District of Columbia Gun Laws
Subject/LawLong gunsHandgunsRelevant statutesNotes
Permit required to purchase?YesYesThe firearm registration process also serves as a permitting process.
Owner license required?YesYesThe firearm registration process also serves as a licensing process.
Firearm registration?YesYesAll firearms except certain black powder firearms, must be registered with the Metropolitan Police Department. A background check and online training are required.
License required for concealed carry?N/AYesThe Metropolitan Police Department shall issue a License to Carry a Handgun to a qualified applicant.
Open carry allowed?NoNoOpen carry is prohibited.
Assault weapon law?YesYesAssault weapons and .50 BMG rifles prohibited.
Magazine capacity restriction?YesYesIllegal to possess magazines of more than 10 round capacity.
NFA weapons restricted?YesYesAutomatic firearms, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and silencers prohibited.
Peaceable journey laws?NoNoFederal law (FOPA) applies.
Background checks required for private sales?YesYesDC Code §7–2505.02Private party firearm transfers must be conducted through a licensed dealer, who is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale. This only applies to sales made within the District of Columbia. Sales made by DC firearms owners outside of the District of Columbia must only conform to that state’s transfer laws.
Waiting period?YesYesAfter purchasing a firearm, the buyer must wait ten days before taking possession of the gun.


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