As of Thursday, February 8, 2018
OLYMPIA A proposal before lawmakers could make it a crime for someone to carry a concealed weapon into a friend’s home without permission.
The current law allows someone to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the state with a concealed weapon permit which requires a background check with both state and federal databases.
Senate Bill 6415, and its companion bill in the house House Bill 2738, would make it unlawful for someone to carry a concealed firearm into another person’s home without expressed permission, even with a license to carry.
0201A violation of the law would be a misdemeanor. Also, the bill proposes that if convicted, he or she would have their concealed pistol license revoked for five years.
Senator Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, the bill’s prime sponsor, said he brought the bill before lawmakers when a constituent, Suzanne Cofer, found a handgun left behind in her home after a get together.
“It should be my right to keep guns out of my own home,” she said.
Rebecca Johnson with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility said leaving a gun unattended could be extremely dangerous for those who have children.
But Paul Strophy with the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said that negligence can be addressed through other legislation.
A similar bill on firearm storage, SB5463, sponsored by Senator Guy Palumbo, D-Bothell, mandates civil penalties for unsafe firearm storage. The bill faced stiff opposition from gun rights activists during its hearing on Jan. 15.
Gun rights activists expressed opposition to any enforcement of the storage bill.