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Legal Information: Washington

Statutes: Washington

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Updated: 
December 3, 2020

7.94.090. Firearms--Surrender

(1) Upon issuance of any extreme risk protection order under this chapter, including an ex parte extreme risk protection order, the court shall order the respondent to surrender to the local law enforcement agency all firearms in the respondent’s custody, control, or possession and any concealed pistol license issued under RCW 9.41.070.

(2) The law enforcement officer serving any extreme risk protection order under this chapter, including an ex parte extreme risk protection order, shall request that the respondent immediately surrender all firearms in his or her custody, control, or possession and any concealed pistol license issued under RCW 9.41.070, and conduct any search permitted by law for such firearms. The law enforcement officer shall take possession of all firearms belonging to the respondent that are surrendered, in plain sight, or discovered pursuant to a lawful search. The order must be personally served upon the respondent or defendant if the order is entered in open court in the presence of the respondent or defendant. The respondent or defendant shall acknowledge receipt and service. If the respondent or defendant refuses service, an agent of the court may indicate on the record that the respondent or defendant refused service. The court shall enter the service and receipt into the record. A copy of the order and service shall be transmitted immediately to law enforcement. Alternatively, if personal service by a law enforcement officer is not possible, the respondent shall surrender the firearms in a safe manner to the control of the local law enforcement agency within forty-eight hours of being served with the order by alternate service.

(3) At the time of surrender, a law enforcement officer taking possession of a firearm or concealed pistol license shall issue a receipt identifying all firearms that have been surrendered and provide a copy of the receipt to the respondent. Within seventy-two hours after service of the order, the officer serving the order shall file the original receipt with the court and shall ensure that his or her law enforcement agency retains a copy of the receipt.

(4) Upon the sworn statement or testimony of the petitioner or of any law enforcement officer alleging that the respondent has failed to comply with the surrender of firearms as required by an order issued under this chapter, the court shall determine whether probable cause exists to believe that the respondent has failed to surrender all firearms in his or her possession, custody, or control. If probable cause exists, the court shall issue a warrant describing the firearms and authorizing a search of the locations where the firearms are reasonably believed to be and the seizure of any firearms discovered pursuant to such search.

(5) If a person other than the respondent claims title to any firearms surrendered pursuant to this section, and he or she is determined by the law enforcement agency to be the lawful owner of the firearm, the firearm shall be returned to him or her, provided that:

(a) The firearm is removed from the respondent’s custody, control, or possession and the lawful owner agrees to store the firearm in a manner such that the respondent does not have access to or control of the firearm; and

(b) The firearm is not otherwise unlawfully possessed by the owner.

(6) Upon the issuance of a one-year extreme risk protection order, the court shall order a new compliance review hearing date and require the respondent to appear not later than three judicial days from the issuance of the order. The court shall require a showing that the respondent has surrendered any firearms in the respondent’s custody, control, or possession, and any concealed pistol license issued under RCW 9.41.070 to a law enforcement agency. The court may dismiss the hearing upon a satisfactory showing that the respondent has timely and completely surrendered all firearms in the respondent’s custody, control, or possession and any concealed pistol license issued under RCW 9.41.070 to a law enforcement agency, and is in compliance with the order. If the court does not have a sufficient record before it on which to make such a finding, the court must set a review hearing to occur as soon as possible, at which the respondent must be present and provide proof of compliance with the court’s order.

(7)(a) If a court finds at the compliance review hearing, or any other hearing where compliance with the order is addressed, that there is probable cause to believe the respondent was aware of and failed to fully comply with the order, failed to appear at the compliance review hearing, or violated the order after the court entered findings of compliance, pursuant to its authority under chapter 7.21 RCW, the court may initiate a contempt proceeding on its own motion, or upon the motion of the prosecutor, city attorney, or the petitioner’s counsel, to impose remedial sanctions, and issue an order requiring the respondent to appear, provide proof of compliance with the order, and show cause why the respondent should not be held in contempt of court.

(b) If the respondent is not present in court at the compliance review hearing or if the court issues an order to appear and show cause after a compliance review hearing, the clerk of the court shall electronically transmit a copy of the order to show cause to the law enforcement agency where the respondent resides for personal service or service in the manner provided in the civil rules of superior court or applicable statute.

(c) The order to show cause served upon the respondent shall state the date, time, and location of the hearing and shall include a warning that the respondent may be held in contempt of court if the respondent fails to promptly comply with the terms of the extreme risk protection order and a warning that an arrest warrant could be issued if the respondent fails to appear on the date and time provided in the order to show cause.

(d)(i) At the show cause hearing, the respondent must be present and provide proof of compliance with the extreme risk protection order and demonstrate why the relief requested should not be granted.

(ii) The court shall take judicial notice of the receipt filed with the court by the law enforcement agency pursuant to subsection (3) of this section. The court shall also provide sufficient notice to the law enforcement agency of the hearing. Upon receiving notice pursuant to this subsection, a law enforcement agency must:

(A) Provide the court with a complete list of firearms surrendered by the respondent or otherwise belonging to the respondent that are in the possession of the law enforcement agency; and

(B) Provide the court with verification that any concealed pistol license issued to the respondent has been surrendered and the agency with authority to revoke the license has been notified.

(iii) If the law enforcement agency has a reasonable suspicion that the respondent is not in full compliance with the terms of the order, the law enforcement agency must submit the basis for its belief to the court, and may do so through the filing of an affidavit.

(e) If the court finds the respondent in contempt, the court may impose remedial sanctions designed to ensure swift compliance with the order to surrender weapons.

(f) The court may order a respondent found in contempt of the order to pay for any losses incurred by a party in connection with the contempt proceeding, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, service fees, and other costs. The costs of the proceeding shall not be borne by the petitioner.

(8) All law enforcement agencies must develop policies and procedures by June 1, 2017, regarding the acceptance, storage, and return of firearms required to be surrendered under this chapter. A law enforcement agency holding any surrendered firearm or concealed pistol license shall comply with the provisions of RCW 9.41.340 and 9.41.345 before the return of the firearm or concealed pistol license to the owner or individual from whom it was obtained.