Washington DC (District of Columbia) became a “Shall Issue” state on October 6, 2017 after bans on open and concealed carry were struck down by federal courts as being unconstitutional. All firearms must be registered and this process also acts as a permit to purchase. There are restrictions on magazine sizes with any magazine having a capacity of more than 10 rounds being illegal. Furthermore, individuals cannot possess ammunition without a valid registration of a firearm.
The official data on number of active permits in Washington DC (124) is about two years old. Reports are that since “Shall Issue” was implemented there are now several hundred people per month taking firearms training courses. This would probably put the true number of active permits in the 3000 range. We have requested an official number of permits issued but have had no response yet. We have also increased the Districts gun law rating from poor to fair to reflect the recent change to a Shall Issue policy.
Concealed carry pistol licenses are now allocated with a “Shall Issue” policy by the Metropolitan Police. Applicants will need to meet certain requirements such as being at least 21 years old, possessing a registered pistol and completing a firearm training course.
To register a firearm in the District of Columbia a Statement of Eligibility form must be completed, this can be downloaded from our forms section on this page. The form verifies the following;
Private sales of firearms in the District of Columbia must be done through a licensed firearms dealer. You will need to fill out a registration form and then provide that to a dealer who will fill the remainder of the form out. This means a background check will be conducted on the purchaser by the dealer and a record of the sale will be kept.
This only applies if the sale is made in the District of Columbia. You are legally entitled to sell your firearm outside DC with the only requirement being the sale is compliant with the states firearm transfer laws where the transaction takes place.
Without a CCW License You cannot carry a loaded firearm in any vehicle in the District of Columbia. Transportation of firearms in a vehicle is permitted in the District if the person is not prohibited from transporting, shipping or receiving a firearm, and is transporting a firearm for a lawful purpose to and from a place where gun possession is a lawful activity.
With a CCW License With a Pistol License you are permitted to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle. The Law 22-4504.02 Firearm transportation
Washington DC gun laws state you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a handgun when approached on official business. You are also required to carry the your CCW license, together with the registration certificate for the handgun being carried, at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun. The Law
7-2509.04 – Duties of licensees
We have been unable to find any information regarding the carry of firearms in the following areas;
Washington DC gun laws give the force of law to “No Weapons” signs. There are legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs. GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged. The Law
24-2346 – Signage
Open carrying a handgun is illegal in Washington DC even with a permit. If you have a concealed carry permit then that is how a firearm must be carried, concealed.
In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol You are not permitted under DC law to carry in a place that serves alcohol. However, there are exemptions to places that have a class D/R or C/R license. This type of license is commonly issued to restaurants that sell food and beverages. So places like a restaurant in a hotel, Red lobster, and Fridays are all legal to carry in. You are not permitted to carry a firearm in DC if you are under the influence.
There is no constitutional carry in the District of Columbia.
There is no provision for the right to keep and bear firearms in the District of Columbia.
Prohibitions on carrying licensed pistols.
(a) No person holding a license shall carry a pistol in the following locations or under the following circumstances:
(1) A building or office occupied by the District of Columbia, its agencies, or instrumentalities;
(2) The building and grounds, including any adjacent parking lot, of any childcare facility, preschool, public or private elementary or secondary school; or a public or private college or university; Note: see Section (d)(2) Below on dropping off Children
(3) A hospital, or an office where medical or mental health services are the primary services provided;
(4) A penal institution, secure juvenile residential facility, or halfway house;
(5) A polling place while voting is occurring;
(6) A public transportation vehicle, including the Metrorail transit system and its stations;
(7) Any premises, or portion thereof, where alcohol is served, or sold and consumed on the premises, pursuant to a license issued under Title 25 of the District of Columbia Official Code; provided, that this prohibition shall not apply to premises operating under a temporary license issued pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 25-115, a C/R, D/R, C/H, D/H or caterer license issued pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 25-113, or premises with small-sample tasting permits issued pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 25-118, unless otherwise prohibited pursuant to subsection (b)(3) of this section;
(8) A stadium or arena;
(9) A gathering or special event open to the public; provided, that no licensee shall be criminally prosecuted unless:
(10) The public memorials on the National Mall and along the Tidal Basin, and any area where firearms are prohibited under federal law or by a federal agency or entity, including U.S. Capitol buildings and grounds;
(11) The White House Complex and its grounds up to and including to the curb of the adjacent sidewalks touching the roadways of the area bounded by Constitution Avenue, N.W., 15th Street, N.W., H Street, N.W., and 17th Street, N.W.;
(12) The U.S. Naval Observatory and its fence line, including the area from the perimeter of its fence up to and including to the curb of the adjacent sidewalks touching the roadway of Observatory Circle, from Calvert Street, N.W., to Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., and around Observatory Circle to the far corner of Observatory Lane;
(13)(A) When a dignitary or high-ranking official of the United States or a state, local, or foreign government is moving under the protection of the MPD, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Capitol Police, or other law enforcement agency assisting or working in concert with MPD, within an area designated by the Chief, the Chief of the U.S. Secret Service, or the Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, or a designee of any of the foregoing, that does not include any point at a distance greater than 1,000 feet from the moving dignitary or high-ranking official; provided, that no licensee shall be criminally prosecuted unless:
(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term moving shall include any planned or unplanned stops, including temporary stops, in locations open to the public.
(14) When demonstration in a public place is occurring, within an area designated by the Chief or his or her designee, or other law enforcement agency, that does not include any point at a distance greater than 1,000 feet from the demonstration; provided, that no licensee shall be criminally prosecuted unless:
(15) Any prohibited location or circumstance that the Chief determines by rule; provided, that for spontaneous circumstances, no criminal penalty shall apply unless the licensee has notice of the prohibition and has failed to comply.
(b)(1) The carrying of a concealed pistol on private residential property shall be presumed to be prohibited unless otherwise authorized by the property owner or person in control of the premises and communicated personally to the licensee in advance of entry onto the residential property.
(2) The carrying of a concealed pistol in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other place where people regularly assemble for religious worship shall be presumed to be prohibited unless the property is posted with conspicuous signage allowing the carrying of a concealed pistol, or the owner or authorized agent communicates such allowance personally to the licensee in advance of entry onto the property; provided, that such places may not authorize the carrying of a concealed pistol where services are conducted in locations listed in subsection (a) of this section.
(3) The carrying of a concealed pistol on private property that is not a residence shall be presumed to be permitted unless the property is posted with conspicuous signage prohibiting the carrying of a concealed pistol, or the owner or authorized agent communicates such prohibition personally to the licensee.
(c) Whenever a licensee carries a concealed pistol and approaches any prohibited location, or is subject to any prohibited circumstance, under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the licensee shall:
(1) If the licensee is in a vehicle or if a vehicle is readily available, immediately secure the pistol in the manner prescribed in section 4b(b) of An Act To control the possession, sale, transfer, and use of pistols and other dangerous weapons in the District of Columbia, to provide penalties, to prescribe rules of evidence, and for other purposes, effective May 20, 2009 (D.C. Law 17-388; D.C. Official Code § 22-4504.02(b)); or
(2) If the licensee does not have a vehicle available, immediately leave the prohibited location or circumstance.
(d) A licensee shall not be in violation of this section:
(1) While he or she is traveling along a public sidewalk that touches the perimeter of any of the premises where the carrying of a concealed pistol is prohibited under subsection (a) and subsection (b) of this section, except for the areas designated in subsection (a)(11) and (a)(12), or along a public street, roadway, or highway except for the areas designated in subsection (a)(11) and (a)(12), or along a public street, roadway, or highway” in its place. if the concealed pistol is carried on his or her person in accordance with this act, or is being transported by the licensee in accordance with section 4b of An Act To control the possession, sale, transfer, and use of pistols and other dangerous weapons in the District of Columbia, to provide penalties, to prescribe rules of evidence, and for other purposes, effective May 20, 2009 ( D.C. Law 17-388; D.C. Official Code § 22-4504.02); or
(2) While driving a vehicle into and immediately parking at any location listed in subsection (a)(2) of this section for the purpose of picking up or dropping off a student or a child; provided, that the licensee shall secure the concealed pistol in accordance with § 22-4504.02(b), before leaving the parked vehicle.
(1) Demonstration means one or more persons demonstrating, picketing, speech making, marching, holding a vigil, or engaging in any other similar conduct that involves the communication or expression of views or grievances and that has the effect, intent, or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers. The term demonstration does not include the casual use of property by visitors or tourists that does not have the effect, intent, or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers.
(2) Public place means a place to which the general public has access and a right to occupy for business, entertainment, or other lawful purpose. The term public place is not limited to a place devoted solely to the uses of the public, and includes:
(3) Public transportation vehicle means any publicly owned or operated commercial vehicle, including any DC Circulator bus, DC Streetcar, MetroAccess vehicle, Metrobus, or Metrorail train.
(4) Residence means a building wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living and sleeping by human occupants, together with any fences, walls, sheds, garages, or other accessory buildings appurtenant to the building, and the area of land surrounding the building and actually or by legal construction forming one enclosure in which such a building is located, but does not include adjacent common areas or commercial property contained in any part of the building.
A person issued a concealed carry license by the Chief, while carrying the pistol, shall not carry more ammunition than is required to fully load the pistol twice, and in no event shall that amount be greater than twenty (20) rounds of ammunition
A licensee shall carry any pistol in a manner that it is entirely hidden from view of the public when carried on or about a person, or when in a vehicle in such a way as it is entirely hidden from view of the public.
A licensee shall carry any pistol in a holster on their person in a firmly secure manner that is reasonably de-signed to prevent loss, theft, or accidental discharge of the pistol.
Authority to Carry Firearm in Certain Places and for Certain Purposes.
Notwithstanding any other law, a person holding a valid registration for a firearm may carry the firearm:
DC Admin Code 24-2332.1 A person is eligible for issuance of a license to carry a concealed pistol (concealed carry license) only if the person:
(a) Is at least 21 years of age;
(b) Meets all of the requirements for a person registering a firearm pursuant to the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 (the Act), effective September 24, 1976 (D.C. Law 1-85; D.C. Official Code § 7-2501.01 et seq. (2012 Repl. & 2014 Supp.));
(c) Possesses a pistol registered pursuant to the Act;
(d) Does not currently suffer nor has suffered in the previous five (5) years from any mental illness or condition that creates a substantial risk that he or she is a danger to himself or herself or others; provided that if the person no longer suffers such mental illness or condition, and that person has provided satisfactory documentation required under § 2337.3, then the Chief may determine that this requirement has been met;
(e) Has completed a firearms training course, or combination of courses, conducted by an instructor (or instructors) certified by the Chief;
(f) Has a bona fide residence or place of business:
(h) Is a suitable person to be so licensed.
2345.1 A non-resident of the District, as defined by the Act, may apply to the Firearms Registration Section for a concealed carry license upon a showing that the applicant meets all of the eligibility requirements of § 2332.
2345.2 A non-resident may satisfy some or all of the firearms training requirements in § 2336 by providing proof of completion of a firearms training course in another state or subdivision of the United States.
2345.3 A non-resident shall obtain a certification from a firearms trainer that the applicant has received and completed training in District firearms law and the District law of self-defense.
Signage to Prevent Entrance by Concealed Carry Licensee Onto Non Residential Private Property
2346.1 Signs stating that the carrying of firearms is prohibited on any private property shall be clearly and conspicuously posted at any entrance, open to the public, of a building, premises, or real property.
2346.2 A sign shall be considered conspicuous if it is at least eight (8) inches by ten (10) inches in size and contains writing in contrasting ink using not less than thirty-six (36) point type
Duties of licensees.
(c) A licensee shall have on or about his or her person each time the pistol is carried in the District:
(d) If a law enforcement officer initiates an investigative stop of a licensee carrying a concealed pistol pursuant to section 6 of the Pistols and Other Dangerous Weapons Act, the licensee, and any other licensee carrying a concealed pistol pursuant to section 6 of the Pistols and Other Dangerous Weapons Act who is with the stopped licensee at the time of the investigative stop, shall:
(e) The duties set forth in this section are in addition to any other requirements imposed by this act or applicable law.
(f) In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a person who violates this section shall be subject to revocation of his or her license.
Lawful transportation of firearms.
(a) Any person who is not otherwise prohibited by the law from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be permitted to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry the firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry the firearm if the firearm is transported in accordance with this section.
(c) If the transportation of the firearm is in a manner other than in a vehicle, the firearm shall be:
(e) A person holding a license issued pursuant to section 6 of this act shall not carry a pistol openly or otherwise in a manner that is not concealed.
Higher Capacity Magazines
“(b) No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.”
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