WASHINGTON DC GUN LAWS
Updated Guide (2018)
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.
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Washington DC Pistol License
Washington DC Gun Policy
License Issued To
CCW License OverviewConcealed 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.
Non-Resident LicensesWashington DC does issue non-resident pistol licenses and the application is exactly the same as a residents application. If you have completed a firearms training course in another state this may exempt you from training in Washington DC, you will need to supply some form of proof to verify the training. Remember that any firearm you plan on carrying in Washington DC will need to be registered in the district.
24-2345 – Non-resident licenses
- Washington DC Pistol License Requirements
- Washington DC Pistol license Application
- Washington DC Pistol License Renewal
- Washington DC Pistol License Fee's
- Is at least 21 years of age;
- Meets all of the requirements for a person registering a firearm.
- Possesses a registered pistol, or register one at time of CCL application.
- 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.
- Has completed a firearms training course, or combination of courses.
- Has a bona fide residence or place of business;
- Within the District of Columbia.
- Within the United States and a license to carry a pistol concealed upon his or her person issued by the lawful authorities of any State or subdivision of the United States; or
- Within the United States and meets all registration and licensing requirements.
- Has demonstrated to the Chief good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol and
- Is a suitable person to be so licensed.
- Federal Law Requirements
Washington DC Pistol Forms
Download Your Forms
Washington DC: Places Off-Limits for CCW
Places Off-Limits in Washington DC
- 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 person issued a concealed carry license by the Chief may not carry any restricted pistol bullet as that term is defined in the Act.
- A licensee shall not carry a pistol while he or she is consuming alcohol.
- A licensee shall not carry a pistol while impaired.
- A building or office occupied by the District of Columbia, its agencies, or instrumentalities.
- The building and grounds, including any adjacent parking lot, of an childcare facility, preschool, public or private elementary or secondary school or a public or private college or university.
- A hospital, or an office where medical or mental health services are the primary services provided.
- A penal institution, secure juvenile residential facility, or halfway house.
- A polling place while voting is occurring.
- A public transportation vehicle, including the Metrorail transit system and its stations.
- Any premises, or portion thereof, where alcohol is served, or sold and consumed on the premises.
- A stadium or arena.
- A gathering or special event open to the public.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Any prohibited location or circumstance that the Chief determines by rule.
- 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 residential property.
- 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.
- A licensee shall not carry a pistol openly or otherwise in a manner that is not concealed.
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
Places Allowed in Washington DC
- Within the registrant's home.
- While it is being used for lawful recreational purposes.
- While it is kept at the registrant's place of business.
- While it is being transported for a lawful purpose.
- 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.
Pointers: Washington DC Gun Laws
Firearm Registration in DC
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;
- You are 21 or older or 18-21 with a parents or guardians approval.
- You have not been convicted of any weapons offense or felony in any jurisdiction.
- You are not under indictment for a weapons or violence offense.
- You have not been convicted within the prior 5 years of assault, bodily harm or drugs offense.
- You have not been acquitted within the last 5 years of any charge by reason of insanity.
- You have not been admitted to any mental hospital within the last 5 years.
- You do not have any physical defect that would make it unsafe to use a firearm.
- You have not been found negligent in a in firearm incident that resulted in death or injury.
- You have not been found guilty of a misdemeanor family offense.
- You have not renounced your US citizenship.
- You are not legally blind.
- You have not been convicted within the last 5 years of 2 or more driving under the influence charges.
- You have not had a civil protection order placed on you within the last 5 years.
- You ave not had a conviction of stalking within the last 5 years.
- You have no history of violence with the last 5 years.
- You have completed a firearms training course provided by the Metropolitan Police.
Gun Sales in DC
Private Gun Sales
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.
Washington DC Concealed Carry Laws
Washington DC Gun Laws To Know
YES/NO – Without a permitWithout 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.
- The gun must be unloaded, and neither the gun nor any ammunition may be accessible from the passenger compartment.
- If the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment, the firearm and ammunition must be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console, and the firearm must be unloaded.
With a CCW License
With a Pistol License you are permitted to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
22-4504.02 Firearm transportation
YES – Must Inform OfficerWashington 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.
7-2509.04 – Duties of licensees
We have been unable to find any information regarding the carry of firearms in the following areas;
- State Parks: ?
- State/National Forests: ?
- State Wildlife Management Areas: ?
- Road Side Rest Areas: ?
YESWashington 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.
24-2346 – Signage
NOOpen 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.
YESIn 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.
NOThere is no constitutional carry in the District of Columbia.
Washington DC Off-Limit Statutes
Other Washington DC Statutes
Washington DC FAQ's
Washington DC Contact
Metropolitan Police Department
Firearms Registration Section
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Address 300 Indiana Ave. NW, Room 3058
CityWashington, DC 20001
Phone (202) 727-4275