2021 Revised Code of Washington
Title 9 - Crimes and Punishments
Chapter 9.41 - Firearms and Dangerous Weapons.
9.41.280 - Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities—Penalty—Exceptions.

Universal Citation: WA Rev Code § 9.41.280 (2021)
RCW 9.41.280 Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities—Penalty—Exceptions.

(1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:

(a) Any firearm;

(b) Any other dangerous weapon as defined in RCW 9.41.250;

(c) Any device commonly known as "nun-chu-ka sticks," consisting of two or more lengths of wood, metal, plastic, or similar substance connected with wire, rope, or other means;

(d) Any device, commonly known as "throwing stars," which are multipointed, metal objects designed to embed upon impact from any aspect;

(e) Any air gun, including any air pistol or air rifle, designed to propel a BB, pellet, or other projectile by the discharge of compressed air, carbon dioxide, or other gas; or

(f)(i) Any portable device manufactured to function as a weapon and which is commonly known as a stun gun, including a projectile stun gun which projects wired probes that are attached to the device that emit an electrical charge designed to administer to a person or an animal an electric shock, charge, or impulse; or

(ii) Any device, object, or instrument which is used or intended to be used as a weapon with the intent to injure a person by an electric shock, charge, or impulse.

(2) Any such person violating subsection (1) of this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person is convicted of a violation of subsection (1)(a) of this section, the person shall have his or her concealed pistol license, if any revoked for a period of three years. Anyone convicted under this subsection is prohibited from applying for a concealed pistol license for a period of three years. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which issued the license.

Any violation of subsection (1) of this section by elementary or secondary school students constitutes grounds for expulsion from the state's public schools in accordance with RCW 28A.600.010. An appropriate school authority shall promptly notify law enforcement and the student's parent or guardian regarding any allegation or indication of such violation.

Upon the arrest of a person at least twelve years of age and not more than twenty-one years of age for violating subsection (1)(a) of this section, the person shall be detained or confined in a juvenile or adult facility for up to seventy-two hours. The person shall not be released within the seventy-two hours until after the person has been examined and evaluated by the designated crisis responder unless the court in its discretion releases the person sooner after a determination regarding probable cause or on probation bond or bail.

Within twenty-four hours of the arrest, the arresting law enforcement agency shall refer the person to the designated crisis responder for examination and evaluation under chapter 71.05 or 71.34 RCW and inform a parent or guardian of the person of the arrest, detention, and examination. The designated crisis responder shall examine and evaluate the person subject to the provisions of chapter 71.05 or 71.34 RCW. The examination shall occur at the facility in which the person is detained or confined. If the person has been released on probation, bond, or bail, the examination shall occur wherever is appropriate.

Upon completion of any examination by the designated crisis responder, the results of the examination shall be sent to the court, and the court shall consider those results in making any determination about the person.

The designated crisis responder shall, to the extent permitted by law, notify a parent or guardian of the person that an examination and evaluation has taken place and the results of the examination. Nothing in this subsection prohibits the delivery of additional, appropriate mental health examinations to the person while the person is detained or confined.

If the designated crisis responder determines it is appropriate, the designated crisis responder may refer the person to the local behavioral health administrative services organization for follow-up services or other community providers for other services to the family and individual.

(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:

(a) Any student or employee of a private military academy when on the property of the academy;

(b) Any person engaged in military, law enforcement, or school district security activities. However, a person who is not a commissioned law enforcement officer and who provides school security services under the direction of a school administrator may not possess a device listed in subsection (1)(f) of this section unless he or she has successfully completed training in the use of such devices that is equivalent to the training received by commissioned law enforcement officers;

(c) Any person who is involved in a convention, showing, demonstration, lecture, or firearms safety course authorized by school authorities in which the firearms of collectors or instructors are handled or displayed;

(d) Any person while the person is participating in a firearms or air gun competition approved by the school or school district;

(e) Any person in possession of a pistol who has been issued a license under RCW 9.41.070, or is exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060, while picking up or dropping off a student;

(f) Any nonstudent at least eighteen years of age legally in possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon that is secured within an attended vehicle or concealed from view within a locked unattended vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school;

(g) Any nonstudent at least eighteen years of age who is in lawful possession of an unloaded firearm, secured in a vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school; or

(h) Any law enforcement officer of the federal, state, or local government agency.

(4) Subsections (1)(c) and (d) of this section do not apply to any person who possesses nun-chu-ka sticks, throwing stars, or other dangerous weapons to be used in martial arts classes authorized to be conducted on the school premises.

(5) Subsection (1)(f)(i) of this section does not apply to any person who possesses a device listed in subsection (1)(f)(i) of this section, if the device is possessed and used solely for the purpose approved by a school for use in a school authorized event, lecture, or activity conducted on the school premises.

(6) Except as provided in subsection (3)(b), (c), (f), and (h) of this section, firearms are not permitted in a public or private school building.

(7) "GUN-FREE ZONE" signs shall be posted around school facilities giving warning of the prohibition of the possession of firearms on school grounds.

[ 2019 c 325 § 5001; 2016 sp.s. c 29 § 403; 2014 c 225 § 56; 2009 c 453 § 1; 1999 c 167 § 1; 1996 c 295 § 13; 1995 c 87 § 1; 1994 sp.s. c 7 § 427; 1993 c 347 § 1; 1989 c 219 § 1; 1982 1st ex.s. c 47 § 4.]


Effective date—2019 c 325: See note following RCW 71.24.011.

Effective dates—2016 sp.s. c 29: See note following RCW 71.05.760.

Short title—Right of action—2016 sp.s. c 29: See notes following RCW 71.05.010.

Effective date—2014 c 225: See note following RCW 71.24.016.

Finding—Intent—Severability—1994 sp.s. c 7: See notes following RCW 43.70.540.

Effective date—1994 sp.s. c 7 §§ 401-410, 413-416, 418-437, and 439-460: See note following RCW 9.41.010.

Severability—1982 1st ex.s. c 47: See note following RCW 9.41.190.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Washington may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.