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Legal Information: District of Columbia

State Gun Laws

Laws current as of April 5, 2024

What is the penalty for violating the firearm laws?

A person who violates Washington, D.C.’s criminal law regulating gun possession (which is explained in I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?) can be punished as follows:

  • for violating the prohibition against convicted felons having a gun, s/he can be sentenced to between 1 year and 15 years in prison (depending on his/her criminal history), subject to a fine of up to $37,500, or both;1 and
  • for violating any other section of the law (including having a gun while there is a civil protection order against him/her), s/he can be sentenced to between 2 to 10 years in prison, subject to a fine of up to $10,000, or both.1

Also, anyone who has or buys a gun in violation of the federal firearm law can be punished by a fine, jail time for up to 10 years, or both.3  For more information, see our Federal Gun Laws page.

1 DC Code §§ 22-4503(b)(1), (b)(3); 22-3571.01(b)(8)
2 DC Code §§ 22-4503(c); 22-3571.01(b)(7)
3 18 USC § 924(a)(2)