Washington State Bill Would Require CCW Holders to Seek Permission to Bring a Gun into Another’s Home

“Persons who do not like guns should have certain rights, too,” Cofer told the committee. “I want to keep guns out of my home, even if I can’t avoid them anywhere else.” (Photo: Salon)

The Washington State legislature is considering a bill that would require a concealed firearm carrier to seek permission before bringing a gun into another person’s house.

Both sides debated the bill on Tuesday in the Senate Law and Justice Committee, according to The Spokesman-Review.

The impetus for the new law, according to supporters, came from a Washington State resident named Suzanne Cofer. Cofer hosted a neighborhood gathering one evening and found a pistol on the stairs after everyone had left. Needless to say, she was not amused.

“Persons who do not like guns should have certain rights, too,” Cofer told the committee. “I want to keep guns out of my home, even if I can’t avoid them anywhere else.”

Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, the bill’s sponsor, called it a way to “protect someone’s castle from unwanted firearms.”

A person who fails to get permission before bringing a firearm into another’s home could be charged with a misdemeanor and get their concealed carry license suspended for five years.

Opponents of the bill, including the National Rifle Association, highlighted the bill’s vague language, its uselessness in light of existing trespass laws, and its potential to harm trade workers and law enforcement agents.

Republican Sen. Mike Padden asked Sen. Hunt whether the bill covered private gatherings or all types of meetings. Sen. Hunt said the bill covers all meetings but tried to reassure his colleague that the bill wouldn’t keep someone from attending – it would just keep them from bringing a firearm.

SEE ALSO: Washington PD Getting Suppressors for All Rifles for Hearing Protection

Sen. Hunt’s statement is strange because existing trespass laws already require an individual to leave another person’s home if asked. As Tom Kwieciak, a National Rifle Association spokesman, said at the committee hearing, the bill under consideration is duplicative and unnecessary.

“A property owner can always ask people before they enter the home if they’re armed,” Kwieciak said.

The bill could also keep trade workers and police officers from being able to defend themselves and their equipment while on the job or off duty. A representative of the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs organization said an exemption should be added for law enforcement officers who often carry concealed weapons when off duty.

Ultimately, the bill denies law-abiding citizens the right to self-defense.

“You may not know who’s also at their house,” said Phil Watson of the Firearms Policy Coalition. “You may not know what kind of an environment you’re walking into.”

Watson also pointed out that concealed carry permit holders are “one of the safest segments of our society.” They’ve all passed background checks, and they commit crimes at a fraction of the average rate.

The Senate Law and Justice Committee have yet to vote on the bill. Democrats control the committee 4-3.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Norm June 16, 2019, 9:31 am

    Cripes, this is the problem with today (One of them anyway) I’m 58, I was raised to be respectful of others. You should ask or inform your host before you enter. No more damn laws, overreacting and debate. Just use the head God gave you.

  • Eric Stevenson September 14, 2018, 12:31 pm

    Here is how I see it, if you are having a party or meeting then that means you are inviting people, at that point you can let them know on the invitation that no firearms will be allowed and giving them the choice to opt-out and stay home or come unarmed. I don’t carry everywhere I go but if I know that firearms are NOT allowed where I am going then I decide to carry on not. I have a great deal of respect for the people whos homes I would actually attend a meeting or party at and they know me well enough to let me decide. And to be honest I don’t have any friends that are not gun owners but that doesn’t mean that they do not and I would not want to make there other friends feel uneasy so I would ask and keep it truly concealed. If we are doing it right nobody will know we are armed anyway. As far as the moron that left the gun or allowed it to fall out of a holster or garment then they probably shouldn’t drink at events especially if your are armed and if you lost and you had not been drinking then you shouldn’t carry at all ever again…

  • David white February 11, 2018, 11:42 am

    If you have been invited to a party at a friends house – packing a pistol is just rude. I leave mine in the car if i have brought it with me. If you think there might be someone who needs to be shot at your friends party maybe you need better quality friends.

    • Mr. Sparkles February 12, 2018, 8:47 pm

      I take issue with your belief that a situation at a friends house is less likely to change then any other situation. While in college a classmate had a party and a group attempted to join it uninvited. When my friend closed the door in their face and walked away he was shot three times through the door, in the thigh, the buttocks and the scrotum. If you are naive enough to believe that all of your friends neighborhoods are peaceful and stable, I congratulate you. I am more of a boy scout and try to be prepared, not hopeful.

    • William hamlin February 13, 2018, 5:01 pm

      Leave it in your car. I can’t think of a more deadly place to leave it.

  • Meshugghamatt February 10, 2018, 4:18 pm

    Find rediculous how these anti gun liberals just love to try and take away our rights. We should start a bill to shut down all the starbucks. You know that would drive them nuts..

  • Nick M February 10, 2018, 9:52 am

    Don’t fall for the misdirection. “Gun Free Zones” are targets. Bank robbers don’t stop because the sign says no firearms. I can keep anybody out of my house for any reasons, so can that woman. They are trying to make it an issue when it is not.

  • dennis mckay February 9, 2018, 9:20 pm

    What about house to house fighting?

  • DaveGinOly February 9, 2018, 6:30 pm

    Solution: Washington is an open carry state. When entering an abode, make your handgun visible. Law bypassed. The property owner can then make his or her own determination if they want to prevent you from entering or not. Put the onus where it belongs.

  • Zupglick February 9, 2018, 2:56 pm

    Does this mean that Washington Law Enforcement have to ask permission when they kick down your door? This is another feel-good, stupid, useless law. We already have the right to refuse entry to anyone unless they are Law enforcement with a warrant, or a landlord on a LEGAL inspection.

  • john February 9, 2018, 12:49 pm

    Here in Texas , there is the 30:06 and 30:07 signs that are posted to let ccw carrier they may not enter with a firearm.
    My last job , the landlord that owns the building put those signs up .. even though my company had no such restrictions .
    That is fine , that is their right under law… however this means that if some nut job enters the property and start shooting up the place , they should be held responsible for the protection of everyone inside, and financially responsible should a loss of life occur .

    • DaveGinOly February 9, 2018, 6:25 pm

      I agree. Whenever a party requires you to make yourself less able or unable (in some circumstances) to defend yourself, they are making an implied guarantee that they will be responsible for your safety. Certainly, no business wants a \”no guns allowed\” sign to be interpreted to mean \”we don\’t want you defending yourself, and we\’re not going to defend your life either.\” If that\’s what the sign means, then they should be required to state that at their doors. Imagine how such a sign would impact businesses if they were required to inform potential customers that there is no guarantee of security, express or implied, for anyone who enters their properties.

  • Dave Brown February 9, 2018, 12:42 pm

    Well if you actually carry All The Time, and even more so if you have carried for years, this concern should have crossed you mind. Me, I carry in any State, and I do not care if it is allowed or not, but I ain’t comfortable doing it. I carry in my daughters house, but I don’t tell her. Now she knows I do as I taught her to shoot at 10 and hunt at 14, she is now 36, thus she knows I carried back then. Plus I already have 3 firearms for each of my Grand Buddies, Girls, 4 and 6 years old. However, my daughter is a little shy about firearms right now, Mase is fine, as are Baseball Bats, but she ain’t so hip on firearms at present. Thus I carry, and carry extra safe in her house as I rough house with The Girls, thus I use a Safety or a Trigger Plug, but then I grew up Hunting, and you don’t Hunt without a safety, but I digress for all of those that light short light safe triggers, or so called, and yes I own a bunch of them.
    Back to this carry in someone elses home. Me I do it as mentioned above, but they do not have a clue as I am darn good at it. Sometimes it might be a mini NNA 32 or Desert Eagle 380 which are very small very fine firearms that I can carry anytime. I don’t drink, but I carry in The Bar which is against the Law in many States. Course I leave my gun in the car (along with my dedicated under the dash handgun, and a Sub 2000 in 40S&W behind the seat, actually I carry the Sub on my Motor Bike). But, I leave it in the car whenever I go into a Government Building as that is The Law, and they watch US oh so closely. Why don’t they trust us? And it is the same old crap in a Blue State or a Red State. Reason is Government ain’t in this game for US, they just want our money. Thus many of US get upset with them, and once in a great great while that mad person might show up in a Government Building with a gun or an axe. Of Course The Gov never thinks it they might be doing something wrong, and one of US has just plan had enough. Now to clear myself as being that far out there, remember they only place I do not carry is in a Gov Building. Thanks Dave

  • Bad Penguin February 9, 2018, 10:42 am

    This is the same state that absolutely refused to ban Bestiality a few years ago and had a judge rule that sex with an animal wasn’t animal cruelty..

  • joefoam February 9, 2018, 9:12 am

    I believe it is the homeowner who determines who enters their house. let them decide

  • Ed Logan February 9, 2018, 8:43 am

    Well, I’m confused… Let’s say that a person intends to rob you and your guests at gunpoint But then he remembers that the new law says that he can’t bring his gun into your house… Damn, what to do now? Now the poor home invader is angry and confused!

    Just doesn’t seem right to me….

  • Jay February 9, 2018, 7:55 am

    Just put the sign on the front lawn and on your homes windows “No Guns Allowed” The criminals will love the invitation!

  • Al February 9, 2018, 7:43 am

    Put a sign up on your front lawn. “No Guns Here” .. LOL Hope that works out good for you. Fool.

  • CountryLogic February 9, 2018, 7:34 am

    My property is posted, along with no trespassing signage, no weapons allowed without written permission from me. My property, my rules. I and those I choose are the only ones going armed on my property.

    • DaveGinOly February 9, 2018, 6:31 pm

      As it should be. The state shouldn\’t be intruding into what is a property owner\’s responsibility and prerogative.

  • just jim February 9, 2018, 7:01 am

    This bill is garbage but compared to the REGISTRATION bill is pale. No, I don’t think this will be effective as concealed weapons are concealed. End of story.

    But the registration bill is anathema. The bill makes most rifles magically into “assault rifles”. Even your little tube loaded .22 that holds more than ten rounds is now an assault rifle once this passes. Registration of magazines. Each has to be registered to a particular gun…

    They threw so many bills at the legislature this year just to get one or two to stick, and the bad ones seem to have stuck. Heading to the Capital this morning to try to enter public comment about the bump stock ban proposal.

  • B Stevens February 9, 2018, 7:00 am

    It’s already a law dumbass , all CC holders must tell a home owner they are armed or you can quickly loose your licenses . Mind ya 97% of people already carry their arms in others homes unknown and they don’t have a CC licenses .

    • DaveGinOly February 9, 2018, 6:39 pm

      The law concerning limits on the possession of firearms on certain types of firearms is found here:
      http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.300
      It says nothing about private homes.
      Here the RCW says you can\’t carry concealed in any abode, other than your own, without a permit:
      http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.050
      This does not require you to get the permission of the owner of an \”abode other than your own.\”
      Somewhere else is a list of specific college and university campuses upon which the bearing of arms is prohibited (I haven\’t read that for a while, but I don\’t believe than an exclusion for concealed carriers at all).

  • Ro Gal February 9, 2018, 6:56 am

    Exactly! I am super pro 2A, but if someone does not want guns in their house (a stupid decision) then it is their right.
    As I have a right to decline the invitation or attend and ignore or attend and carry a non lethal weapon. I don;t think we need a law though….

  • Bobs yer uncle February 5, 2018, 11:33 am

    Sometimes something is so pointless and stupid you just can’t believe it.

  • SuperG February 5, 2018, 11:29 am

    Nice. A great way to advertise to the criminals that you are defenseless.

  • Sepp W February 5, 2018, 4:44 am

    I would’ve declined the invitation had I known my host is “anti-gun.” I’m guessing WA law has some provision about private property owners prohibiting firearms on their property and the manner of compliance by those carrying a firearm.
    That would answer whether this bill is even necessary since it targets a specific group. If the former, the host ought to have announced no firearms allowed at the event in the invitation.

    • B Stevens February 9, 2018, 7:03 am

      Ummmm and the other 90% whom carry without a license …. this is flat out ignorant . Natural it’s the communist movement in America being pushed by pussys whom know nothing about firearm being carried with out a CC licenses . Why am I not surprised 😂😂😂

  • Steve Bean February 3, 2018, 6:14 pm

    My house, my rules. If I don’t want you to bring a dog in my house, or want you to smoke, or drink alcohol, then that’s the way it is going to be. Same for firearms. I see absolutely no reason that a homeowner shouldn’t have absolutely all control on whether one can bring a firearm into their home or not.

    • CountryLogic February 9, 2018, 7:36 am

      Agreed.

    • scott phillips February 9, 2018, 10:35 am

      yes, agreed, but do we need to lose a cc permit for 5 years, will you lose your dog or smoking privilege , were you made to stop drinking beer for 5 years …no, because the clear assumption is that the home owner will make a statement along the lines of ,,, hey, if your packing a dog or a beer or a cigarette, could you leave it in the car……/////misdemeanor and get their concealed carry license suspended for five years …really, for a misdemeanor

    • Michael February 9, 2018, 11:05 am

      Agreed. Here in Texas that homeowner (or business owner) simply need to put up a sign meeting the legislative requirements for size and wording (either a 30.06 sign which prohibits concealed carry on the premises, or a 30.07 sign which prohibits open carry on the premises, or both). That solves that problem. But of course that is too simple a solution for some states.

    • DaveGinOly February 9, 2018, 6:44 pm

      Agreed, but its YOUR responsibility to alert your visitors to the your rules and to enforce them. This law would place the onus on the visitor to ask for and receive permission before entering a home or property with a firearm. Aside from being an overreach, I can imagine a situation in which a home owner has no objection to a friend entering his home with a firearm, but the friend could still be prosecuted because he didn\’t ASK for permission. The law would require the visitor to ask, it does not require the property owner to state his rules or to grant or deny permission to visitors who do not ask.

  • Jaque Bauer February 3, 2018, 6:13 pm

    Leave the gun on the front porch. That way everyone is safer.

    • Al February 9, 2018, 7:41 am

      LOL Very good..

  • Gearhead February 3, 2018, 4:21 pm

    How about holding the moron who lost their pistol accountable. If this person hadn’t been a complete moron with their firearm, the homeowner never would have known, as is the point of concealed carry.

    • Michael E. Hensley February 9, 2018, 5:54 am

      I Agree

      Sometimes you just cannot ” Fix Stupid “

  • Will Drider February 3, 2018, 1:42 am

    Per Washington State Statute you do not have to tell LE your armed unless they ask! “GETTING permission from a home owner is ridiculous. If its that big and important issue: the property owner can ask guest if they are carrying a weapon (let’s not neglect knives and brass knuckles). How about a Law that people who don’t want firearms on their property shall post a sign at each entry point just like businesses. That provide legal Notice! Eliminates the home owner from from being scared to ask the question.

    • Allen Alexander February 9, 2018, 9:26 am

      Arkansas already has this statue built into it’s carry law. I am from Texas, but when visiting relatives, I have to ask. What is the big deal? I keep my pistol safe chained under my driver’s seat for when I go in the post office. It is just another thing a responsible gun owner does.

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