Chapter 287, Laws of 2024
68th Legislature
2024 Regular Session
EFFECTIVE DATE: June 6, 2024
Passed by the House February 9, 2024 CERTIFICATE
Yeas 68 Nays 29
I, Bernard Dean, Chief Clerk of the
House of Representatives of the
LAURIE JINKINS State of Washington, do hereby
Speaker of the House of certify that the attached is
2021 as passed by the House of
Representatives and the Senate on
the dates hereon set forth.
Passed by the Senate February 29,
Yeas 31 Nays 18 BERNARD DEAN
Chief Clerk
President of the Senate
Approved March 26, 2024 1:24 PM FILED
March 27, 2024
Secretary of State
JAY INSLEE State of Washington
Governor of the State of Washington
Passed Legislature - 2024 Regular Session
State of Washington 68th Legislature 2024 Regular Session
By House Civil Rights & Judiciary (originally sponsored by
Representatives Senn, Walen, Berry, Fitzgibbon, Ryu, Duerr, Ramel,
Reed, Ormsby, Peterson, Callan, Macri, Gregerson, Farivar, Alvarado,
Lekanoff, Doglio, Riccelli, Reeves, Wylie, Santos, Hackney, and
1 AN ACT Relating to the disposition of privately owned firearms in
2 the custody of state or local government entities or law enforcement
3 agencies; and amending RCW 9.41.098.
5 Sec. 1. RCW 9.41.098 and 2016 sp.s. c 29 s 281 are each amended
6 to read as follows:
7 (1) The superior courts and the courts of limited jurisdiction of
8 the state may order forfeiture of a firearm which is proven to be:
9 (a) Found concealed on a person not authorized by RCW 9.41.060 or
10 9.41.070 to carry a concealed pistol: PROVIDED, That it is an
11 absolute defense to forfeiture if the person possessed a valid
12 Washington concealed pistol license within the preceding two years
13 and has not become ineligible for a concealed pistol license in the
14 interim. Before the firearm may be returned, the person must pay the
15 past due renewal fee and the current renewal fee;
16 (b) Commercially sold to any person without an application as
17 required by RCW 9.41.090;
18 (c) In the possession of a person prohibited from possessing the
19 firearm under RCW 9.41.040 or 9.41.045;
20 (d) In the possession or under the control of a person at the
21 time the person committed or was arrested for committing a felony or
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1 committing a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or
2 displayed;
3 (e) In the possession of a person who is in any place in which a
4 concealed pistol license is required, and who is under the influence
5 of any drug or under the influence of intoxicating liquor, as defined
6 in chapter 46.61 RCW;
7 (f) In the possession of a person free on bail or personal
8 recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony or for
9 a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed, except
10 that violations of Title 77 RCW shall not result in forfeiture under
11 this section;
12 (g) In the possession of a person found to have been mentally
13 incompetent while in possession of a firearm when apprehended or who
14 is thereafter committed pursuant to chapter 10.77 RCW or committed
15 for mental health treatment under chapter 71.05 RCW;
16 (h) Used or displayed by a person in the violation of a proper
17 written order of a court of general jurisdiction; or
18 (i) Used in the commission of a felony or of a nonfelony crime in
19 which a firearm was used or displayed.
20 (2) Upon order of forfeiture, the court in its discretion may
21 order destruction of any forfeited firearm. A court may temporarily
22 retain forfeited firearms needed for evidence.
23 (a) Except as provided in (b), (c), and (d) of this subsection,
24 firearms that are: (i) Judicially forfeited and no longer needed for
25 evidence; or (ii) forfeited due to a failure to make a claim under
26 RCW 63.32.010 or 63.40.010; may be disposed of in any manner
27 determined by the local legislative authority. Any proceeds of an
28 auction or trade may be retained by the legislative authority. This
29 subsection (2)(a) applies only to firearms that come into the
30 possession of the law enforcement agency after June 30, 1993.
31 By midnight, June 30, 1993, every law enforcement agency shall
32 prepare an inventory, under oath, of every firearm that has been
33 judicially forfeited, has been seized and may be subject to judicial
34 forfeiture, or that has been, or may be, forfeited due to a failure
35 to make a claim under RCW 63.32.010 or 63.40.010.
36 (b) Except as provided in (c) of this subsection, of the
37 inventoried firearms a law enforcement agency shall destroy illegal
38 firearms, may retain a maximum of ten percent of legal forfeited
39 firearms for agency use, and shall either:
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1 (i) Comply with the provisions for the auction of firearms in
2 ((RCW 9.41.098)) this section that were in effect immediately
3 preceding May 7, 1993; or
4 (ii) Trade, auction, or arrange for the auction of, rifles and
5 shotguns. In addition, the law enforcement agency shall either trade,
6 auction, or arrange for the auction of, short firearms, or shall pay
7 a fee of twenty-five dollars to the state treasurer for every short
8 firearm neither auctioned nor traded, to a maximum of fifty thousand
9 dollars. The fees shall be accompanied by an inventory, under oath,
10 of every short firearm listed in the inventory required by (a) of
11 this subsection, that has been neither traded nor auctioned. The
12 state treasurer shall credit the fees to the firearms range account
13 established in RCW 79A.25.210. All trades or auctions of firearms
14 under this subsection shall be to licensed dealers. Proceeds of any
15 auction less costs, including actual costs of storage and sale, shall
16 be forwarded to the firearms range account established in RCW
17 79A.25.210.
18 (c) Antique firearms and firearms recognized as curios, relics,
19 and firearms of particular historical significance by the United
20 States treasury department bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and
21 explosives are exempt from destruction and shall be disposed of by
22 auction or trade to licensed dealers or to museums or historical
23 societies. For the purposes of this subsection (2)(c), "museum or
24 historical society" means the same as in RCW 63.26.010 and is
25 designated as a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the
26 internal revenue code.
27 (d) Firearms in the possession of the Washington state patrol
28 ((on or after May 7, 1993,)) that are judicially forfeited and no
29 longer needed for evidence, or forfeited due to a failure to make a
30 claim under RCW 63.35.020, must be disposed of as follows: (i)
31 Firearms illegal for any person to possess must be destroyed; (ii)
32 the Washington state patrol may retain a maximum of ten percent of
33 legal firearms for agency use; and (iii) all other legal firearms
34 must be auctioned or traded to licensed dealers or destroyed, except
35 as provided in (c) of this subsection. The Washington state patrol
36 may retain any proceeds of an auction or trade.
37 (e)(i) Any firearms in the possession of a state or local
38 government entity or law enforcement agency that are obtained through
39 a firearm buy-back program conducted by the entity or agency must be
40 destroyed except as provided in (e)(ii) or (c) of this subsection.
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1 (ii) A state or local government entity or law enforcement agency
2 conducting a firearm buy-back program shall establish procedures for:
3 Returning relinquished firearms that are determined to be stolen to
4 the rightful owners of the firearms; and determining whether any
5 relinquished firearms have been used in the commission of a crime and
6 retaining and storing such firearms until no longer needed for law
7 enforcement investigation or evidence purposes.
8 (3) The court shall order the firearm returned to the owner upon
9 a showing that there is no probable cause to believe a violation of
10 subsection (1) of this section existed or the firearm was stolen from
11 the owner or the owner neither had knowledge of nor consented to the
12 act or omission involving the firearm which resulted in its
13 forfeiture.
14 (4) A law enforcement officer of the state or of any county or
15 municipality may confiscate a firearm found to be in the possession
16 of a person under circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this
17 section. After confiscation, the firearm shall not be surrendered
18 except: (a) To the prosecuting attorney for use in subsequent legal
19 proceedings; (b) for disposition according to an order of a court
20 having jurisdiction as provided in subsection (1) of this section; or
21 (c) to the owner if the proceedings are dismissed or as directed in
22 subsection (3) of this section.
23 (5) For purposes of this section, "destroy" means the melting or
24 shredding of all parts of a firearm that were attached to the firearm
25 at the time the firearm came into the possession of the state or
26 local government entity or law enforcement agency, including, but not
27 limited to, the frame or receiver, barrel, bolt, and grip, as
28 applicable, and any accessories or attachments including, but not
29 limited to, any sight, scope, silencer, or suppressor, as applicable.
Passed by the House February 9, 2024.
Passed by the Senate February 29, 2024.
Approved by the Governor March 26, 2024.
Filed in Office of Secretary of State March 27, 2024.
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Statutes affected:
Original Bill: 9.41.098
Substitute Bill: 9.41.098
Engrossed Substitute: 9.41.098
Bill as Passed Legislature: 9.41.098
Session Law: 9.41.098