A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo

Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

By Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service

OLYMPIA — A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants to complete a safety course.

Senate Bill 6294 would require conceal-carry permit holders to complete eight hours of training that would include safe handling and storage of firearms, state laws regarding the use of deadly force, conflict resolution, suicide prevention and live-fire shooting exercises.

Presently, conceal-carry permits are valid for five years, require only a criminal background check by local law enforcement, and require the applicant to be over age 21.

Under the proposed law, conceal-carry applicants would have to show proof of completed training within five years of their application, and the training course would need to be sponsored by law enforcement, a college or university, or a certified firearm training school. Law enforcement professionals and people who have already received the training and are seeking renewal would be exempt.

Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, said he believes that forcing this kind of training on conceal-carry permit holders could be unconstitutional. He proposed incentives to similar training instead. Conceal-carry permit holders across the U.S. “are among the most responsible and law-abiding citizens that you can find,” Wagoner said.

On Jan. 20, stakeholders and concerned residents like Lauren Owen of Moms Demand Action testified before the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Owen urged committee members to support the legislation, claiming that Washington is one of the few states that does not require training for concealed carriers.

“Research has shown that gun users with less training are more likely to unintentionally shoot innocent bystanders,” Owen said.

Sharyn Hinchcliffe, a representative of Pink Pistols, a LGBTQ gun rights advocacy group, urged the senators to reject the bill on the basis that it would impede individuals’ rights to self-defense.

“It would place undue burdens, financial and time, on individuals who do not possess the funds available to go search out training,” Hinchcliffe said.

She said parts of the state do not have adequate resources and programs available to fulfill the training requirements. Hinchcliffe said there are no firearm training schools within 25 miles of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Photo courtesy of Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue.
Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue charge renewal is passing

The Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue benefit charge is passing with 100%… Continue reading

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Vote election badge. File photo
5th District results: Ramos leads House race; Anderson edging Mullett for state Senate

Early results have been reported in the 5th Legislative District races from… Continue reading

Developer hopes to build marijuana store in North Bend

A public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 13 on the proposed store and zoning change.

Snoqualmie Valley School District will be entirely online this fall

The school board approved the move amid rising numbers of coronavirus cases in King County.

Did Republicans give up on the 5th District?

The sole Republican candidate has raised only $3,100.

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Most Read