CCW Resurgence in WA as FBI Report Notes Spike in Murders

Concealed carry is on full rebound in Washington State, as FBI report says murders spiked in 2020. (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-( When the COVID-19 outbreak hit in late February 2020, law enforcement agencies in Washington State “suspended” their concealed pistol license application process for several months, and the decline in active CPLs began, from more than 650,000 to a low of 619,000 on April 1 of this year.

But that has dramatically turned around over the past five months, coinciding with the release of the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2020 which showed a spike in the number of murders statewide to 298. When the Seattle Times publicized the hike, the story did not mention that the months of May through September showed an average recovery of 4,265 active CPLs, bringing the number of licenses up to 640,723 as of Oct. 1, and the surge is continuing. License renewals have continued through the period when new applications were not being accepted.

There is no provision in state law that allows law enforcement agencies to impose such a suspension.

In 2019, according to revised FBI data, Washington recorded 204 murders. The original FBI report showed 194 murders for the year.

Notably, according to data from the state Department of Licensing, the number of active CPLs in King County, which encompasses far-left Seattle, has seen more than 3,000 new licenses issued since May. This coincides with the continuing number of homicides in the city, including one reported Sunday night in the downtown area, when an unidentified man was gunned down. It also coincides with reports of declining police manpower in the city, and continuing uncertainty about the coronavirus situation, thanks in no small part to more—not less—restrictions as the percentage of vaccinations increases.

However, there is also the concern about the continued loss of manpower in law enforcement because of a new edict that state troopers and police could lose their jobs if they don’t vaccinate, and a number of them are refusing to do so.

Significantly, while CPLs are rebounding, the Times noted there were two fewer slayings in the county than at the same time last year, which tends to pour water on the long-held argument that more guns would lead to more slayings. Last year’s drop in the number of active CPLs in King County, from 104,202 on April 1, 2020 to 98,339 by the end of last year suggests quite the opposite. With fewer legally licensed handguns “on the street” last year, the number of murders in Seattle and the unincorporated county went up.

So far this year, according to Seattle Police data, there have been at least 33 slayings, and that doesn’t count Sunday’s murder. Last year, the city logged 52 murders for the year, so the bloodshed might be slowing down with three full months remaining in 2020.

As reported by the Seattle Times, the surge in last year’s murders amounted to “a 46% increase in killings amid the pandemic.”

There was also a surge in gun buying, which could be an offshoot of civil unrest in the state, coupled with the highly-publicized loss of hundreds of Seattle police officers. People unsure whether they would be able to get help in an emergency evidently decided to become their own first responders. Buying guns and now obtaining carry licenses—good for five years—is one result of the past 19 months of dramatic change in the Evergreen State.

It underscores what Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (which coincidentally is headquartered in Bellevue, a booming city located across Lake Washington from Seattle, and a thorn in the side of local gun prohibitionists) said recently:

“Gun prohibitionists who enjoy their own private security while promoting restrictive laws that take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens are world-class hypocrites. The same people who want to disarm honest citizens are typically those who support policies that are soft on criminals. They haven’t simply lost perspective; they’ve abandoned common sense.”

The Times story quoted University of Washington law professor Mary Fan, who “is also a core faculty member at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.” She explained, “It’s hard to generalize with one year because you want to be able to see things longitudinally to be able to really call it a trend. I can see how it could be alarming because it does look like there’s an increase, but our community, the nation, was gripped by major environmental changes and contextual changes during this time.”

One thing that hasn’t changed, as is evident from the resurgence in the number of carry licenses, is that Washington citizens—including those in Seattle and other liberal cities—are concerned enough for their safety to obtain such a license. Over the past five months, the number of CPLs has rebounded more than 21,000, more than half the number lost (31,005) between April 2020 and this past April 1.

If the pattern continues, by the end of this year, the state will have recovered beyond the 650,000 peak in 2020.

Washington has the highest number of active carry licenses of any state on the West Coast. It’s a fact that must be alarming to supporters of a Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group, not to mention anti-gun political leaders in Seattle, King County and the State Legislature.


About Dave Workman

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

Dave Workman

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Marxist Commie’s do what dictator’s want. Control & more power. “We the People” becomes clearer & louder.


I just made the call to my home state of Pa. the county sheriff just let me know that they don’t issue out of state CCW permits since the covert 19, can’t keep up with in state permits, I liked their CCW Permit as it has my picture on it, Mo. only has a state logo on it instead! Such is life! At least Pa. honors the Mo. CCW Permit! It shows that Pa. hasn’t turned completely Left yet!!!!!!!!


Frightened people will arm themselves when possible. I have seen people arm themselves with firearms, machetes, bats, fire bombs and what ever is at hand. When government fails to create a climate of peace and order individuals, families and communities will rise up to fill the void. That is when it gets ugly. Washington State, like many other Progressive New Left utopias is on a public policy path that leads to the street scenes of Beirut or Mogadishu. Good feelings trump consequences, bowing to maddened factions trumps conforming to right thinking. When that happens you are on your own. I… Read more »


It is not the role nor the job of government to “create a climate of peace and order.” It was, and has been since 1787, the role and the job of government to secure the rights of the people, including and especially the right of private property. It was always the job of “individuals, families, and communities” to create whatever society they desire, within the boundaries of mutual acknowledgement of rights and property. Government and its enforcers are not your friends. Government was defined by the Founders as EVIL, but an arguably neccessary evil, which must be reined in and… Read more »


Well put, and accurate


No. Before rolling for the rise of hired police forces vs civilian mutual defense, we were far safer; folks like Vicki Weaver, Dan Shaver & Don Scott weren’t murdered by “civil servants”. Hollywood aside, that goes for the so-called ‘Wild West’ too: See Gunfighters, Highwaymen & Vigilantes by McGrath.

Now enforcers are a corrupt commie-union-dominated de facto extension of a standing army of federales they call ‘partners’.

“When things collapse police & fire go home to take care of their own”

Yep, Paycheck Uber Oath, Just F’g Observed lives & dreams beaten-looted-burned-wrecked. Rittenhouse is on trial for doing their job.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

nr – substitute “Prudent” for “Frightened” and I think you are on to something 😉


yes. To quote a very old source: “a wisw man sees trouble, and hides (protects) himself from it”.


Still waiting for my appointment to get fingerprinted to apply for my CPL in Spokane… I applied in April and still have to wait until December just for the privilege of having an appointment to apply for said CPL.


Probably would have been faster at this point. I’m just waiting for them to go full California and refuse to recognize any other states concealed carry permits.


Tes – likely correct regarding faster but afaik WA does not ‘grant’ reciprocity for either Texas or Arizona although both states DO recognize WA CPL. Yet another reason ALL states should recognize every other state license – or simply nationwide Constitutional carry.


are you applying at Spokane CITY or COUNTY? If you live within city limits you have both options. If that is the case and one won’t serve you try the other. If you live outside city limits, though, you are stuck with the Sherriff’s office.

Most other counties are taking them at pretty good speed.

Meanwhile you CAN carry open, though I generally do not like to do that. May be better than disarmed.

Maybe try contacting one or more of your county stupidvisors/commissioners and get them to lean on the Sheriff’s office if that’s where the slowdown is.


Washington recognises NO other state’s Mother May I Cards. THAT needs to change……


Duh ya think ? Reduce LEO’s, cut funding & budgets, create other smokescreens that sound warm & fuzzy for other community outreach programs that are already know to fail. We have had a Rogue unconstitutional GubMINT since H. Bush made the public decree about NWO in 92’ & his son W. Bush did 9/11. What’s so surprising is the stupefying ignorance of so many. Pure Hegelian dialectic Alchemic formula on display. Create the conditions under the radar, don’t talk about Fight Club on the scripted MSM news, then act surprised when the SHTF eh… Roman Circus Theatre – Panem et… Read more »


~“Those who enjoy private security while pushing to take guns from law-abiding citizens are world-class hypocrites.”

So you don’t like hypocrisy? How about gun writers who turn coat & put grifters in position to loot the NRA, but don’t have the integrity to own it?

Or gun rights leaders & writers who tried to surrender on Universal “Background Checks” after Sandy Hook?

Or who used their group’s resources to keep “good friend” Grover Norquisling on NRA’s board of “directors”?

No hypocrisy there?

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

And the mindless twit fanatic continues to flagellate the deceased equine! Life must be easy peasy lemon squeezy for someone who is as perfect as you are! How quaint!


Copsucking toady speaks!