WAC 232-12-051: Muzzleloading firearms

Link to law: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=232-12-051
Published: 2015

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WACs > Title 232 > Chapter 232-12 > Section 232-12-051



Agency filings affecting this section

WAC 232-12-051

Muzzleloading firearms.

(1) Definitions. (a) Muzzleloader: A firearm that is loaded from the muzzle and uses black powder or a black powder substitute as recommended by the manufacturer for use in all muzzleloading firearms. (b) A muzzleloading firearm shall be considered loaded if a powder charge and a projectile, either shot or single projectile are in the barrel and the barrel or breech is capped or primed. (2) It is unlawful to hunt wildlife using a muzzleloading firearm that does not meet the following specifications: (a) A muzzleloading shotgun or rifle must have a single or double barrel, rifled or smooth-bored. (b) A muzzleloading shotgun or rifle used for deer must be .40 caliber or larger. Buckshot size #1 or larger may be used in a smoothbore of .60 caliber or larger for deer. (c) A muzzleloading shotgun, rifle, or handgun used for all other big game must be .45 caliber or larger. (d) Persons lawfully hunting small game with a double barrel, muzzleloading shotgun may keep both barrels loaded. (e) A muzzleloading handgun must have a single or double barrel of at least eight inches, must be rifled, and must be capable of being loaded with forty-five grains or more of black powder or black powder substitute per the manufacturer's recommendations. (f) A muzzleloading handgun used for big game must be .45 caliber or larger. (g) A handgun designed to be used with black powder, including black powder percussion revolvers, can be used to hunt forest grouse, cottontail rabbits, and snowshoe hares. (3) In addition to the above requirements, it is unlawful to participate (hunt) in a muzzleloading hunting season using a firearm that does not meet the following specifications for a muzzleloader. However, a modern handgun may be carried for personal protection. Modern handguns cannot be used to hunt big game or dispatch wounded big game during a big game hunting season for muzzleloading firearms. (a) Ignition is to be wheel lock, matchlock, flintlock, or percussion using original style percussion caps that fit on the nipple and are exposed to the weather. "Exposed to the weather" means the percussion cap or the frizzen must be visible and not capable of being enclosed by an integral part of the weapon proper. Primers designed to be used in modern cartridges are not legal. (b) Sights must be open, peep, or of other open sight design. Fiber optic sights are legal. Telescopic sights or sights containing glass are prohibited. (c) It is unlawful to have any electrical device or equipment attached to a muzzleloading firearm while hunting. (d) Those persons lawfully hunting big game with a double barrel muzzleloader may only keep one barrel loaded. (4) Muzzleloading firearms used during a modern firearm season are not required to meet ignition, sight, or double barrel restrictions. (5) A violation of this section is punishable under RCW 77.15.400, 77.15.410, or 77.15.430, depending on the species hunted. [Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047, 77.12.240, and 77.32.070. WSR 14-10-019 (Order 14-95), § 232-12-051, filed 4/25/14, effective 5/26/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047, 77.12.020, 77.12.570, 77.12.210, 77.12.150, 77.12.240, 77.32.070, 77.32.530. WSR 10-10-061 (Order 10-94), § 232-12-051, filed 4/30/10, effective 5/31/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047, 77.12.020, 77.12.570, 77.12.210, 77.12.150, 77.12.240. WSR 09-09-083 (Order 09-53), § 232-12-051, filed 4/15/09, effective 5/16/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. WSR 06-11-032 (Order 06-92), § 232-12-051, filed 5/8/06, effective 6/8/06; WSR 03-13-047 (Order 03-129), § 232-12-051, filed 6/12/03, effective 7/13/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040, 77.12.010, 77.12.020, 77.12.770, 77.12.780. WSR 00-11-137 (Order 00-50), § 232-12-051, filed 5/23/00, effective 6/23/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.055 and 77.12.040. WSR 90-14-109 (Order 450), § 232-12-051, filed 7/5/90, effective 8/5/90; WSR 89-11-062 (Order 393), § 232-12-051, filed 5/18/89. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. WSR 84-18-013 (Order 234), § 232-12-051, filed 8/28/84; WSR 81-12-029 (Order 165), § 232-12-051, filed 6/1/81. Formerly WAC 232-12-135.]