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Legal Statutes: District of Columbia

UPDATED April 11, 2017

District of Columbia Statutes

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Chapter 45. Weapons and Possession of Weapons.

back to top§ 22-4503. Unlawful possession of firearm.

(a) No person shall own or keep a firearm, or have a firearm in his or her possession or under his or her control, within the District of Columbia, if the person:

(1) Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

(2) Is not licensed under § 22-4510 to sell weapons, and the person has been convicted of violating this chapter;

(3) Is a fugitive from justice;

(4) Is addicted to any controlled substance, as defined in § 48-901.02(4);

(5) Is subject to a court order that:

(A)(i) Was issued after a hearing of which the person received actual notice, and at which the person had an opportunity to participate; or

(ii) Remained in effect after the person failed to appear for a hearing of which the person received actual notice;

(B) Restrains the person from assaulting, harassing, stalking, or threatening the petitioner or any other person named in the order; and

(C) Requires the person to relinquish possession of any firearms;

(6) Has been convicted within the past 5 years of an intrafamily offense, as defined in § 16-1001(8), punishable as a misdemeanor, or any similar provision in the law of another jurisdiction.

(b)(1) A person who violates subsection (a)(1) of this section shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 10 years and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a mandatory-minimum term of 1 year, unless she or he has a prior conviction for a crime of violence other than conspiracy, in which case she or he shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 15 years and shall be sentenced to a mandatory-minimum term of 3 years.

(2) A person sentenced to a mandatory-minimum term of imprisonment under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not be released from prison or granted probation or suspension of sentence prior to serving the mandatory-minimum sentence.

(3) In addition to any other penalty provided under this subsection, a person may be fined an amount not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01.

(c) A person who violates subsection (a)(2) through (a)(6) of this section shall be sentenced to not less than 2 years nor more than 10 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(d) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Crime of violence” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 23-1331(4), or a crime under the laws of any other jurisdiction that involved conduct that would constitute a crime of violence if committed in the District of Columbia, or conduct that is substantially similar to that prosecuted as a crime of violence under the District of Columbia Official Code.

(2) “Fugitive from justice” means a person who has:

(A) Fled to avoid prosecution for a crime or to avoid giving testimony in a criminal proceeding; or

(B) Escaped from a federal, state, or local prison, jail, halfway house, or detention facility or from the custody of a law enforcement officer.
(July 8, 1932, 47 Stat. 651, ch. 465, § 3; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 93, ch. 159, § 204(b); May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 15(b), 41 DCR 1639; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 223(c), 53 DCR 8610; Dec. 10, 2009, D.C. Law 18-88, § 219(b), 56 DCR 7413; June 3, 2011, D.C. Law 18-377, § 13, 58 DCR 1174; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-170, § 3(c), 59 DCR 5691; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, §§ 240(a), 304, 60 DCR 2064.)