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Aiming/Discharging Firearms

Washington State has many laws that restrict and regulate weapons and firearms especially where and when they can be used. Criminal convictions for firearm charges often result in the automatic loss of gun rights for multiple years.

It is important when building a defense for the crime that the person in possession of the firearm has a legal permit. We will also look at the intention behind the firing. For example, if there was an accidental firing or if it was intentional. You cannot commit an unlawful discharge of a weapon if you fired it accidentally. In order to be charged with the crime, the prosecutor must show you intentionally fired the weapon.

Per RCW 9.41.230, the aiming or discharging of a firearm or dangerous weapon includes:
(1) For conduct not amounting to a violation of chapter 9A.36 RCW, any person who:
(a) Aims any firearm, whether loaded or not, at or towards any human being;
(b) Willfully discharges any firearm, air gun, or other weapon, or throws any deadly missile in a public place, or in any place where any person might be endangered thereby. A public place shall not include any location at which firearms are authorized to be lawfully discharged; or
(c) Except as provided in RCW 9.41.185, sets a so-called trap, spring pistol, rifle, or other dangerous weapon, although no injury results, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(2) If an injury results from a violation of subsection (1) of this section, the person violating subsection (1) of this section shall be subject to the applicable provisions of chapters 9A.32 and 9A.36 RCW.


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John T Law
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