About the Study Guide

You are looking at the Washington Handgun Education Study Guide. At the present time, you cannot obtain handgun education certification from Handgun Safety Course. However, you can use this Study Guide as a resource to learn more about handgun safety.

Understanding when you may use lethal (deadly) force legally includes knowing how “deadly force” is defined in your area. You also should learn the laws for your area regarding self-defense, defending others, and defending property.

To know when you are allowed to use deadly force for self-defense, you should find out about the following:

  • Definition of “self-defense”
  • Whether you have a duty to retreat
  • When deadly force is considered a necessity
  • Locations where deadly force might be allowed (such as in your home)
  • Limitations on the use of deadly force
  • Alternatives to the use of deadly force, including nonviolent dispute resolution
No trespassing sign on fence

Learning when you are allowed to use lethal force to defend others includes knowing:

  • If the “alter-ego” rule pertaining to the amount of force a third party would use to defend himself or herself applies
  • If your relationship to the other person affects whether deadly force is allowed

Before you use lethal force to defend property, you should know:

  • Which areas are included as property—home, business, vehicle (Castle Doctrine)
  • If a protective/restraining order is necessary
  • Any exceptions to the laws