Thanks for the information. Below are the general rules for possession of a firearm in Washington State.
Assuming there are no other prohibitions, e.g. (being a)
- (A person) Can possess a firearm if 18 years old or older
and a U.S. citizen.
Note: Non-U.S. citizens can possess if from some Canadian
provinces or if the person has an Alien Firearm License.
- (A person) Cannot possess a machine gun, short-barreled
shotgun or short-barreled rifle, or parts for these weapons.
Note: Exceptions are police officers, military, or federally
- (A person) Cannot possess a silencer.
- (A person) Cannot possess a concealed pistol outside the
home or fixed place of business without a concealed pistol
- (A person) Can possess a visible pistol without a CPL.
- (A person) Cannot have a loaded pistol in a car without a
CPL and pistol is on the licensee's person, or licensee is in
the car at all times with the pistol, or pistol is locked
inside and out of view if licensee is out of the car.
- (A person) Cannot leave an unloaded pistol in a car unless
it is locked inside and out of view.
Unlawful Use of Weapons to Intimidate Another
Notwithstanding a person's general ability to have a visible
pistol on his/her person, officers should consider whether the
person is carrying the weapon under circumstances warranting
alarm for the safety of others.
The gross misdemeanor crime of Unlawful Use of Weapons to
Intimidate Another (EMC 10.78.020) is committed when someone
carries, exhibits, displays or draws any weapon apparently
capable of producing bodily harm in a manner, under
circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests
an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the
safety of other persons
If the trooper issued a property receipt to you for the guns that were seized, the items listed on the receipt are under the protection of the State Police.
Property will be held for 72 working hours pending issuance of a complaint (violation). After 72 working hours, the property will be returned, upon proof of ownership, if no charges have been filed. Contact an Evidence Officer to confirm that your items are in this category.
Evidence Officers are responsible for the preservation, destruction, and release of all items placed in their care. The evidence officers are trained in storage techniques to ensure that the integrity of evidence is maintained.
Detailed records of transactions involving items of evidence are maintained in order to preserve the "chain of evidence." The "chain of evidence" is the documentation of the continuous custody of items submitted as evidence. A computerized barcoding system is employed to maintain the detailed records needed in order to present evidence in court.
The guns that were not the subject of the charge of illegal display of a firearm may possibly be returned to you. You will need to produce the receipt given to you by the state police and proof of ownership of the weapons. A background check may also be done before the guns will be returned.
After the case is over, if you are found NOT GUILTY or there is some type of diversion of the case, you will have to file a Motion to Return Weapon that was the subject of the violation with the court. The court will sign an order mandating the police department to do so.
If you are found guilty, they keep the weapon. However, again, you can try to file a motion for the return its return. It will, however, likely be unsuccessful.
If you are unable to obtain the return of the weapons that were not subject to your alleged violation on your own, you may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in criminal law. Sometimes, an initial consultation is free or at a minimal cost. You can discuss the specific facts of your situation, evaluate your options and decide how you should proceed. It is never a bad idea to consult with an attorney, especially if the first meeting is free.