Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee

HB 1319

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Expanding local government authority to regulate firearms.

Sponsors: Representatives Wylie, Stonier, Appleton, Ryu, Senn, Valdez, Macri, Walen and Pollet.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Authorizes local jurisdictions to enact laws and ordinances restricting the open carrying of firearms at any public meeting of the governing authority of the local jurisdiction.

Hearing Date: 2/1/19

Staff: Edie Adams (786-7180).


Under the state constitution, local jurisdictions have the authority to adopt and enforce public health, safety, and other laws unless in conflict with the general laws of the state. The law governing firearms contains a preemption section that expresses an intent to limit the authority of local jurisdictions to pass firearms laws. The law provides that the state fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, and local jurisdictions may enact only those laws relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by and consistent with state law.

Local jurisdictions are authorized to regulate firearms in some circumstances. Local jurisdictions may enact laws restricting the discharge of firearms in locations where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Local jurisdictions also may enact laws restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center operated by the local jurisdiction, except that such restrictions may not apply to: a pistol in the possession of a person who has a valid concealed pistol license (CPL) or is exempt from CPL requirements; or any showing, demonstration, or lecture involving the exhibition of firearms.

In addition, local jurisdictions may regulate the areas in which firearms may be sold as long as businesses selling firearms are not treated more restrictively than other businesses located within the same zone. A local jurisdiction may restrict the location of a firearms business to not less than 500 feet from school grounds if the business has a storefront with business hours and posts advertisements or signs that firearms are for sale.

Summary of Bill:

Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances restricting the open carrying of firearms at any public meeting of the governing authority of the city, town, county, or municipality.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.