District of Columbia Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in D.C.

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The District of Columbia prohibits carrying firearms, openly or concealed. (DC Code Ann. § 22-4504(a).) However, if you obtain a valid registration for your weapon, you may keep a firearm in your home, place of business, or for specified recreational purposes. For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in the District of Columbia.

How to Register Your Firearm in the District of Columbia

To obtain a firearm registration, you must apply at the police department headquarters. You will need to fill out an “Application for Firearms Registration Certificate.” Requirements vary based on the type of gun you are registering. See the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department website for more information.

Does the District of Columbia Recognize Concealed Handgun Licenses From Other States?

No. It is illegal to carry a firearm (openly or concealed) in the District of Columbia, even if you have a valid concealed carry permit or license from another state.

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License

It is illegal to carry a handgun in the District of Columbia, unless you have a valid registration and you are in your own home or place of business. Penalties may include a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. Second and subsequent convictions incur fines of up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, or both.

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in the District of Columbia, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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