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Gun Laws In Washington, D.C.


The Supreme Court recently upheld D.C.'s strict gun laws. Make sure that you have up to date knowledge on gun regulations in the District.

What Types of Firearms Does D.C. Permit?

Handguns and long guns may be kept in the home and used for self defense.

What Types of Firearms Does D.C. Prohibit?

Machine guns, assault weapons, sawed-off shot guns, and short-barreled rifles are all prohibited in D.C. (D.C. Code § 7-2502.02).

Do I Need To Register My Gun?

All guns must be registered with the District.

How Do I Register?

In order to register a gun, an individual must be at least 21 years old. Individuals who have been convicted of a weapons offense, or a crime involving the possession, use or sale of any narcotic or other dangerous drug, or have had a protective order issued against them,are not eligible to register a gun.

Individuals must be able to demonstrate understanding of the responsibilities and requirements of firearm use, storage and transport.

Individuals must provide the District with their full name (including any other names they may go by), date of birth, and sex. Applicants must also state their present address and past addresses from the last five years, present occupation and the contact information of their employer, a photo and their fingerprints. Gun owners must also provide the make, model number, serial number, caliber, and the name and address of the person or organization where the gun was obtained. Gun registrations expire every three years, and must be renewed.

For more information on D.C.'s gun registry, see DC code § 7-2502.03.

Is the Gun Registry Public?

The gun registry will never be made public.

What Else Do I Need To Know About the Gun Registry?

DC code § 7-2502.08 outlines the duties of registrants. If your firearm is lost, stolen, sold, or destroyed, you must notify the chief in writing within 30 days. If you have sold your gun, you must include the name, address and the serial number of the registrant certificate of the new gun owner. You must include whether you sold the gun, or if it was gifted, and/or how the gun was destroyed or otherwise disposed of.

Failure to notify the Chief will result in a $100 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third violation. Second time violators will also lose their registration certificate and be prohibited from owning a firearm for five years, while third time violators will no longer be allowed to own a firearm.

For more information, see DC Code § 7-2502.01-11.

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