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*** CHANGE IN 2009 *** (SEE 1052-S2.SL) ***
(1) It is a class C felony for any person who is not a citizen of the United States to carry or possess any firearm, without first having obtained an alien firearm license from the director of licensing. In order to be eligible for a license, an alien must provide proof that he or she is lawfully present in the United States, which the director of licensing shall verify through the appropriate authorities. Except as provided in subsection (2)(a) of this section, and subject to the additional requirements of subsection (2)(b) of this section, the director of licensing may issue an alien firearm license only upon receiving from the consul domiciled in this state representing the country of the alien, a certified copy of the alien's criminal history in the alien's country indicating the alien is not ineligible under RCW 9.41.040 to own, possess, or control a firearm, and the consul's attestation that the alien is a responsible person.
(2)(a) Subject to the additional requirements of (b) of this subsection, the director of licensing may issue an alien firearm license without a certified copy of the alien's criminal history or the consul's attestation required by subsection (1) of this section, if the alien has been a resident of this state for at least two years and: (i) The alien is from a country without a consul domiciled within this state, or (ii) the consul has failed to provide, within ninety days after a request by the alien, the criminal history or attestation required by subsection (1) of this section.
(b) Before issuing an alien firearm license under subsection (1) of this section or this subsection (2), the director of licensing shall ask the local law enforcement agency of the jurisdiction in which the alien resides to complete a background and fingerprint check to determine the alien's eligibility under RCW 9.41.040 to own, possess, or control a firearm. The law enforcement agency shall complete a background check within thirty days after the request, unless the alien does not have a valid Washington driver's license or Washington state identification card. In the latter case, the law enforcement agency shall complete the background check within sixty days after the request.
A signed application for an alien firearm license shall constitute a waiver of confidentiality and written request that the department of social and health services, mental health institutions, and other health care facilities release information relevant to the applicant's eligibility for an alien firearm license to an inquiring law enforcement agency.
(3) The alien firearm license shall be valid for five years from the date of issue so long as the alien is lawfully present in the United States. The nonrefundable fee, paid upon application, for the five-year license shall be fifty-five dollars plus additional charges imposed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that are passed on to the applicant. The fee shall be distributed as follows:
(a) Fifteen dollars shall be paid to the department of licensing;
(b) Twenty-five dollars shall be paid to the Washington state patrol; and
(c) Fifteen dollars shall be paid to the local law enforcement agency conducting the background check.
(4) This section shall not apply to Canadian citizens resident in a province which has an enactment or public policy providing substantially similar privilege to residents of the state of Washington and who are carrying or possessing weapons for the purpose of using them in the hunting of game while such persons are in the act of hunting, or while on a hunting trip, or while such persons are competing in a bona fide trap or skeet shoot or any other organized contest where rifles, pistols, or shotguns are used. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow aliens to hunt or fish in this state without first having obtained a regular hunting or fishing license.
[1996 c 295 § 11; 1994 c 190 § 1; 1979 c 158 § 3; 1969 ex.s. c 90 § 1; 1953 c 109 § 1. Prior: 1911 c 52 § 1; RRS § 2517-1.]