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District of Columbia Gun Control Laws

As most people know, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution preserves an individual's right to possess firearms:

"A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

However, the District of Columbia's gun control laws are among the most restrictive in the country, requiring all firearms to be registered with the D.C Metropolitan Police Department without exception.

Does D.C. Issue Concealed Carry Permits?

No, the District currently does not allow persons to carry concealed weapons at this time.

What Are the Laws Regarding Open Carry in D.C.?

Open carry is prohibited In Washington D.C.

Waiting Period

There is a 10-day waiting period to purchase firearms that begins on the date of purchase.

The main provisions of D.C.'s gun control laws are listed in the table below. See Gun Laws in FindLaw's Product Liability section to learn more.

Code Section §22-4501, §4503, §4507, §4514
Illegal Arms
  • Sawed-off shotguns;
  • Machine guns;
  • Short-barreled rifles;
  • An unsafe handgun prohibited under D.C. Official Code § 7-2505.04;
  • An assault weapon; or
  • A .50 BMG rifle.
Waiting Period 10 days from date of purchase
Laws prohibiting firearms on or near school grounds Felony. §22-4502.01
Who May Not Own
  1. Anyone convicted of certain weapons offenses, or a felony in this or any other jurisdiction (which includes all crimes punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year);
  2. Not be under indictment for a crime of violence or a weapons offense;
  3. Not appear to suffer from a physical defect which would make it unsafe to possess and use a firearm safely and responsibly;
  4. Not have been found negligent in any firearm mishap causing death or injury to another human being;
  5. Not otherwise be ineligible to possess a firearm under D.C. Official Code § 22-4503.

Or within the last five (5) years have been:

  • Convicted of a narcotics or dangerous drug offense;
  • Not be convicted of two (2) or more violations of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Not be convicted of an intrafamily offense punishable as a misdemeanor;
  • Not have been acquitted of any criminal charge by reason of insanity or adjudicated a chronic alcoholic by any court;
  • Not have been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to any mental hospital or institution;
  • Not have a history of violent behavior;
  • Not have been the respondent in an intrafamily proceeding in which a civil protection order or a foreign protection order was issued against the applicant.
Minimum age to Purchase a firearm 21-years-old

Note: D.C. law for handguns and other guns vary considerably, so what may be legal for a rifle may not be for a handgun and vice versa. In light of all these qualifications, you should contact a D.C. criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law:

D.C. Gun Control Laws: Related Resources

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