When can you legally use guns for self-defense and deadly force in WA? Many people are legal concealed pistol carriers in Yakima County.

Make sure that you first obtain a gun permit if you want to legally carry a gun in Washington state.

Increasing numbers of Washington residents say they carry a gun to protect themselves and family members. Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic hopes that residents will take the time to educate themselves about the state's self-defense laws. He says that in several recent cases, Washington residents don't fully understand when a gun can and cannot be used for legal self-defense.

Not carrying a weapon in a legal manner in Washington state can lead to a host of problems, including fines, jail time, and a loss of personal rights.

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL GUN OWNERSHIP LAWS IN WASHINGTON STATE?

Washington state does allow the option of open carry without a concealed carry permit, but if you are not allowed to legally own a gun, you are barred from even carrying one on your person.

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WHEN CAN YOU USE A GUN FOR SELF-DEFENSE IN WASHINGTON STATE?

Even if you legally own a gun or have a concealed pistol permit, Prosecutor Brusic says don't ever think about pulling your gun to threaten someone unless you feel your life or the lives of others are in danger. In other words, don't take out your gun until you are immediately prepared to use it.

To be fully justified in using a gun for self-defense, Brusic says "a person must feel like they were at risk of being seriously injured or killed"; in other words, there must be no other solution to avoid using your gun for self-defense.

COULD YOU HAVE WALKED  AWAY TO AVOID USING YOUR GUN IN SELF-DEFENSE?

If you are being confronted by a person who is threatening your life, can you walk away, rather than use your gun? It's that kind of question prosecutors will ask if you ever do pull the trigger and it injures or kills someone. You can also use a legally owned gun to defend the lives of others in certain circumstances in which their lives feel threatened.

The bottom line is that Washington is a stand-your-ground state, which means no law or statute requires that you must "retreat" if you're feeling threatened or being attacked in a place where you can legally be, such as inside your home.

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