DC Gun Laws

It is important that individuals know cases involving guns in DC are aggressively investigated, strictly enforced, and can result in years of prison time upon conviction. People who do not live in DC might not be aware of the district’s strict gun laws. The most important thing for a person to know is that even if their gun is lawfully purchased, registered or licensed outside of DC, bringing that into DC is still a crime unless the firearm is registered and licensed in DC. An experienced gun lawyer that is familiar with the laws will be necessary if an individual finds themselves faced with a firearm charge.

Gun Statutes for Out-Of-State Visitors & Residents

Someone who lives in Virginia and goes hunting and has a concealed carry permit or a hunting license needs to be aware of DC gun laws. Even though their gun is otherwise completely lawful, if they are driving with a firearm in their back seat and stop in DC for any reason, they can find themselves being arrested and charged with a crime for bringing the weapon into Washington limits. They cannot use their lack of knowledge of gun laws in DC as a defense. When someone knows their firearm is in their car when they came into DC, they are presumed to know the DC laws.

When someone owns guns out-of-state and moves to Washington, DC, they must get their firearms registered with Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) if they want to lawfully possess their firearms in the District. The MPD Headquarters is located at 300 Indiana Avenue, North West DC and has a Firearms Registration Section to register firearms.

Registering Firearms in DC

A person should get their guns registered in the District before they move to DC. They should not move to DC with their firearms and then start the process of getting the firearms registered. Every day they are in DC with a firearm that is not registered, they are potentially committing a very serious crime. They should contact the Metropolitan Police Department to get their firearms registered so they can be in possession of those firearms legally as long as they keep them in their house or in place of business.

Even when someone registers their firearms, that does not mean they can carry those firearms outside of their home or place of business. For now, it is still considered a very serious crime, therefore they should be aware of the limitations of getting a firearm registered in DC.

Learn More About DC Gun Laws

The first thing that an individual can do to get more information about gun laws is to visit the DC Metropolitan Police Department website. They can find key information regarding firearm possession including:

  • What areas of DC it is illegal to possess a gun.
  • Circumstances in which it is illegal to possess guns.

Another way to get information about illegal possession or use of guns in DC is to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands the technical aspects of DC law as well as the nuances of those laws regarding how they are enforced and prosecuted. The experienced lawyer knows what the penalties can be when someone is found to be in violation of those charges. That is information that a person might not be able to find on Metropolitan Police Department’s website or on the website stating the technical aspects of DC laws. The DC criminal defense lawyers who are experienced with DC firearm laws can provide that information.