WA Frustration: Agencies Still Not Accepting CCW Apps; Down 9K Since April

Washington law enforcement agencies have “suspended” taking applications for new concealed pistol licenses, leaving thousands of citizens unable to apply. The situation has been going on more than 5 1/2 months, due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Dave Workman photo)

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- In the nearly six months that have passed since Washington State law enforcement agencies “suspended” taking new concealed pistol license applications, the number of active licenses has plummeted more than 9,100 according to data from the state Department of Licensing.

While the problem may not be uniquely Washington’s, a cursory glance at the situation in some other states suggests the application process is continuing elsewhere, even if slowed down. And it doesn't appear to be a statewide issue.


Have agencies in your state slowed or “suspended” the application process for concealed carry licenses or permits, using the COVID-19 outbreak as justification? Weigh in below.


In Illinois, for example, Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association told Ammoland fingerprinting is done electronically, apparently by various private vendors. Each person fingerprinted is given a specific ID number, which then goes to the Illinois State Police for processing new applications.

ISRA did sue the state police earlier this year in cooperation with the Second Amendment Foundation because the agency has slowed down the application process for a Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card.

There does not appear to have been any interruption in Arizona, where the number of carry permits has continued to climb over the past six months, according to data from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. In mid-April, Arizona reported 355,963 permits, and in early August, that number had risen to 361,516.

But that’s not the case in Washington state. Most, if not all Evergreen State law enforcement agencies stopped taking new CPL applications on or about March 15 at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic panic and shutdown of many services. Some have resumed service. Others are only taking renewals because that does not require fingerprinting.

There is nothing in state statute that appears to allow this. The state’s CPL application statute is quite clear in the first paragraph:

“The chief of police of a municipality or the sheriff of a county shall within thirty days after the filing of an application of any person, issue a license to such person to carry a pistol concealed on his or her person within this state for five years from date of issue, for the purposes of protection or while engaged in business, sport, or while traveling. However, if the applicant does not have a valid permanent Washington driver's license or Washington state identification card or has not been a resident of the state for the previous consecutive ninety days, the issuing authority shall have up to sixty days after the filing of the application to issue a license. The issuing authority shall not refuse to accept completed applications for concealed pistol licenses during regular business hours.” (Emphasis added.)

AmmoLand checked CPL records from the Washington State Department of Licensing, and the data is alarming. On April 1, there were 650,403 active CPLs in the state. That number had dropped to 649,165 by May 1, and by June 1, the number was down to 646,308. By July 1, active CPLs had declined to 644,345, and at the end of that month, the figure was 643,601. On Monday, Aug. 31 the number had dropped even further, to 641,204 active CPLs.

About one-third of the decline is in Washington’s King County, where Seattle is located. It’s the most populous county in the state, but the sheriff’s department and Seattle Police Department have suspended the taking of new applications because it requires fingerprinting. Other agencies in the county may, or may not, be handling things differently.

However, criminal suspects are still being processed, and that includes taking fingerprints. There have also been a couple of highly-publicized blood drives in the King County area, and that activity is perhaps even more hands-on than taking fingerprints.

If this application suspension is aimed at reducing gun-related crime, it’s a flop. As AmmoLand reported back in Mid-July, violent crime is on an upward swing in Seattle and King County, so suspending the ability of law-abiding citizens to apply for a CPL hasn’t done a thing to prevent homicides.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms declared last month in an open statement to the City of Seattle that gun control restrictions approved by voters there had failed, and the data proves it.

“In 2014, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility pushed through Initiative 594, a so-called “universal background check” measure that was supposed to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” CCRKBA said in a news release. “In 2015, the Seattle City Council pushed through the gun tax that has never come close to its revenue forecast. In 2018, the gun ban lobby rammed through Initiative 1639, which prohibits young adults from purchasing any kind of semiautomatic rifle and requires an “enhanced” background check and 10-day waiting period, plus proof of training.”

As reported by Liberty Park Press, “According to the FBI reports, in 2015—the first full year following passage of I-594, Washington state saw 209 murders, including 141 involving firearms. In 2016, FBI data shows an initial drop in statewide killings, with 195 murders including 127 involving firearms. However, in 2017, the numbers came back up, with 228 slayings in the state, including 134 involving guns and in 2018—the most recent year for which FBI data is available, there were 232 Evergreen State murders and 138 of those involved firearms.”

But the data gets worse for the gun control argument, especially if you’re one of the apparent thousands waiting to apply for a CPL.

“In Seattle,” according to the news report, “there were 18 homicides in the city in 2016, the first full year that the gun and ammunition tax were in effect. The following year (2017), that number jumped to 27 slayings, and in 2018, Seattle logged 31 murders, according to Seattle police data. Last year, Seattle saw 28 killings, and that number has already been surpassed and four months remain on the calendar.”

Meanwhile, based on just the King County CPL breakdown, there could be more than 3,000 people wanting to apply for a CPL but they cannot. Prior to mid-March when the coronavirus shutdown began, CPL numbers had been going up steadily across the state. Now, a check with gun owners on social media shows many counties and cities are still not taking new applications, and it has been nearly six months. Others are taking applications by appointment only, and the calendars are apparently booked up well in advance.

What other government function tied directly to a constitutionally-enumerated fundamental right could be “suspended” for that length of time, gun rights activists wonder?

Open carry is legal in Washington, protected by the state constitutional provision dating back to November 1889 that protects the individual citizen’s right to bear arms in defense of himself or the state. But in major metropolitan areas, open carry may not be practical.

The CPL application suspension has been attributed to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In California, authorities have been accused of using the pandemic panic to undermine and restrict citizens’ access to firearms in violation of the state’s 10-day waiting period law. While it is a different statute in a different state, the underlying cause is the same: Using the coronavirus as a tool to roadblock gun rights.

SAF joined in a lawsuit against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Brent E. Orick, director of the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms, in their official capacities, in federal court. Other plaintiffs are the Firearms Policy Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., San Diego Gun Owners PAC, Five Five Six, Inc., dba Firearms Unknown, PWGG L.P., dba Poway Weapons & Gear & PWG Range and four private citizens. They are represented by attorney Bradley A. Benbrook. The case is known as Campos v. Becerra.

RELATED:

Amid Seattle Crisis, SPD Admits RKBA, Open Carry Legal as City ‘Under Siege’

Seattle Region Erupts in Violence; CPL Application Process Still ‘Suspended’



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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JD
JD
14 days ago

I’m one of the people who has been waiting almost 6 months to apply for a CPL. I attended the last beginner gun safety classes in Bellevue the same night the governor shut everything down. Thank goodness the instructors realized the shutdown wasn’t effective yet or we wouldn’t have been able to have the class proceed. I have since taken another saftey class when the range reopened, but still can’t apply for a CPL in King County. What utter BS.

nobodyuknow
nobodyuknow
15 days ago

There is a way to fix Washington states problems. Just vote the Communist Bastards and Bitches out that are running the state and replace them with American patriots who have actually READ the U.S. Constitution instead of the Communist Manifesto!!! PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
15 days ago

And the answer is! Reciprocity and constitutional carry in all of America while the federal government forces anti gun states like commiefornia, washington, mob ran new york, new jersey etc. to comply. Any official not enforcing the new law or unjustly taking away a weapon or jailing an individual for complying with the new law shall be jailed for a maximum and minimum of 10 years and face a 100,000.00 dollar fine with no exceptions. Any person found guilty of a crime with the use of a gun shall also receive the same sentence with the exception of self defense… Read more »

loveaduck
loveaduck
15 days ago

We, in Washington, are undergoing the process of Californication. More and more citizens with heads in dark places, believing the anti-gunners. I’m too old to move. Shit.

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
15 days ago
Reply to  loveaduck

The matrix is deadly.

Farming people requires a certain amount of control.

Last edited 15 days ago by Patriot Solutions
Tionico
Tionico
15 days ago

About the decline in active Mother May I Cards in Seattle/King County, I rather suspect this might be tied to the real estate people I’ve been chatting with, who report a HUGE egress of residents from that part of the state. For some inane reason I’ve never been able to suss out, when one HAS the Card, and moves into a different jurisdiction, the Card is cancelled and must be renewed in the new jurisdiction. Funny that processdoes not apply to your drivning license, which us a gummit purmisshin slip to exercies a priviledge. You just report the change of… Read more »

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
15 days ago

Sounds like a SCAM to me this concept of charging fee’s to use RIGHTS. The only state that had restrictions on concealed carry when 2A was ratified is Joysey. Kinda makes me wonder why attorney’s are fighting to protect blatant infringements that are clearly un-constitutional although the cabal courts would argue differently so they know who has guns and where to collect them from. Kool-Aid consumption will lead to the death of the last FREE country on earth.

WI Patriot
WI Patriot
15 days ago

“Have agencies in your state slowed or “suspended” the application process for concealed carry licenses or permits, using the COVID-19 outbreak as justification?”

Unknown, but I’ll carry regardless…

ION, the DMV here has slowed to a crawl, took over 6wks, to get new title, registration and plates for new truck…talk about “slow walking”…

Oldman
Oldman
15 days ago
Reply to  WI Patriot

Yep! right here in WA State, anyway Just put tabs on a 1989 Toyota p/up. I live in Snohomish County, just barely, thank God. The tabs cost me a hundred bucks. I have had them over a month and just yesterday got the notice that new tabs were due. Why am I paying taxes? My wife has been waiting for more than a month also for her CPL renewal. I know how long it takes to do the background check with WSP, and it is less than an hour!!

Carter
Carter
16 days ago

In a time when our Minders have one set of rules for themselves and another for us they think it’s trivial to make us wait forever to exercise a “right”. The Country needs to turn hard Red this November or Blues will decide we really have no “rights”.

Knute
Knute
16 days ago
Reply to  Carter
"It is not worth while to say anything about how long a time they 
will be kept waiting for this return of their liberties. . . . 

” -Protocol #11, Protocols of the Elder Men of Zion

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
15 days ago
Reply to  Knute

Ah yes, the Zionist Masonic Protocols that can no longer be cast as a conspiracy theory by those very obvious Mason’s playing smoke and mirror games on the sheep.

Cat is out of the bag, scam exposed.

https://twitter.com/WarNuse/status/1296163011648946177

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
16 days ago

Why is there no way to report spam posts?

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
16 days ago
Reply to  Ansel Hazen

Ansel,
You, among others have a back channel way of reaching me. I do other things than edit. When i catch someone spamming I take care of it. If you spot it before I get to it, bring it to my attention. I suspect I cleaned out the person you mentioned, I’m watching a couple of others.

Last edited 16 days ago by Dave in Fairfax
Tionico
Tionico
15 days ago

Thank you Dave. I and I”m sure other seroius folk here appreaciate your vigilance and frequent housecleaning. Taking out the trash is always a good thing.