WA Concealed Carry Rebound: 7,000+ New Licenses in May!

The number of concealed pistol licenses in Washington State jumped by more than 7,000 last month. (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Something—perhaps a combination of “somethings”—triggered a surge in new concealed pistol licenses in Washington State during May, according to new data obtained by Ammoland from the state Department of Licensing, showing more than 7,000 active CPLs have been added since May 1.

Perhaps even more startling, more than half of these licenses were issued in two of the state’s most Democrat-controlled counties, King and neighboring Pierce.

According to DOL data, as of June 1 the state had 644,417 active CPLs. One month ago, that number was 637,354, a difference of 7,063 added to the rolls. In King County, which encompasses the liberal stronghold of Seattle, there are 1,210 additional licenses, bringing the total to 100,716, the first time since August 2020 when there were more than 100,000 active King County CPLs.

But the most aggressive uptick was in Pierce County, which includes Tacoma. According to DOL figures, a whopping 2,499 additional CPLs were reported, bringing the total up to 78,728 (from last month’s 76,229).

What is going on here? Perhaps the citizens in both “blue” counties are reacting to a surge in violent crime. It has been a particularly deadly five months. Tacoma has had more murders than Seattle so far in 2022. And Seattle has been losing manpower for the past two years.

Jason Rantz, afternoon drive-time talk host at Seattle’s KTTH, told Ammoland via email, “It seems obvious and logical that a lack of police staffing combined with a rise in crime — and those two are connected — some would choose to responsibly arm themselves as a means of personal protection. We’ve clearly seen through the crime surge over the last two years that women, in particular, decided to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms.”

The Evergreen State has historically been strong when it comes to gun rights. Only in recent years, with migrations of new residents from liberal states such as California, New York, New Jersey and New England, has there been a political shift to support gun control extremism. Two gun control initiatives—594 in 2014 and 1639 in 2018—financed by the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility brought restrictions that may have given the gun prohibition lobby a sense of accomplishment but actually didn’t accomplish anything.

I-594, which brought in so-called “universal background checks,” was supposed to “keep guns out of the wrong hands.” Yet, in 2016, Washington experienced two high-profile incidents involving multiple victims. In July of that year, three teens were murdered at a party in the suburban community of Mukilteo by a former classmate who legally purchased a Ruger semi-auto rifle, passing a background check in the process. That September, another teen took a .22-caliber rifle from his step-father’s home and murdered five people at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, about an hour north from Seattle.

So, in 2018, the gun banners were at it again, pushing through I-1639, which invented a definition for a “semiautomatic assault rifle” that encompasses any self-loading rifle, regardless of caliber or design, ever manufactured anywhere on the planet. I-1639 also prohibits young adults under age 21 from buying or owning a semi-auto rifle.

In 2016, Seattle began enforcing a “gun violence tax” on the sale of firearms and ammunition in the city. That year, there were 19 homicides in the city. Statewide, there were 195 murders including 127 committed with firearms.

Jump ahead to 2020, the most recent year for which data is available from the FBI Uniform Crime Report. There were 52 homicides in Seattle, and 298 killings statewide, including 177 involving guns.

Based on the available data, the Evergreen State gun control movement has accomplished less than nothing.

The history of concealed carry in Washington is interesting. Article 1, Section 24 of the state constitution says “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.” Washington has always been an open carry state, and its concealed carry law dates back to 1935. Washington has the highest number of resident CPLs of any state in the West, outside of Texas. Utah has far more active permits, but a majority of those are held by non-residents.

According to the Sgt. Brady Zuagg with the Utah Department of Public Safety, as of June 1, the Beehive State had 713,290 active carry permits. However, 427,601 are held by non-residents, while 285,689 are held by Utah residents.

Prior to the 2020 “temporary” shutdown of government services due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Washington boasted 650,403 active CPLS (April 1, 2020). With the “suspension” of CPL applications that stretched over several months with many police agencies, the number plummeted over the next year to 619,398 by May 1, 2021. But then the slow recovery process began, and it is almost certainly alarming to the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobby. One more month like May, and concealed carry will have recovered from the pandemic losses, and then some.

About Dave 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.

Dave Workman

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Been carrying LEGAL for 47 years.


I’ve been CARRYING for about the same amount of time.


Funny how the moonbats of Pugetopia are waking up when things like the guy in the Tacoma hotel makes the news…

Sorry, ma’m, we don’t have any officers available to boot the guy out, but when the employee perforates the knife wielding scumbag, they show up in a hurry…


With our commie Governor here in Washington we all need to carry licensed or not because the police do not have to protect you or your family, and if you saw all the drug out meth heads and homeless harassing everyone up here in the Everett area you wouldn’t ever leave home unarmed.

Wild Bill

Party affiliation: Democrat is just a cover story.

I really enjoyed your August 2022 “Guns” contribution. Keep ’em coming. “Howdy” to Wheat.

Last edited 24 days ago by Wild Bill

This is not a big surprise since the local news is reporting that Seattle police will no longer be investigating sexual assault due to lack of staffing (Defund anyone). Additionally, laws have been passed making it illegal for police to pursue fleeing drivers unless they are suspected of murder, armed robbery or rape. Otherwise, you don’t need to pull over for the police here in WA. Stupidity on display in the democratic controlled areas. I think those applying for CPLs should be asked whether they are democrats or republicans and denied or issued based on that alone.


The social-cultural Myth of Seattle, Weather Wimps & Growth Addicts & Bohemian Barking Moonbats may end up being true indeed. The Wolverines will keep the Communist Marxist Wolves in check. No State can protect it’s citizens from every injustice/force of evil/ fate/unfortuitous/corrupt/psycho/criminal. The human condition has yet to be plumbed. No Puppet POTUS/King/Queen/Wizard/Warlock/Cardinal/Pontiff/Priest/Augur/Soothsayer/Oracle/Machiavellian Military-Police force has or will be able to plumb the human condition either. It’s all an illusion of human domain management using social cultural interception – predictable programming via MSM/Radio/Music/Education/Religions/Sports/Events etc. Failure of progressive liberal policies or failure of the rigged Masonic Zionist gubMINT system mask-quer-aiding behind… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Tank

Thanks Mr. Workman for this article. It’s really extraordinary as you know to see King & Pierce County residents driving the CCW expansion. There may be a reckoning coming to the Pugetopolis? Naw, a man can dream, no?


There are currently 25 constitutional carry or permitless carry states. That a clear message to Washington and the elected.


It’s the same for OreGONE and potland. The problem is that they are too def to hear it, to blind to see it and only dumb thoughts run between their ears about it.

Constitutional carry for all of the US. If we have a majority in both houses and a republican president in 2024 we should yell every day and protest in front of the capital every day until we have a new law of the land that every state is a concealed carry state.


I think I read somewhere that Christine Drazan is polling first in the OreGONE gubernatorial race. How can that be? I hope she prevails.


This is from the Oregon Firearms Federation. Support from a left leaning Portland newspaper? This makes perfect sense. For all Drazan’s bogus campaign claims, she has consistently supported some of the most extreme policies of Oregon’s liberal ruling party. WW comically claims “Drazan, the former House minority leader from Canby, hardly represents Portland values. She’s no RINO: Drazan is pro-life and opposed climate legislation.” In fact, on vote after vote, Drazan voted to neuter the police and protect rioters. WW’s claim that she “opposed climate legislation” ignores the fact that she voted against oil exploration. Keep that in mind next fill… Read more »


Man, that’s some crazy stuff right there. Friends like that who needs enemies? I thought the WSRP was feckless and rotting from the head down, seems your state, OreGONE, (I cannot write it differently since I noticed your posts, hahaha), is in as bad or worse shape than the Soviet of Washington. I hate it too. I moved to Washington in 1978. Seattle to be exact. It was a quirky artsy fartsy and was still a blue collar town back then. Even though I obtained a CCW permit when I first moved here, it wasn’t a necessity as it is… Read more »


Seems like we crossed paths because when you moved up I moved back down to kommiefornia so I could see Led Zepplin and move to L.A. for the music industry. Never got to see them but I got a wife of 43 years and going strong in trade. I left Tumwater because it was just as bad if not worse than Sacramento kommiefornia. I figured I could go back to sacto and enjoy more sunshine and not have constant rain and be back in my old band with my friends and enjoy life. Gee, 1978, the days when disco was… Read more »


Awaiting approval, probably because it is a large copy and paste.


she is not great, but she IS light years out in front of anyone else within rock-throwing distance of th governor’s house. After half an eternity with one of the more rotten members of the Brown Dnasty of California, I think my small town’s dog catcher would be a massive improvement.


Not going to happen with rinos still in charge of the GOP!

Somewhere in the mid teens with Trump in charge, the GOP controlled the house and the Senate as well.

Despite controlling all three legislative core houses, Grassley and McConnell tanked reciprocity laws on a national scale. The Democrats did not sabotage that National reciprocity, the GOP did.

So don’t look to the GOP to give us either a national reciprocity law, much less a constitutional carry law on a national basis; ain’t going to happen they just simply do not have the spine.


I can only hope with the number of gun sales that more states get on board. The elected are now worried ,
Remember Charlie Daniels What this world needs is a few more rednecks. He must be rolling in his grave!!


I miss Charlie he is the first southern rocker in my books and he is part of my driving music portfolio. I played long haired country boy in the redneck clubs and it was always excepted, even by the older folk in VFW, Leigon, Moose etc. Trudy and in America are my favorite songs. He has the best rendition that I have ever heard and probably ever will hear of the orange blossom special. I was pure acid rock in 1975 and a friend of my grandpa’s came to town and introduced me to him and Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood had… Read more »


Speaking of Fleetwood Mac, take a look at this list of famous songs you’ve known covered by other artists. Many of these Fleetwood Mac songs were written by an obscure guitarist that blew his mind out on LSD. Peter Greene. https://secondhandsongs.com/artist/4000/works The Grateful Dead’s soundman and drug manufacturer Owsley “Bear” Stanley, (The genuine Kid Charlamane, Steely Dan sings about), provided the dope the guy used to fry his brain. That happened in the late ‘60’s or very early 1970’s. Peter Greene lived until 2020. I cannot imagine what it must have been like being this broken guy’s family. And there’s… Read more »


Well IMHO you are absolutely right. Making all drugs legal is insane and OreGONE is the first one to do it and now we have all kinds of druggies moving here from across the United States and other countries in addition to mexican drug cartels growing pot and making drugs because we are a sanctuary state and the cops aren’t doing shit, neither is the fed.

Thanks for the info, I had no idea that Peter Greene was such a good song writer and that so many of his songs were done by other famous artists.


Yeah, and remember Patty Murray is up for re-election. Getting rid of her would be a feather in the cap of Wahingtonians. All we can do is pray and hope and VOTE!


Oldman, absolutely. The bitch in tennis shoes needs to be retired. Tiffany Smiley would be a much better Senator. She would immediately have more value cred than the 30 year incumbent.


Ole, BF..Here’s to a drink on me!


Morning Dave That is a clear message that many understand that they now have to protect themselves. The rush will be on again thanks to the democrats in reaction to the Texas shooting. I have to say I only learned of this 2005 ruling by the supreme court last week. Please read the links if you have the time I am sure you might already know this information. Washington State such beautiful sites to enjoy not the place I would want to call home today. At one time I did. Police Have No Duty to Protect You, Federal Court Affirms… Read more »


I called it home for two years until I figured out it was a PIG state like the one I left. Kommiefornia. I will still take OreGONE out of the three west coast states but it has gone to kommiefornia hell too.


Come Explore Georgia The mountains are the Blue Ridge the foothills Awesome the fishing great the hunting better than good. South Georgia vastly open Folks are nice for the most part The 3 big cities not so great aka Atlanta all though “Savannah is Lots Of FUN “


Thanks for the invite. I can’t stand humidity. I went to Tennessee, Kentucky and Iowa and was miserable. For some reason Virginia was not as bad but I might have gotten a lucky streak on cooler weather. I would rather freeze my butt off up north in SD or MT or WY.

You are right about Georgia people though. I made a new friend about a month ago from there and he is very smart and sounds like a total southerner. I like some of his sayings.


The mountains are different 2 months uncomfortable the rest of the year what a ride. Have a little look below the town of Blue Ridge


They just put constitutional carry into play so they are favorable, but they also have Stacy which is a major downer. I like SD because of Kristi Nome. She doesn’t take guff or play games. South Dakota was the only state to not wear masks, keep everything open and not require the old German papers old man to go into theaters or a restaurant. A lot more is coming down the pike so long as this jerk is president and I want to make sure I move where they say they will not honor obidens new federal laws. Arizona already… Read more »


I think Kristi Nome is really cool. She has an unlimited and very bright future in politics.


I wish she would be our first female president. At least with her I know I would get someone that recognizes the difference between a man and a woman, leads a Christian life, believes in freedom, supports the 2nd amendment and wants to ban abortion. She is also into oil. Too bad Trump isn’t selecting her for a VP.


DeSantis/Noem 2024


I did not check you links so sorry if this is duplicate. Check out castle rock vs Gonzales as the main one that says cops have no duty to help or enforce a lawful protection order. The cops ignored the woman’s restraining order, and then her husband had time to murder her three daughters before going to the cop shop for suicide by cop. Warren vs DC is another one where the cops let some women get raped and then left the scene. The private sector is what has always kept our areas safe, since the public sector is dependent… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by WeWereWarned

Correct We all need to post current facts to dispel rumor and propaganda, NYC Cops ignored a women in need on the subway
Remember when Obama wanted to stop sending tactical gear to the local and state police. He was quoted as saying the police are do not need such military grade gear. He and the democrats and the media never quoted the real supreme court decision or made that a public outcry.

Last edited 26 days ago by john

one more woke riot they may double the number , then they wont need the police
just more garbage collectors

Last edited 26 days ago by swmft