How To Sell a Gun in Washington D.C.
Gun laws in Washington D.C. are some of the most restrictive in the country. To make matters worse, residents of D.C. are represented by a delegate in the House of Representatives who cannot vote on the House floor. Additionally, D.C. residents are not represented in the United States Senate at all. One of the consequences of such a lack of representation is that law-abiding residents of D.C. have little to say about the D.C. gun laws that govern their lives.
With such restrictive laws in place, residents of D.C. who want to own or already own a firearm and looking to sell, transfer or buy more firearms should be aware of current regulations that are in place.
The following information is compiled from the Council of the District of Columbia’s official website.
The Process for Purchasing Firearms in the District of Columbia
The process of applying for a firearms registration is strenuous and lengthy. Additionally, private sales are to go through a federally licensed dealer and both parties are to have valid firearms registration. There are also restrictions on certain types of firearms that can be owned.
The following is the relevant legal text. For more detailed information please visit https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/titles/7/chapters/25/
Subchapter II. Firearms and Destructive Devices.
- 7–2502.01. Registration requirements.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this unit, no person or organization in the District of Columbia (“District”) shall receive, possess, control, transfer, offer for sale, sell, give, or deliver any destructive device, and no person or organization in the District shall possess or control any firearm, unless the person or organization holds a valid registration certificate for the firearm. A registration certificate may be issued:
(1) To an organization if:
(A) The organization employs at least 1 commissioned special police officer or employee licensed to carry a firearm whom the organization arms during the employee’s duty hours; and
(B) The registration is issued in the name of the organization and in the name of the president or chief executive officer of the organization;
(2) In the discretion of the Chief of Police, to a police officer who has retired from the Metropolitan Police Department;
(3) In the discretion of the Chief of Police, to the Fire Marshal and any member of the Fire and Arson Investigation Unit of the Fire Prevention Bureau of the Fire Department of the District of Columbia, who is designated in writing by the Fire Chief, for the purpose of enforcing the arson and fire safety laws of the District of Columbia;
(4) To a firearms instructor, or to an organization that employs a firearms instructor, for the purpose of conducting firearms training; or
(5) To a person who complies with, and meets the requirements of, this unit.
(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to:
(1) Any law enforcement officer or agent of the District or the United States, or any law enforcement officer or agent of the government of any state or subdivision thereof, or any member of the armed forces of the United States, the National Guard or organized reserves, when such officer, agent, or member is authorized to possess such a firearm or device while on duty in the performance of official authorized functions;
(2) Any person holding a dealer’s license; provided, that the firearm or destructive device is:
(A) Acquired by such person in the normal conduct of business;
(B) Kept at the place described in the dealer’s license; and
(C) Not kept for such person’s private use or protection, or for the protection of his business;
(3) With respect to firearms, any nonresident of the District participating in any lawful recreational firearm-related activity in the District, or on his way to or from such activity in another jurisdiction; provided, that such person, whenever in possession of a firearm, shall upon demand of any member of the Metropolitan Police Department, or other bona fide law enforcement officer, exhibit proof that he is on his way to or from such activity, and that his possession or control of such firearm is lawful in the jurisdiction in which he resides; provided further, that such weapon shall be transported in accordance with § 22-4504.02;
(4) Any person who temporarily possesses a firearm registered to another person while in the home or place of business of the registrant; provided, that the person is not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms and the person reasonably believes that possession of the firearm is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself; or
(5) Any person who temporarily possesses a firearm while participating in a firearms training and safety class conducted by a firearms instructor.
(c) For the purposes of subsection (b)(3) of this section, the term “recreational firearm-related activity” includes a firearms training and safety class.
Qualifications and Restrictions on Firearm Ownership in D.C.
In order to purchase a firearm legally, the buyer must be 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Buyers looking to purchase handguns must be at least 21 years old.
- 7–2502.03. Qualifications for registration; information required for registration.
(a) No registration certificate shall be issued to any person (and in the case of a person between the ages of 18 and 21, to the person and the person’s signatory parent or guardian) or organization unless the Chief determines that such person (or the president or chief executive in the case of an organization):
(1) Is 21 years of age or older; provided, that the Chief may issue to an applicant between the ages of 18 and 21 years old, and who is otherwise qualified, a registration certificate if the application is accompanied by a notarized statement of the applicant’s parent or guardian:
(A) That the applicant has the permission of the applicant’s parent or guardian to own and use the firearm to be registered; and
(B) The parent or guardian assumes civil liability for all damages resulting from the actions of such applicant in the use of the firearm to be registered; provided further, that such registration certificate shall expire on such person’s 21st birthday;
(2) Has not been convicted of a weapons offense (but not an infraction or misdemeanor violation under § 7-2502.08, § 7-2507.02, § 7-2507.06, or § 7-2508.07) or a felony in this or any other jurisdiction (including a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year);
(3) Is not under indictment for a crime of violence or a weapons offense;
(4) Has not been convicted within 5 years prior to the application of any:
(A) Violation in any jurisdiction of any law restricting the use, possession, or sale of any narcotic or dangerous drug;
(B) A violation of D.C. Official Code § 22-404, regarding assaults and threats, or D.C. Official Code § 22-407, regarding threats to do bodily harm, or a violation of any similar provision of the law of another jurisdiction;
(C) Two or more violations of D.C. Official Code § 50-2201.05(b), or, in this or any other jurisdiction, any law restricting driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
(D) Intrafamily offense punishable as a misdemeanor, including any similar provision in the law of another jurisdiction;
(5) Within the 5-year period immediately preceding the application, has not been acquitted of any criminal charge by reason of insanity or has not been adjudicated a chronic alcoholic by any court; provided, that this paragraph shall not apply if such person shall present to the Chief, with the application, a medical certification indicating that the applicant has recovered from such insanity or alcoholic condition and is capable of safe and responsible possession of a firearm;
(6)(A) Within the 5-year period immediately preceding the application, has not been:
(1) Voluntarily admitted to a mental health facility;
(2) Involuntarily committed to a mental health facility by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, another court of competent jurisdiction, the Commission on Mental Health, or a similar commission in another jurisdiction;
(3) Determined by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or another court of competent jurisdiction to be an incapacitated individual, as that term is defined in § 21-2011(11);
(4) Adjudicated as a mental defective, as that term is defined in 27 C.F.R. § 478.11; or
(5) Committed to a mental institution, as that term is defined in 27 C.F.R. § 478.11;
(6A) Within the 5 years immediately preceding the application, has not had a history of violent behavior.
(7) Does not appear to suffer from a physical defect which would tend to indicate that the applicant would not be able to possess and use a firearm safely and responsibly;
(8) Has not been adjudicated negligent in a firearm mishap causing death or serious injury to another human being;
(9) Is not otherwise ineligible to possess a firearm under § 22-4503;
(10) Has not failed to demonstrate satisfactorily, in accordance with a test prescribed by the Chief, a knowledge of the laws of the District of Columbia pertaining to firearms and, in particular, the requirements of this unit, the responsibilities regarding storage, and the requirements for transport; provided, that once this determination is made with respect to a given applicant for a particular firearm, it need not be made again for the same applicant with respect to a subsequent application for a firearm or for the renewal of a registration certificate pursuant to § 7-2502.07a;
(11) Is not blind, as defined in D.C. Official Code § 7-1009(1);
(12)(A) Has not been the respondent in an intrafamily proceeding in which a civil protection order was issued against the applicant pursuant to § 16-1005; provided, that an applicant who has been the subject of such an order shall be eligible for registration if the applicant has submitted to the Chief a certified court record establishing that the order has expired or has been rescinded for a period of 5 years or more; or
(B) Has not been the respondent in a proceeding in which a foreign protection order, as that term is defined in § 16-1041, was issued against the applicant; provided, that an applicant who has been the subject of such an order shall be eligible for registration if the applicant has submitted to the Chief a certified court record establishing that the order has expired or has been rescinded for a period of 5 years;
(13)(A) Has completed a firearms training and safety class provided free of charge by the Chief; or
(B) Has submitted evidence of any of the following:
(i) That the applicant has received firearms training in the United States military;
(ii) A license from another state for which firearms training is required, where the training, as determined by the Chief, is equal to or greater than that provided under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph; or
(iii) That the applicant has otherwise completed a firearms training or safety course conducted by a firearms instructor that, as determined by the Chief, is equal to or greater than that conducted under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;
(14) Has not been prohibited from possessing or registering a firearm pursuant to § 7-2502.08; and
- 7–2502.02. Registration of certain firearms prohibited.
(a) A registration certificate shall not be issued for a:
(1) Sawed-off shotgun;
(2) Machine gun;
(3) Short-barreled rifle;
(4) Pistol not validly registered to the current registrant in the District prior to September 24, 1976, except that the prohibition on registering a pistol shall not apply to:
(A) Any organization that employs at least one commissioned special police officer or other employee licensed to carry a firearm and that arms the employee with a firearm during the employee’s duty hours;
(B) A police officer who has retired from the Metropolitan Police Department;
(C) Any person who seeks to register a pistol:
(i) For use in self-defense within that person’s home or place of business; or
(ii) As part of the application process for a license to carry a concealed pistol pursuant to § 7-2509.02; or
(D) A firearms instructor, or an organization that employs a firearms instructor, for the purpose of conducting firearms training.
FEDERAL DISQUALIFICATION CATEGORIES
- Conviction (felony or misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year (even if a buyer did not receive actual imprisonment exceeding 1 year).
- Warrant (felony or out-of-state misdemeanor).
- Felony pre-trial release.
- Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection order mental health adjudication or commitment.
- Unlawful use or addicted to a controlled substance (including marijuana).
- Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
- Renounced U.S. citizenship.
- Illegal alien.
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The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. CashMyGuns.com has used reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing, and providing quality information and material, but does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. Users of information from this website or links do so at their own risk and should consult their local firearm law resources and/or an attorney when engaging in selling a firearm. The cited information in this article was obtained on 05/20/20 from https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/titles/7/chapters/25/subchapters/V/