After Months of Decline, WA
Adds Back Almost 5,000 CPLs

By Dave Workman. June 4, 2021

Call it a "new beginning," as the Washington State Department of Licensing revealed this week there has been a stunning turnaround in the steady decline in the number active concealed pistol licenses (CPL), as the number bumped up nearly 5,000 during May.

According to data obtained by TGM from the licensing agency, the number of active CPLs on June 1 at 624,334. One month ago, on May 1, the number was 619,398, a difference of 4,936 licenses.

That's no small turnaround for a state that is considered politically "blue," and happens to be the smallest western state. But Washington has always had a high number of CPLs in circulation, reaching its peak of 650,403 on April 1, 2020. The number began sliding for the next 13 months, primarily because law enforcement agencies "suspended" public services during the COVID-19 shutdown. That included accepting new CPL applications which require fingerprinting of each applicant.

There is no provision in the state's concealed carry law that allows a suspension of this service, especially for many months. Here's what the state law says:

"(1) The chief of police of a municipality or the sheriff of a county shall within thirty days after the filing of an application of any person, issue a license to such person to carry a pistol concealed on his or her person within this state for five years from date of issue, for the purposes of protection or while engaged in business, sport, or while traveling. However, if the applicant does not have a valid permanent Washington driver's license or Washington state identification card or has not been a resident of the state for the previous consecutive ninety days, the issuing authority shall have up to sixty days after the filing of the application to issue a license. The issuing authority shall not refuse to accept completed applications for concealed pistol licenses during regular business hours." (Emphasis added.) .....

Of course a license should not be required for carry in the first place, but after a period of desultory issuance supposedly 'excused' because of the pandemic effects, there seems to be a welcome resurgeance. In the current climate with constant moves to 'defund' the police plus almost record breaking retirements, there has never been a time when honest citizens need their own means of self defense so much.


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