D.C. Gun Crimes Law

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D.C. Gun Crimes Attorneys

In Washington DC, there are specific laws governing the possession and use of firearms within the District. It is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable Washington DC gun lawyer who can provide guidance on both local and federal gun laws to ensure compliance and avoid unintentional violations. Each individual has the responsibility to understand these laws and prevent any inadvertent breaches, especially considering that the gun laws in DC differ from those in neighboring states.

Residents of the District are subject to both local and federal regulations, which can create complexity and potential legal issues. Unfortunately, individuals may find themselves facing arrest for unknowingly violating these laws. In such situations, Washington DC gun lawyers can provide reliable legal advice and offer representation throughout the legal process, including trial if necessary.

Gun Registration Laws

The regulations surrounding gun ownership and usage in the District of Columbia are subject to ongoing changes. It is a requirement that individuals in possession of firearms must register them, and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) oversees the registration process within the District. They can also provide the necessary documentation for individuals who need to obtain a license.

Registering a firearm involves more than simply completing paperwork. The minimum age for firearm registration is 21 years, or 18 years with parental or guardian consent. Additionally, individuals may need to complete a gun safety and awareness course under the instruction of a licensed instructor. This course typically consists of four hours of classroom training and an additional hour at a shooting range for practical instruction and practice.

Furthermore, it is important to be aware that there are various restrictions on registering, owning, or possessing a handgun in the District of Columbia. Some of these restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • Having a conviction for a crime punishable by imprisonment for over one year
  • Not being licensed to sell firearms
  • Having a conviction within the past five years
  • Demonstrating a history of violent behavior within the past five years
  • Being convicted of a crime related to narcotics or dangerous drugs within the past five years that restricts the use, possession, or sale of such substances.


In Washington, D.C., it is unlawful to carry a pistol or any deadly or dangerous weapon, whether openly or concealed, without a valid license. Violating the law by carrying a concealed weapon can result in a maximum prison sentence of one year. Subsequent convictions for the same offense can lead to even more severe penalties. If you are found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon without a license in a location other than your residence, place of business, or other property you own, you may face imprisonment of up to five years.

Although the issue has been brought before the Supreme Court regarding its compliance with the Second Amendment, the law has been upheld, and it remains in effect.

If you are discovered to be in possession of a firearm while committing a violent crime, the consequences become even more stringent. In such cases, the sentencing range can be a minimum of five years up to a maximum of 15 years in prison. Typically, the lowest term is imposed without the possibility of parole.


Despite a recent decrease, gun-related violence remains a significant concern in the District of Columbia. While overall gun crime rates have declined in the United States, it is important to consider population levels when comparing statistics. In 2011, there were 77 gun-related murders in DC, which is relatively low compared to states like Texas with nearly 700 and California with over 1,200. However, when taking population into account, the number of gun-related murders in DC is higher.

The 77 gun-related murders in 2011 represented a 22 percent decrease from the previous year. These incidents accounted for 71 percent of all murders in the city, a ratio similar to many states with large metropolitan areas. The national average for gun-related murders is 68 percent, so DC does have a slightly higher percentage. However, states like Illinois and Louisiana have even higher percentages at 83 percent.

How We Can Help

If you are facing charges related to a gun offense, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable DC gun lawyer who can navigate the legal proceedings on your behalf. Our team of experienced attorneys is well-versed in the complex array of laws and legal precedents that pertain to gun crimes. By contacting us today, you can connect with a skilled lawyer who will advocate for you in front of the judge and work towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case.