Is There A Red Flag Law In Washington State?

It's hard not to be sickened by the recent mass shooting in Maine and I'm sure gun control will be soon on the national stage again after this horrific shooting.


What Is A Red Flag Law And How Does It Work In Washington State?

One of the things I noticed in all of the stories, the question of Maine not being a red flag state, kept coming up in all of the articles.

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I didn't know what a red flag state was so I did a little digging because I was curious if Washington State is considered a red flag state.


This is what information I found when it comes to red flag laws in Washington State. Washington State is one of only 19 states in the nation that has a red flag law.

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What is the red flag law you ask?

Washington State's red flag law was passed in 2016, and it allows family members, household members, and law enforcement officers to petition the court to remove firearms from individuals who pose a significant danger to themselves or others.

The law is aimed at individuals who show signs of mental illness, recent acts of violence, or other concerning behavior.

Once a petition is filed, a judge can issue an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) that temporarily removes firearms from the person in question.

Justin Edmonds
Justin Edmonds

The red flag law in Washington State has been controversial, with some critics arguing that it violates the Second Amendment rights of gun owners.

However, supporters argue that it's a necessary measure to prevent mass shootings and other acts of violence.

It's also worth noting that violating an ERPO is a criminal offense in Washington State.

Some concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of red flag laws, and whether they actually prevent gun violence. Studies have shown that states with red flag laws have seen a decrease in gun suicides and mass shootings.

So Washington State does have a red flag law and you can read more details on how it works here.

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