Washington State Loses 11,000 Carry Licenses in Four Months

By CTD Blogger published on in News

In a remarkable reversal of a long-standing trend, the number of active concealed pistol licenses in Washington State has dropped by 11,000 over the past four months, a fact that might (should) be alarming to gun rights groups. However, it may also suggest a return of lethargy in the firearms community. However, with the barrage of assaults on Second Amendment that seems very unlikely, which begs the question of “Why?”

By Dave Workman

Man lifting his shirt to show a concealed handgun

The news comes as Evergreen State gun rights activists are planning two events in Olympia, one week apart. There’s an April 14 event running 5:30–8:30 p.m., organized by the National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans, and on April 21, noon–3 p.m. there’s a “March For Our Rights” rally. Both of these events will be held on the Capitol steps.

At the end of November 2017, the Department of Licensing reported to Liberty Park Press that there were 591,366 active CPLs. Monday morning, the agency advised the number had dropped to 580,362 active licenses.

Since January 2, 2013—when the number of active CPLs hit 392,784—there has been a steady increase in the interest for acquiring a license to carry a concealed handgun, with but a few dips from month-to-month.

Washington has one of the more user—and constitution—friendly concealed carry laws, a “shall issue” provision that enables any qualified citizen to obtain a license to carry.

Article 1, Section 24 of the state constitution, adopted in November 1889, states, “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”

In 1912, when Arizona joined the Union, its constitution adopted the same language. All but six other states have right-to-bear-arms provisions in their constitutions, and they appear to all be stronger than the wording of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment was incorporated to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment in the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago, a case brought by the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation.

Some members of the WaGuns.org forum have suggested that perhaps the state’s concealed carry interest reached the point of saturation. Others hinted that with taxes rising in many areas, people have had to choose between paying taxes or renewing their carry licenses. A few gun owners have suggested a number of reasons, including people who have died or moved out of the state.

The most dramatic decreases have come in King and Pierce counties, with more gradual declines in Snohomish, Clark, and Whatcom counties. The remaining counties all show smaller declines.

One other contributing factor might be harder to pin down. That’s the possible sense of safety from gun control with Donald Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of Congress. However, that hasn’t prevented the launching of a gun ban initiative in Oregon, and it would not stop one from being filed in Washington, as has been hinted earlier this year.

Why do you think Washington is losing carry license holders? Share your answer in the comment section.

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Comments (74)

  • Hide Behind

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    Aging population may have a part impact oupon permits, that and a hunting culture going into a rapegalid decline, after all urban cowboys not city dwellers are more likely to own pistols.
    While relatively easy to get a concealed permit the increase of past was due mainly to one factor, female applicants.
    One person wrote defending WA open carry forgets to mention, that while legal does not mean unobstructed, and you damn well will be confronted by well armed and triggertime waiting police of municipal, county, state and even neighbors while doing so.
    There is but one real means of determination of limits upon freedom you have to push against those boundaries imposed by government and social orders.
    A concealed permit in an “OPEN CARRY CONSTITUTIONALY PROTECTED RIGHT STATE,” is a rejection of a Right, you surrendered it for a permit slip from your masters.

    Reply

  • Consco

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    As A WA resident it has been disheartening to see Seattle and even Spokane dumb down to liberalism. In y 56 years a lot of changes. OC and CC are not one of those changes however. I believe like anything else it is apathy. Trump is now in and people are taking a “breather”. Not smart either but it happens. Now is a good time to buy and the wife and I are.
    Money get’s tight and people spend on other things.

    Fallacy of thought processes by some posters though, in which they state that the state knows you have a firearm, when the time comes for house to house they will go to all houses. Not skip ones where they have no record of 4473 or CCW. Won’t happen. Only way they would know that someone behind them is unarmed is to check.

    Buy away and get what you want. If there were 40 million owners of AR15’s there is no way discuss turning them in. Case law would then allow for Cars, Boats, Baseball bats all to be turned in with no compensation.

    Reply

    • Seattle Socialist

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      When we finally ban private citizens from owning firearms without special license, we will not need house to house searches. We won’t need to search the houses of party members, as we know they will have to proper licenses. No, we will not only know which houses to seach, we will know which ones get no-knock searches, and which get the Waco treatement just from looking at at person’s social media accounts. The more some gun-nut ranted about Moron Lube, and talked about their cold, dead hands, the more likely someone will just drive a tank through their house, and search the wreckage to confiscate their guns.

      Reply

  • Michael

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    The real reason is most likely that WA residents have discovered that a Utah permit is not only cheaper and easier to acquire, but also covers a greater number of states (including WA!). When I was applying for a WA permit several years ago, the county sheriff’s clerk I spoke to was the very person who encouraged me to apply for a Utah permit INSTEAD of a WA permit. Puzzle solved.

    Reply

  • 2ndprotectsall

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    Or the sane are leaving the state.

    Reply

  • JH

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    I think most states will show a drop off of CCL permits as permits from whenever that states first big wave of permit issues was start to expire, and people don’t renew them. The biggest reason is that people will find out what I’ve known for 30 years: carry a concealed firearm is a PITA and takes commitment.

    I’m in Illinois and we had some 300K permits issued the first year the law changed to allow CC. I bet almost half of those original permit holders don’t renew.

    Reply

  • Dale White

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    It is not really easy to get a CCP because many police departments have a small window to apply once a week and it is during the time when many people are at work. Many people do not know that they can and there are advantages to to having a concealed permit. The City of Seattle and the State Democrats are pushing for more gun control measures and taxing gun owners.
    It seems at some point they will enact laws that would classify many common firearms as assault weapons and require that they be tuned in.

    The 2nd amendment means little to some of the elected legislature!

    Reply

  • JHR

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    “Others hinted that with taxes rising in many areas, people have had to choose between paying taxes or renewing their carry licenses.”
    I have no idea what a CCW permit costs in WA but is it so expensive to the point of causing a major financial drain?
    If so, maybe that’s a problem that needs to be addressed. If a single mom has to choose between paying taxes, buying food, or getting her CCW renewed that, as liberals would like to call it, is a social injustice.

    Reply

  • C Osburn

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    I’m gonna chalk this one up to people forgetting to renew. According to the article, CPL number started climbing in January 2013. The license is good for five years. And now it’s 2018. We need to get these people off the couch (the ones that haven’t started smoking pot at least) and back to the sheriff’s office and get that fixed.

    Reply

  • Jim Macklin

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    Kansas passed Constitutional Carry a few years ago and 10-15% of the Kansas residents decided to save $10/year on the cost of a renewal CCHL
    The State of Kansas is not a big state but those CCH licenses that didn’t renew don’t form a voting block number that impresses the legislature.
    For the cost of a box of 45 ACP a Kansas resident can renew a CCHL for 4 years including all costs ($25+$16) and the KS AG reports statistics and the legislators do notice.
    BTW, Kansas version of Constitutional Carry applies to residents and legal visitors over te age of 21.

    Reply

  • Phosphorus32

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    Washington CPLs are issued for five years. Five years ago for the period sighted, November 2012 to March 2013 coincides with the gun panic of Obama’s re-election, so the 2% down-tick is likely largely due tothose CPL holders that failed to renew.

    Reply

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