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Firearms & Gun FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I go to register my firearm?


Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters (Main Entrance)

300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 3058

Washington, DC 20001

Telephone: 202-671-6705

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm

Nearest Metro Stop: Judiciary Square (4th Street Exit)




Where do I ship my firearm to complete the Firearm Transfer Process?


DC Security Associates

1413 K Street NW 10th Floor

Washington, DC 20005




Is there a Firearms Safety Training Course requirement to register a firearm in DC?


Yes. You may view the training video at the Firearms Registration Section on the MPD website at FIREARMS SAFETY - TRAINING COURSE (mpdconline.com)




What is the eligibility requirement for owning a firearm in DC?


Individuals wishing to register a firearm in the District of Columbia must complete a Firearms Statement of Eligibility Form. This statement of eligibility verifies the following requirements:

  • Must be 21 years of age or older (18-21 with the authorization or a parent or guardian)
  • Not convicted of a weapons offense, or a felony in any jurisdiction (including a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year).
  • Not under indictment for a crime of violence or a weapons offense.
  • Not convicted within the past five years for narcotics or dangerous drug offense, a threat to do bodily harm, or for assault.
  • Not acquitted of any criminal charge by reason of insanity or adjudicated a chronic alcoholic by any court within the past five years.
  • Not voluntarily or involuntarily committed to any mental hospital or institution within the past five years.
  • Not suffer from any physical defect that would make it unsafe for you to possess and use a firearm safely and responsibly.
  • Not found negligent in any firearm related mishap causing death or injury to another person.
  • Not convicted of a misdemeanor intrafamily offense.
  • Not dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Not a citizen of the United States who has renounced his or her citizenship.
  • Not legally blind.
  • Not convicted of two or more violations for driving under the influence within the past five years.
  • Not the subject of a civil protection order within the past five years.
  • Not convicted of Stalking within the past five years.
  • Not convicted of negligent storage of a firearm or a violation of the Firearms Registration Act within the past five years.
  • Not had a history of violent behavior within the past five years.
  • Has completed firearms training provided free of charge by the Metropolitan Police Department.




What firearms are eligible for registration in the District?


To protect residents from unsafe handguns that are more prone to accidental discharge, lack safety devices, and may be prone to firing when dropped, the Council of the District of Columbia identified the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale (also known as the California Roster of Handguns Determined Not to be Unsafe) as a source list for safer handguns. Handguns on the roster have passed firing, safety, and drop tests and are certified for sale in California by the California Department of Justice. The Chief of Police is authorized to periodically revise, by rule, the roster of handguns permissible for sale.

California Roster of Handguns




What are the fees associated with transferring my firearm?


  • Application for registration: $13 paid MPD Firearms Registration Branch

  • Fingerprinting: $35 paid MPD Firearms Registration Branch
  • Handgun transfer fee: $125 paid to DC Security Associates




How do I show proof that I have met the District’s requirement for a firearms safety training course?


  • A certificate of completion for MPD’s online Firearms Safety Training Course. This course is available, free of charge, at mpdc.dc.gov/firearms, and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. If you do not have access to a computer, you may use one at the office of the Firearms Registration Branch.
  • Evidence that you have received firearms training in the United States military. (i.e. copy of DD-214)
  • A license from another state which requires firearms training equal to that provided by MPD. Examples include, but are not limited to, a license or certificate for hunting or armed service as a special police officer.
  • Evidence that you have otherwise completed a firearms training or safety course conducted by a firearms instructor that, as determined by the Chief, is equal to that provided by the MPD.




In general what firearms are prohibited?


In general, rifles, shotguns, revolvers, and handguns may be registered in the District of Columbia. Please note that it is illegal to possess a magazine that holds more than ten rounds of ammunition in the District of Columbia. Registration of the following firearms is prohibited:

  • 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.




What are the recommended firearm storage requirements?


It is recommended that each registrant keep any firearm in his or her possession unloaded and either disassembled or secured by a trigger lock, gun safe, locked box, or other secure device.

Criminal Offense: The law requires that no person shall store or keep any loaded firearm on any premises under his control if he knows or reasonably should know that a minor under the age of 18 is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the parent or guardian of the minor unless such person:

  • Keeps the firearm in a securely locked box, secured container, or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or
  • Carries the firearm on his person or within such close proximity that he can readily retrieve and use it as if he carried it on his person.
  • If the firearm is stored at a place of business, it shall be stored in a gun safe, locked box, or other secure device affixed to the property.

Penalties:

  • A person who violates subsection (b) of this section is guilty of criminally negligent storage of a firearm and, except as provided in paragraph (ii) of this subsection, shall be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned not more than 180 days, or both.
  • A person who violates subsection (b) of this section and the minor causes injury or death to themselves or another shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
  • The provisions of paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this subsection shall not apply if the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry or burglary to any premises by any person.




What happens if I accidentally discharge my firearm?


It is a criminal offense to discharge a firearm in the District of Columbia without first obtaining a special written permit from the Chief of Police authorizing the discharge.




What are the duties and responsibilities of each registrant?


  1. Registered Firearms and Registration Certificate :
    • Registrants must file a police report at a police district station or at Firearm Registration Branch (FRB) immediately upon discovery of loss, theft, or destruction of a registration certificate or registered firearm.
    • Registrants must notify FRB of:
      1. Any change of name or address that differs from the one recorded on the original certificate.
      2. Any sale, transfer or other disposition of a registered firearm.
  2. The registration certificate must be returned to MPD immediately when the registered firearm has been lost, stolen, destroyed, sold, transferred, or otherwise disposed of.
  3. The registrant must have the registration certificate in his or her possession whenever he has possession of the firearm, and show it to a member of MPD or other law enforcement officer upon demand.
  4. A violation of any of the above-listed duties may result in:
    • First violation: a civil fine of $100.
    • Second violation: a civil fine of $500, revocation of the registration of the applicable firearm, and a 5-year prohibition on subsequent registrations.
    • Third violation: a civil fine of $1000, revocation of the registration of the applicable firearm, and permanent prohibition on subsequent registrations.
  5. Firearms or ammunition may not be loaned, borrowed, given, or rented to or from another person.
  6. Individuals can only sell a firearm to a licensed dealer in the District of Columbia. Firearms may not be pawned.




What’s the Districts Law on the transportation of a firearm?


§ 22-4504.02. 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 [see § 22-4504.01, above] to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry the firearm if the firearm is transported in accordance with this section.

(b) (1) If the transportation of the firearm is by a vehicle, the firearm shall be unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported shall be readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the transporting vehicle.

(2) If the transporting vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the driver's compartment, the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console, and the firearm shall be unloaded.

(c) If the transportation of the firearm is in a manner other than in a vehicle, the firearm shall be:

(1) Unloaded;

(2) Inside a locked container; and

(3) Separate from any ammunition.




What’s the Federal Law on the transportation of a firearm?


U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, 926A "Interstate Transportation of Firearms";

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.




What are suitability requirements to be licensed to carry a concealed firearm?


In addition to meeting all of the Eligibility Requirements to Register a Firearm, an individual applying to carry a concealed firearm must meet the following suitability requirements:

  1. Meets all the requirements for a person registering a firearm.
  2. Completed a firearms training course by an instructor certified by the Chief ( You may apply for an exemption based on previous training within the past 2 years)
  3. Is not presently an alcoholic, addict, or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance, unless the habitual use of a controlled dangerous substance is under licensed medical direction.
  4. Has not exhibited propensity for violence or instability that may reasonably render a person’s possession of a concealed pistol a danger to the person or another.
  5. Does not currently suffer nor has suffered in the previous five years from any mental disorder, illness, or condition that creates a substantial risk that he or she is a danger to himself or herself or others.




What are the prohibited places to carry a concealed firearm?


  1. Shall not carry a pistol while consuming alcohol or while impaired.
  2. A building or office occupied by the District of Columbia or its agencies.
  3. The building and grounds, including any adjacent parking lot of a childcare facility, preschool, elementary or secondary school, or a public or private college or university.
  4. A hospital or an office where medical or mental health services are the primary services provided.
  5. A penal institution, secure juvenile residential facility, or halfway house.
  6. A polling place while voting is occurring.
  7. A public transportation vehicle, including the Metrorail transit system and its stations.
  8. Any premises where alcohol is served, sold and consumed on the premises (pursuant to license issued under Title 25 of D.C. Code)
  9. Stadium or Arena
  10. Public Gathering or special event open to the public when the organizer has provided notice and posted signage prohibiting the carrying of pistols in advance of the gathering or special event.
  11. 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, including the U.S. Capitol buildings and grounds.
  12. The area around the White House ( between Constitution Ave. and H St. and between 15th St. and 17th St. NW)
  13. The U.S. Naval Observatory and its grounds (from the perimeter of its fence to the curb of Massachusetts Ave. NW from 34th St. south on Massachusetts Ave to Observatory Circle NW)
  14. 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 that does not include a distance greater than 1,000 feet from the moving dignitary. ( provided notice has been given by signs or an officer’s order)
  15. A Demonstration in a public place (within a perimeter of 1,000 feet designated by a law enforcement agency, and notice has been given by signs or an officer’s order)
  16. On private residential property unless authorized by the property owner.
  17. A place of religious worship unless authorized by the owner or authorized agent.
  18. Non-residential property that is posted with conspicuous signage prohibiting the carrying of a concealed pistol.




How do I handle a person to person firearm transfer transaction in DC?


PERSON TO PERSON FIREARMS SALES FOR DC RESIDENTS Sale of a firearm ALREADY registered in DC 1. Buyer or Seller must schedule an appointment for transfer of firearm and pay the $125 transfer fee. (BOTH parties are required to show up at the appointment time). In appointment reservation notes input the phrase “PERSON TO PERSON TRANSFER" 2. At appointment the seller must bring the firearm to DCSA along with the valid DC registration card (Weapons without card WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED). DCSA will acquire the firearm from the seller. Concurrently the buyer will submit to a background check. 3. Once the buyer’s background check is approved, the seller will be notified by DCSA to proceed to MPD firearms transaction branch to unregister the subject firearm. 4. Once unregistered, the seller must email contactus@dcsallc.com the receipt for unregistering the firearm at MPD. 5. Once the firearm is unregistered by the seller, DCSA will contact the buyer to make an appointment to register the firearm with MPD. DCSA will provide the necessary paperwork for registration. 6 After the buyer registers the firearm with MPD, DCSA will contact the buyer to schedule a pick-up appointment on our website to complete the transfer process. Sale of a firearm not yet registered in DC Proceed like any other transfer. Seller must ship to DCSA from an FFL. Sale will proceed like any other transfer once received. Follow steps on the firearm transfer page under services.

**FIREARMS LEFT AT DCSA LONGER THAN 30 DAYS ARE SUBJECT TO STORAGE FEES. FIREARMS LEFT LONGER THAN 90 DAYS ARE CONSIDERED ABANDONED.**