Washington DC is a "Shall-Issue" gun-carrying jurisdiction starting from 2017. Any individual who is above the age of 21 years and military personnel who is 18 years and above can legally carry a firearm with a valid permit. The gun laws in Washington does not mandate an individual to have a permit to purchase or possess a license to buy shotguns or rifles while they may have to have a license to buy other types of firearms.
No individual is permitted to carry a pistol in a concealed manner without acquiring CCW licenses. The state does not honor licenses obtained in other states, while 21 other states do honor pistol license from the state of Washington D.C. Every applicant is obliged to complete the Firearms Safety training and complete the certification as directed by the Metropolitan Police Department to get a CCW license.
Washington CCW Process
Below are the eligibility pre-requisites to get a CCW Permit:
- Must be at least 21 years of age or 18 years of age in the case of military personnel.
- Must have registered the firearm before getting the permit.
- Must not be convicted of any type of felony in the recent 5 years
- Must not be a convict of a misdemeanor act of crime in the past five years.
- Must not have carried any unlawful weapons in the past three years.
- Must not be a convict of any kind of charges that is related to drug abuse.
- Only legal residents of the state are permitted to apply for a permit.
- Must have completed the firearm safety training and certified.
- Is an appropriate person to be so licensed.
- Must meet the Federal Law Requirements
To obtain a permit follow the below-listed steps:
- Complete the firearm safety course and certification
- Download the application form from the Pistol Permit Application Form.
- Complete the application form as per the instructions stated in the form and ensure to provide valid information.
- Application Permit is valid to hold only one firearm at a time.
- Provide any two of the required documents as listed below.
- Proof of Current residence
- Motor vehicle license
- Certified deed documents
- Mortgage documents
- Utility bills
- Receipt of rental payments
Visit the below address to submit the permit application:
Firearms Registration Section at 300 Indiana Avenue,
NW, Room 3058, Washington, DC 20001.
Note: It may take up to 90 days to process a new permit.
To renew your license, please follow the steps provided below:
- Renew your license 90 days before or after the expiration date (this will incur a late renewal fee). However, if your license remained unrenewed after the 90 days grace period, it will be deemed as permanently expired. Thus, you are required to process a new application.
- Complete the renewal application form, which you can request from your local city police department or Sheriff's office. You can also download the application through your county website.
- Apply in-person and bring the following documents:
- Photo ID, State ID, or Driver's License
- For resident alien, bring your permanent resident card
- You will be notified via mail if your application is approved or denied.
Firearm Registration fee: USD 13
Standard license fee: USD 75
Fingerprint verification: USD 35
For renewals, the overall cost may range between USD 100 to USD 150.
Washington CCW Basics
Must Notify Officer
YES Must inform the officer
As per Washington D.C Gun laws every individual is obliged to inform the officials when approached for an inquiry regarding the possession of a firearm. It is a must carry the firearm permit along with you all times if you are carrying the firearm with you. It is a right to possess a firearm with an appropriate permit. You may need to carry the CCW license along with the firearm registration certificate if you are carrying a concealed handgun.
No Weapon Signs Enforced
When a “No Firearm” sign is displayed, it is a must to oblige by the law. You may not enter a private or public area with no weapon sign enforced. If you do so, you will be legally penalized. It is also a must to carry the permit at all times.
Washington gun laws permit any individual with a valid permit to carry the firearm in the vehicle. If it is a long gun, it is a must to unload the gun and keep them visible in the vehicle, while in case of short guns; they must be unloaded and enclosed inside a case. It is a must to unload the gun when carried in a vehicle. Also, ensure to carry the permit and registration certificate as and when necessary.
Open carry is illegal in the state of Washington D.C.
Washington Gun Forms & Supporting Documentation
Purchase and Possession
In the state of Washington, no permit is required for the purchase of shotguns or rifles.Any person seeking to purchase a handgun or pistol must also provide the following:
- A state distributed handgun application complete with the applicant’s signature, a statement confirming buyer eligibility of firearm purchase and all required information.
- A state approved form of photo identification.
- A detailed description of the pistol that an applicant is attempting to purchase that must include the gun’s make, model, caliber and manufacturing number.
A firearms dealer shall deliver the purchased handgun to any lawful buyer following a period of no less than 5 business days from the day that the dealer receives the completed application and mandated forms. Should the dealer discover that the buyer in question has no valid state identification or driver’s license then the original period of 5 business days shall be lengthened to 60 days. This extension of the waiting period shall also be applied to persons attempting to buy a firearm who have not remained in the state of Washington for the previous 90 consecutive days prior to the day of application. Any person possessing a permit to carry a concealed handgun shall be exempt from the waiting period. In the event that the dealer receives written verification of a purchase denial from a sheriff or police chief then the dealer shall withhold the delivery of that handgun to the denied buyer. The dealer shall also be notified of the specific reason for the denial of the purchase.
If the sheriff or police chief entertains reasonable doubt or concern for the approval of a particular purchase then he may impose a 30 day extension on the original waiting period. This action must be based on the presence of pending criminal charges, a felony warrant or discrepancy in the criminal record of an applicant that creates reasonable doubt for the permission of the applicant’s handgun purchase. If any court finds this doubt to be valid then it may elongate the extension of the waiting period for an additional 30 days.
All applicants shall be issued a license to possess handgun unless he or she blatantly fails to meet any of the above pre-requisites or conditions.
Washington state mandates that all towns, cities, subdivisions and municipalities must enforce this requirement of license ownership for handguns.
The state of Washington does not demand any permits or license for the possession of handguns, shotguns or rifles.
Any person meeting one or more of the following conditions is prohibited from possessing, owning carrying or otherwise handling a firearm. This includes any citizen:
- Who has been convicted, by a jury of his or her peers and in a valid court of law, of any felony offense pertaining to domestic violence or the misuse of a weapon.
- Who has been adjudicated as a juvenile for an offense as described above on or following July 1, 1993 (note that this date is subject to change as laws are updated and amended by the state legislative body).
- Who is bound by the legal constraints of a civil restraining order.
- Who is lawfully free by way of bail bond or explicit permission pending criminal litigation, court appeal or sentencing for any of the aforementioned crimes.
- Who avoided any criminal charges using a defense hinged on the defendant’s claim of insanity.
- Who has been coercively placed in a mental health institution.
- Who is below the age of 18.
Please note that circumstances pertaining to a dismissal of charges in exchange for a period of court-ordered probation or rehabilitation may also be qualified as a conviction.Those citizens who fall under the requirement of 18 years of age or older may possess and use any legally acceptable firearm, given that he or she also maintains the proper licenses, in experiences of competitive or recreational target shooting, lawful game hunting, or firearms safety courses. This includes intervals allotted for transportation to and from these venues, so long as the gun remains unloaded and beyond the range of easy access.
Any non-citizen or alien within the United States carrying a firearm shall be aggressively prosecuted and charged with a felony. Non-citizens who wish to possess a firearm within the United States must first apply for a special license from the licensing director in the appropriate branch of a non-citizen’s foreign government or embassy. Upon the receipt of a certified document from the consul of the non-citizen’s domestic government, a mandated $55.00 (USD) fee and any additional FBI sanctioned fees, the licensing director will issue a license to the non-citizen which shall remain valid in these United States for the 5 years following the date of issuance. Please note that citizens of Canada in certain provinces or areas may be exempt from this regulation due to specially negotiated and established provisions between that government and an individual state of the United States.
Carrying a Firearm
It is unlawful in the state of Washington to carry any concealed or otherwise hidden handgun or pistol without maintaining a concealed firearms license.Any lawful handgun owner may not leave an unloaded pistol in a vehicle unless the vehicle is locked within the car and is removed from the field of any outside view.
The state of Washington prohibits the carrying or placement of a loaded gun in a vehicle. This regulation does not apply to:
- Persons maintaining a valid concealed weapons license who also keep the weapon locked and hidden in the car as described above.
- Members of any legally authorized organization that regularly engages in target shooting or gun collecting activities while en route to or from the primary location of these approved activities.
- Law enforcement officers including correctional personnel while on duty.
- Service men and women of the United States Military while on duty.
- Firearms dealers safely and lawfully engaging in regular business practices.
- Persons storing their unloaded guns in sealed, nontransparent cases.
- Retired law enforcement officers with the proper qualifications.
It is the responsibility of all local police chiefs and sheriffs to keep and receive applications for a license to carry a concealed firearm. The purpose of said firearm license must fall within the categories of either sport, self-defense, ease of travel or business. This application must be filed with the chief of police or sheriff of the applicant’s current county of residence. If all procedures and mandates are satisfied then the sheriff or police chief will issue the license within a period of no more than 30 days following the filing the application. In the event of an applicant’s failure to produce a valid Washington state ID or driver’s license then the issuing body may lengthen the waiting period for the license to 60 days. A 60 day waiting period shall also be imposed upon any person who failed to maintain residency in the state of Washington at any point in the 90 days prior to application. The acceptance of any application shall not be refused by the issuing body given that the application is filed during the course of regular business hours. The state of Washington shall not deny anyone the right to possess this license to carry concealed firearms unless the applicant is:
- The subject of a felony or misdemeanor class outstanding warrant.
- Under the age of 21.
- Disqualified from firearm ownership as previously described in this section.
- Under the coercive impetus of a restraining order or court-ordered domestic violence sanction against personal weapon ownership.
The state of Washington also mandates that all applicants be subjected to proper fingerprinting. Before receiving the license, all approved applicants must incur a fee of $52.50 (USD) and any additional fees imposed and collected by the FBI. Legitimately acquired licenses to carry concealed firearms are valid for 5 years throughout the state of Washington. Any person wishing to renew their license may do so given that they continue to meet all original requirements and have submitted a $32.00 (USD) renewal fee.
No additional fees beyond those stated above may be collected or by any government body or subdivision. The state of Washington prohibits any attempts by cities, towns or other municipalities to alter or disturb any of these regulations.
It is illegal in the state of Washington to carry any firearm, air gun or replica firearm on the premises of any pre-school, elementary school or secondary school, public or private, as well as any facility or venue that is exclusively occupied by the students and faculty of any of the aforementioned school types. This regulation does not apply to concealed firearms license holders who are picking up or dropping off their children at a school.
No person shall transport, possess, use or carry a loaded shotgun, rifle or muzzle-loaded rifle in a motor vehicle.It is unlawful for any person, including lawful concealed firearm license holders, to carry a firearm onto the premises or any portion of the premises of any:
- Business or facility that explicitly prohibits the entrance of persons under the age of 21.
- Commercial airport.
- Correctional facility or holding area.
- Facility of law enforcement.
- Court house or judicial facility.
- Mental health facilities.
This regulation does not apply to entrances, exits or areas open to public access within law enforcement or correctional facilities.
Antiques & Replicas
The state of Washington does not treat antique or replica firearms with the same regulations and laws as operational firearms. Any antique or replica firearm may be carried given that the firearm is not designed or redesigned for the purpose of conventional or rim firing fixed ammunition that was manufactured in or before the year 1898. The person carrying the antique must be an active member of a specialty firearms club or organization and the purpose of carrying the replica or antique must be pertinent to the transportation of that item to or from a collectors’ gun show or exhibit.
The state of Washington strictly prohibits, under the penalty of felony prosecution, the ownership, purchase, trade, transfer, sale or use of any machine gun or any item or mechanism that may be used to fabricate a machine gun.
There are exemptions to this law. United States Military personnel on duty, specialized peace officers on duty and persons with explicit authorization from the federal government via a National Firearms Tax Stamp, which allows for lawful ownership of entities engaging in the manufacturing, producing or testing of machine guns, are all exempt from the Washington machine gun ownership prohibition.
The governing body of Washington defines a machine gun as any firearm or other weapon that does not operate on the principle of single action (one trigger pull results in one bullet being expelled from the chamber) and can maintain a rate of fire of or exceeding five shots per second.
There are currently no Washington laws addressing the protection of firing ranges.
Washington Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Washington's Reciprocity States
States honoring a Washington DC License
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia
Licenses Washington DC honors
Washington DC does not honor any other states CCW licenses.
States not honoring a Washington DC License
California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Places that are off-limits
- Public schools
- Correctional facility
- Law enforcement facility
- State courthouses
- Mental health facilities
- Outdoor music festival
- Secured areas in airports
- Places listed below that have Rules that state no firearms allowed on Premises;
- Licensed Child Care Facilities,
- Racing Association Grounds,
- An Emergency Respite Center,
- Licensed Pregnant and Parenting Teen Residential Programs And Their Facilities,
- Licensed Homes and Facilities That Provide Care To Children,
- Overnight Youth Shelter & Residence Operated By the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration
- All facilities operated by the Office of Administrative Hearings
- Places prohibited by Federal Law
Places that are allowed
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Roadside rest areas
- Other areas not mentioned above
It is illegal in the state of Washington to:
- Alter, erase or otherwise destroy the manufacturer’s number, model, maker or any other marking of firearm identification on any gun. Persons found to be in possession of such a firearm shall be presumed as the offender and prosecuted for this offense.
- Prepare and deploy a spring gun, not including devices explicitly authorized by the state department of game or agriculture.
- Present or carry a firearm with the intention of intimidating another person or persons. Exempt from this regulation are persons carrying firearms in their homes or personal businesses and persons attempting to defend themselves from a valid and blatant threat.
- Discharge any firearm on or across a public highway.
The governor of Washington reserves the power to suspend the use of firearms outside of the home or personal business in a state of emergency.Any additional laws imposed or enacted by any entity aside from the state or federal government are not valid and shall not be counted as such.
Washington Off Limit Statues
RCW 9.41.280 - Possessing Dangerous Weapons on School Facilities
(1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools"
(a) Any firearm;
(b) Any other dangerous weapon as defined in RCW 9.41.250;
(e) Any air gun, including any air pistol or air rifle, designed to propel a BB, pellet, or other projectile by the discharge of compressed air, carbon dioxide, or other gas; or
(f)(i) Any portable device manufactured to function as a weapon and which is commonly known as a stun gun, including a projectile stun gun which projects wired probes that are attached to the device that emit an electrical charge designed to administer to a person or an animal an electric shock, charge, or impulse; or (ii) Any device, object, or instrument which is used or intended to be used as a weapon with the intent to injure a person by an electric shock, charge, or impulse.
(2) Any such person violating subsection (1) of this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person is convicted of a violation of subsection (1)(a) of this section, the person shall have his or her concealed pistol license, if any revoked for a period of three years. Anyone convicted under this subsection is prohibited from applying for a concealed pistol license for a period of three years. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which issued the license.
(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:
(e) Any person in possession of a pistol who has been issued a license under RCW 9.41.070, or is Exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060, while picking up or dropping off a student;
(f) Any nonstudent at least eighteen years of age legally in possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon that is secured within an attended vehicle or concealed from view within a locked unattended vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school;
(g) Any nonstudent at least eighteen years of age who is in lawful possession of an unloaded firearm, secured in a vehicle while conducting legitimate business at the school; or
(6) Except as provided in subsection (3)(b), (c), (f), and (h) of this section, firearms are not permitted in a public or private school building.
(7) "GUN-FREE ZONE" signs shall be posted around school facilities giving warning of the prohibition of the possession of firearms on school grounds.
2016 sp.s. c 29 § 403; 2014 c 225 § 56;c
RCW 9.41.300 - Weapons Prohibited In Certain Places — Local Laws and Ordinances — Exceptions — Penalty
(1) It is unlawful for any person to enter the following places when he or she knowingly possesses or knowingly has under his or her control a weapon:
(a) The restricted access areas of a jail, or of a law enforcement facility, or any place used for the confinement of a person (i) arrested for, charged with, or convicted of an offense, (ii) held for extradition or as a material witness, or (iii) otherwise confined pursuant to an order of a court, except an order under chapter 13.32A or 13.34 RCW. Restricted access areas do not include common areas of egress or ingress open to the general public;
(b) Those areas in any building which are used in connection with court proceedings, including courtrooms, jury rooms, judge's chambers, offices and areas used to conduct court business, waiting areas, and corridors adjacent to areas used in connection with court proceedings. The restricted areas do not include common areas of ingress and egress to the building that is used in connection with court proceedings, when it is possible to protect court areas without restricting ingress and egress to the building. The restricted areas shall be the minimum necessary to fulfill the objective of this subsection (1)(b).
For purposes of this subsection (1)(b), "weapon" means any firearm, explosive as defined in RCW 70.74.010, or any weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or any knife, dagger, dirk, or other similar weapon that is capable of causing death or bodily injury and is commonly used with the intent to cause death or bodily injury. In addition, the local legislative authority shall provide either a stationary locked box sufficient in size for pistols and key to a weapon owner for weapon storage, or shall designate an official to receive weapons for safekeeping, during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building. The locked box or designated official shall be located within the same building used in connection with court proceedings. The local legislative authority shall be liable for any negligence causing damage to or loss of a weapon either placed in a locked box or left with an official during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building. The local judicial authority shall designate and clearly mark those areas where weapons are prohibited, and shall post notices at each entrance to the building of the prohibition against weapons in the restricted areas;
(c) The restricted access areas of a public mental health facility certified by the department of social and health services for inpatient hospital care and state institutions for the care of the mentally ill, excluding those facilities solely for evaluation and treatment. Restricted access areas do not include common areas of egress and ingress open to the general public;
(d) That portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under twenty-one years of age; or
(e) The restricted access areas of a commercial service airport designated in the airport security plan approved by the federal transportation security administration, including passenger screening checkpoints at or beyond the point at which a passenger initiates the screening process. These areas do not include airport drives, general parking areas and walkways, and shops and areas of the terminal that are outside the screening checkpoints and that are normally open to unscreened passengers or visitors to the airport. Any restricted access area shall be clearly indicated by prominent signs indicating that firearms and other weapons are prohibited in the area
(2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:
(a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and
(b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:
(i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060; or
(ii) Any showing, demonstration, or lecture involving the exhibition of firearms.
2018 c 201 § 9003; 2018 c 201 § 6007;
RCW 70.108.150 - Firearms—Penalty.
"It shall be unlawful for any person, except law enforcement officers, to carry, transport or convey, or to have in his possession or under his control any firearm while on the site of an outdoor music festival."
2012 c 117 § 424;
RCW 70.108.020 - Definitions.
(3) "Outdoor music festival" or "music festival" or "festival" means an assembly of persons gathered primarily for outdoor, live or recorded musical entertainment, where the predicted attendance is two thousand persons or more and where the duration of the program is five hours or longer: PROVIDED, That this definition shall not be applied to any regularly established permanent place of worship, stadium, athletic field, arena, auditorium, coliseum, or other similar permanently established places of assembly for assemblies which do not exceed by more than two hundred fifty people the maximum seating capacity of the structure where the assembly is held: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That this definition shall not apply to government sponsored fairs held on regularly established fairgrounds nor to assemblies required to be licensed under other laws or regulations of the state.
[2012 c 117 § 421; 1971 ex.s. c 302 § 21.]
RCW 9.94.043 - Deadly weapons — Possession on Premises by Person Not a Prisoner — Penalty
A person, other than a person serving a sentence in a penal institution of this state, is guilty of possession of contraband on the premises of a state correctional institution in the first degree if, without authorization to do so, the person knowingly possesses or has under his or her control a deadly weapon on or in the buildings or adjacent grounds subject to the care, control, or supervision of a state correctional institution. Deadly weapon is used as defined in RCW 9A.04.110: PROVIDED, That such correctional buildings, grounds, or property are properly posted pursuant to RCW 9.94.047, and such person has knowingly entered thereon: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the provisions of this section do not apply to a person licensed pursuant to RCW 9.41.070 who, upon entering the correctional institution premises, proceeds directly along an access road to the administration building and promptly checks his or her firearm(s) with the appropriate authorities. The person may reclaim his or her firearm(s) upon leaving, but he or she must immediately and directly depart
from the premises. Possession of contraband on the premises of a state correctional institution in the first degree is a class B
[1979 c 121 § 3.]
RCW 9.94.043 - Deadly weapons — Possession on Premises by Person Not a Prisoner — Penalty
A person, other than a person serving a sentence in a penal institution of this state, is guilty of possession of contraband on the premises of a state correctional institution in the first degree if, without authorization to do so, the person knowingly possesses or has under his or her control a deadly weapon on or in the buildings or adjacent grounds subject to the care, control, or supervision of a state correctional institution. Deadly weapon is used as defined in RCW 9A.04.110: PROVIDED, That such correctional buildings, grounds, or property are properly posted pursuant to RCW 9.94.047, and such person has knowingly entered thereon: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the provisions of this section do not apply to a person licensed pursuant to RCW 9.41.070 who, upon entering the correctional institution premises, proceeds directly along an access road to the administration building and promptly checks his or her firearm(s) with the appropriate authorities. The person may reclaim his or her firearm(s) upon leaving, but he or she must immedately and directly depart
from the premises. Possession of contraband on the premises of a state correctional institution in the first degree is a class B felony.
[1979 c 121 § 3.]
RCW 46.10.495 - Additional Violations — Penalty
(1) No person shall operate a snowmobile in such a way as to endanger human life.
(2) No person shall operate a snowmobile in such a way as to run down or harass deer, elk, or any wildlife, or any domestic animal, nor shall any person carry any loaded weapon upon, nor hunt from, any snowmobile except by permit issued by the director of fish and wildlife under RCW 77.32.237.
(3) Any person violating this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
2003 c 53 § 234; 1994 c 264 § 37;
WAC 148-140-080 & 72-140-080 - Prohibited conduct at school facilities
(4) No person or group may use or enter onto school facilities having in their possession firearms or other weapons, even if licensed to do so, except duly appointed and commissioned law enforcement officers.
WSR 90-16-015, § 148-140-080, filed 7/19/90
WAC 10-20-010 (1) & 10-20-030 - Firearms, weapons prohibited in administrative hearings
(1) Firearms or other dangerous weapons are prohibited at all facilities owned, leased, or operated by the office of administrative hearings and in rooms where the office of administrative hearings is conducting an administrative hearing. This prohibition applies to all parties or witnesses at hearings, all office of administrative hearings employees, and all other persons present. However, it does not apply to law enforcement personnel, security personnel, or military personnel, all while engaged in official duties.
(3) Possession of a valid concealed weapons permit is not a defense to the prohibition in this section.
WSR 05-03-003, § 10-20-010, filed 1/5/05
RCW 9.41.050 - Carrying firearm
(2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.
[2003 c 53 § 28; 1997 c 200 § 1;