitution, leads to removal from that office, and a ban from ever holding office again.
People in Government think laws only apply to us and not them.


Good idea! I like that!!


Excellent idea.


Great idea

Tyrone Mummey

Very well said ….!!

ken long

Wow! Great common sense suggestion but politicians will never vote for it. referendum?

Herb T

Let’s hear it for democrats/socialists/communists: The best liars, cheats and thieves America has to offer. Ever notice that when democrats get involved, things turn to poop?!

Anti-Partisan 2A Champion

People love to say Socialists and Communists and Leftists because people hinge on hyperpartisan media and propaganda. Democrats aren’t Leftists. Communism and Socialism as they are actually constructed do not permit any central dictatorship or totalitarian regime, both structures advocate for armed civilians. Leftism is 1,000% opposed to Civilian Disarmament, and advocates for the opposite to prevent tyrrany and wresting power from the people. There are a ton of people who consider themselves liberals and oppose the “gun control” monetized Civil Right nonsense. Liberalism should entail the opposite, like The Liberal Gun Club. I abhor these media buzzwords and insidious… Read more »

Jon Borcherding

SSB 5174 and HB 1315 Have nothing to do with public safety. While this legislation appears to be a solution in search of a problem, it is in fact nothing more than an expression of the raw hatred seething in the hearts and minds of progressives. They hate guns. They hate the constitution and they hate gun owners. We keep demanding a rational reason for such proposals believing we can expose the fact that no such reason exists. We are spinning our wheels because the leftists have no intention of articulating any logical reasoning for these kinds of proposals. They… Read more »

och will

Explain the 21 police officer deaths attributed to concealed carry permit holders between 2007 and 2018.


In Washington? Please cite your source.


Officer Down Memorial page reports 13 total officers killed by gun fire including 1 park ranger, 1 federal investigator and 1 k-9 during that time period. Looks like someone is making up stats.


Sir we are not progressives. Russian bots like you are expected to site actual sources. We all know what s the deal and we know your making it up.


You are a liar. Name just one of those.


You’re an idiot. That is all.

Steve Gigandet

Lying POS’s like you make me sick copsucker!


Good News for Kentucky:


Looking at YOU, “Republican” Supermajority Legislature…


Look people, or rather those that read this. If you are in WA State, you NEED to write Every One of the elected officials in your state body, both democrats and republicans, house and senate, asking them what the sudden need is for these regulations in 2019 as was referenced in the article. I know stamps are a whole .55 cents now, but what value to you place on your rights? Yes, I know I’m being hyperbolic. As these laws are pending, ask them respond In Writing as soon as possible. Ask them “Politely” (IN WRITING) what these bills have… Read more »

Charles Hamilton

Note the last point of the proposed legislation:

Live-fire shooting exercises on a firing range that include a demonstration by the applicant of safe handling of, and shooting proficiency with, “each firearm that the applicant is applying to be licensed to carry”

Each firearm. Just like a CPL in California where you can only carry the firearm(s) that is listed on the license. I believe it’s a max of 3 in California.

Patrick Whited

Ohio has nearly the exact regimen for obtaining a CCW. The first renewal (after 5 years) you get with no additional testing, but the next renewal requires taking the entire course again. That said, it occurs to me that if Washington lawmakers feel the need to reduce Concealed Carry perhaps they should put their efforts into reducing CRIME.


where did you hear or read that no one I talked to has ever heard about having to take the course again in ohio


That requirement was eliminated several years ago.
I have a held an Ohio CHL for 15 years now, and not once have I been required to re-test.


It is so poorly written that there is a trap just waiting to be sprung. Language like “a minimum of 8 hours training” makes the final determination into a giant question mark. Minimum? So they could very well require 16? 24?
And the fees?


In Rhode Island to obtain a ccw permit first you have to take a test from the Department of Environmental Management to obtain ether a hunters safety certificate or what they call a blue card, and that’s just to purchase a handgun,after that there is a7 day waiting period between purchase and pickup then you have to take a minimum of. Handgun safety training course ( nra basic handgun safety course would be preferred) , RI gun laws will also be addressed, after that you have to show competency by shooting 30 rounds in 30 minutes at an army L… Read more »


As a WA state resident, CPL holder since 10/10/2000 and open carry advocate/practices prior to that I know that most people in this previously “shall issue” state who wanted a CPL mostly did it to be pre-screened and able to buy a firearm with a simple NICS check with no ridiculous wait to pick up your pistol. Then, the laws changed to require a background check and 3 day pass for anyone without a CPL to share your firearms at the range… Which led to my Mom, Sons’ Mom, and brother getting their CPL just to go recreationally shooting/ competing… Read more »


Push is coming to shove and it’s about to be “Push back” time.

Warren Cloke

When does the SCOTUS come to say enough is enough? I understand that states have some say-so in implementing local laws that make common sense, while using the frame of federal law and the Constitution as major guidelines. However, nothing coming about does a thing regarding the criminal element. Everything punishes the law abiding!


Hey Warren!

Good to see your post.

Mr. Walkker

SCOTUS will not come to the aid of any thing or anyone. The United States Goobermint is a Criminal Enterprise. These are FACTS. Furthermore, Washington State has been captured by the Communist Left or some equivalent of destructive Marxist Ideology, clearly hell bent on destroying freedom. Puget Sound has descended into a crap hole, with overpriced housing, with 2nd most expensive gasoline tax in the USA, with poor transportation options and unable to commute, being over taxed on everything whilst the State Constitution is burned at the stake. All happening in REAL TIME. These so called Politicians knock on our… Read more »

Clark Kent

Next flight to Canada departs in 10 minutes. You won’t be missed. Buh-bye!


It may well discourage LAWFUL concealed carry, but it surely will serve to increase UNLAWFUL concealed carry. This proposal is a burden on the less “financially secure” and a certain infringement on the RTKABA.


well this is bs I want to get my cc people will go to county’s that have no requirements and wount follow this law witch if it does pass a lot of people will march on the governors place and not leave till its reversed mark my words

Clark Kent

‘March on the governors place’ and get arrested….

willy d

This is the kind of B/S Missouri has on their books also if you have to get your C/C Card to travel to an other state for for ID carry, in the state you don’t need a permit. Also even if you have a C/C card or Military Experience doesn’t count, you have to take a class, range qualify, then pay for the class and pay the Sheriffs Dept and State Police to get your permit. The only thing that I see is a real money pit, Pa takes in experience for Military, and does your back ground check, and… Read more »

rick weaver

we have that here in n.c. and i see no problem with it. it gives credibility to the ccw holder by proving they have knowledge in when it is legal to use deadly force in self defense and have knowledge in safe handgun handling and shooting. it weeds out the yokels that make the rest of us look bad. if you don’t want to take the training, you can legally open carry here in n;c; the permit also allows you to buy handguns here.


To require this once is one thing (assuming the training is easily available and affordable), but to require a person to go through it again and again every time they renew their permit is simply a waste of everyone’s time and money – unless your real goal is to cut down on the number of permits issued.

Wild Bill

@Dubi, I agree and also this “permit” thing is not in the Second Amendment enumerated Civil Right.

Paul Price

The Washington requirements are very similar to those in Texas when CC first came about in the mid-90s. Since then, the initial requirements (and costs) have been significantly reduced, and renewal requirements reduced even more. Constitutional carry bills are now in the Texas legislature (good luck, though, we elected a bunch of demokrats last fall). So much for progressive march forward.


No you don’t have THIS in NC. that is a VERY intensive )read: expensive) training course, and is to be required every time the Mother May I crd renews, every five years. NO other state has such a high bar to not onl entry but renewal. People with CPL’s here in Washington as a group have crime rates far below that of even law e forcement. We are the safest and most law abiding demographic in the state. WHAT is the issue suddenly arising that we who have been “granted permission” for decades suddenly ow have to orove our “suitability”?… Read more »


I had to go through just about all those requirements here in SC around 20 yrs ago.
But,that renewal jazz is BS.


People are resisting gun laws all over the country. Keep pushing libtards. I will never comply.


constitutional carry should be a federal law nation wide and also unnessesary because we have the second amendment and the right to self preservation.

Pistol Packin Preacher


Charles Moore

Agree. But, it’s NOT Constitutional carry until there are NO restrictions and NO imposed “gun free” zones. Period.


“but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”—Article 1, Section 24, adopted Nov. 11, 1889
Not being a lawyer I read this as saying that the elite in Washington may not employ armed guards. After all, that is an armed body.


IL CCW holders currently must take 16 hours of training, go through background check and wait 90 days. The cost of the training is not included in the State’s $150, 5-year license fee.

Ansel Hazen

When Tyranny Becomes Law, Resistance Is Duty.

Mark R

Everyone could benefit by reading about Marion Francis, AKA the Swamp Fox, who was instrumental in guerilla warfare against the British in the 1st American Revolutionary War. Looks like we’re coming up to the Second ARW and had damn well be ready.

och will

Explain the 21 police officer deaths attributed to concealed carry permit holders between 2007 and 2018.


Based on what source? You’ve been asked previously & have not answered.


His source is the Violence Policy Center. Its an easy Google. Draw your own conclusions…

Greg K

Cite your brilliance och…I could easily see that stat being backwards. Police encounter CCW holders and shoot them regularly. Fog of War.

och will

Jeepers. Should you decide to commit violent treason as your post implies, I recommend you review the story of Co. Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine. Should that not be sufficient evidence for you, then Americans will put you in the same place as those who committed treason in 1861.