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)

  • AutoLode

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    Born and raised in western WA I moved in 2016 and at least half a dozen friends all moved to AZ where we don’t need carry permits. Homes are twice the square footage for half the price and property taxes are aprx 25% of WA state and it’s 92 degrees today WA it’s still raining. The real reason is that people are leaving WA in drives btw gas is 75 cents per gallon less

    Reply

  • Firewagon

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    Many may have become “fed up” with the state requiring you to “pay for,” in BIG $$, some license to exercise your “God Given Right to Self-defense” by ANY appropriate means, ANYWHERE. That caveat the SCOTUS inserted in finding the “right of the people to be armed,” IN THEIR HOME is asinine on its face! No such “restriction” is noted in that dastardly 2nd amendment. As I told my Governor, if it makes our legislators feel all safe and warm knowing I have passed a BC and have a CCW license, great, although “the right of the people to keep and BEAR arms” is still infringed, rust don’t require me tp PAY for it!

    Reply

  • PamC

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    Seattle…King Co….. is horrific leftist insanity and dominates the will of the rest of the state in politics. I am wondering if the testing or renewal for CC has become more strict recently.. Obviously some of the older people don’t renew. Perhaps they raised the CC fees. One thing is certain….you really need self defense in King co. Crime is bad there.

    Reply

    • Phosphorus32

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      I just renewed my WA CPL in January. No change in requirements. Easy as could be.

      Reply

  • Jim Parker

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    They moved to Texas along with the rest of California!

    Reply

  • Dave G

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    Got my CPL with no problem. Then when I tried to purchase a pistol denied by NICS. How can I be legal and pass my background check to get my CPL and then not pass my background check for purchasing a pistol. Sounds like NICS is ignoring my appeal as well. NICS needs to be overhauled by Trump.

    Reply

  • Retired

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    “dramatic decreases have come in King and Pierce counties, ” These are the counties around Seattle and Olympia. They have been overtaken by retired Californians and liberal tech-urban types. No mystery. Author should have done some research.

    Reply

  • Allen

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    Many pepole now choose open carry rather than a CWP.

    Reply

  • suemarkp

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    The value of a CPL went down when you could not walk into a buy a handgun and walk out the door. I guess you can if you have one and the background check comes back as proceed quickly, but I”m always delayed. I594 made it harder, as face-to-face transfers don’t exempt a CPL holder from doing a direct sale (you must use a FFL now to be legal). If the upcoming initiative passes which allows carry on school grounds with a CPL, that may pull the numbers back up. I still have my CPL so I can have a loaded handgun in the car if I want to.

    Reply

  • john

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    Liberals are persistently aggressive to their causes. They like to accuse, slander, smear, blame and spread gossip about the character and integrity of the gun owners or any conservative…the conservatives spend their time defending themselves and trying to keep up a good image while the liberals then continue on with their goals. If the conservatives would expose the lies, use their vast monetary resources to blitze the media with truth, show the public the true character of the liberals, we may not be worried so much about losing the war. Why is it so difficult for the conservatives to expose the lies? Is there fear of offending someone? The liberals don’t care about destroying someone’s reputation with false accusations. The liberals can get a lawsuit against any group or person within minutes…how many lawsuits do the conservatives have pending against the liberals? The gun owner rich who have resources for buying media time and exposing the truth, need to spend some of that money now because after liberals get in power, they’ll just take it all anyway. Every government agency and person of influence in the gun issue needs to have their mailboxes flooded with snail mail, email, phone calls, messages….nonstop…

    Reply

  • STATMAN

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    Because it’s their Constitutional right to carry without a permit. Criminals don’t need a permit so why do I?

    Reply

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