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Washington Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, Everytown Urge Senate and House Committees to Advance Legislation to Require Safety Training for all Concealed Pistol License Applicants

January 21, 2020

HB1315, SB6294 Would Require Concealed Pistol License Applicants to Undergo Training and Show Proof of Completion Before Issued a License 

Washington is One of Only 10 States in the Country That Does Not Require Training Before Issuing a License to Carry A Concealed Handgun In Public

OLYMPIA, Wash. –– The Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today urged the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee and the Senate Law and Justice Committee to advance legislation that would require all Concealed Pistol License applicants to show completion of safety training before being issued a license to carry a concealed handgun. Both committees held hearings on the bills earlier this week. 

“Owning, operating, and carrying a handgun is a huge responsibility,” said Rebecca Elbaum, a volunteer with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This bill will help prevent tragedies by ensuring that concealed pistol license holders are trained to safely handle a firearm. We urge our lawmakers to advance these companion bills and give them the opportunity to reach the floor for a vote.”

“We have to do everything we can to keep our communities safe,” said Kyungmin Yook a volunteer with Washington Students Demand Action. “That starts with passing legislation to ensure that those who are issued a license to carry a concealed handgun are properly trained gun owners. We’re asking our lawmakers to advance these public safety bills and join the 39 states that require safety training for obtaining a concealed carry permit.”

The training requirements would include a minimum of eight hours of instruction on topics including secure storage, handgun use and safety, and suicide prevention. There would also be a live-fire training component to be completed on a firing range, requiring an actual demonstration of safe use of a handgun.

There are more than half a million active concealed pistol licenses in Washington. Under current Washington law, there is no requirement that a person complete any training before being issued a concealed pistol license, despite evidence that comprehensive gun safety training can meaningfully impact public safety. Currently, a person who wishes to conceal carry may do so without having to demonstrate that they are proficient in firearm safety.

Washington is one of only 10 states in the country that does not require training before issuing a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. Almost every state requires some version of training for concealed carry permit applicants, and more than half of these states require that a person complete a live-fire training component before being issued a license to carry a concealed handgun. More information on how Washington’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here.

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