Legal Information: District of Columbia

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
May 10, 2016

I have a civil protection order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?

No.  According to Washington, D.C. law, if you have a civil protection order that was issued by a state civil court against the abuser and meets certain requirements, the abuser cannot have a gun in his/her possession, or buy a new gun.


In order for your protection order to qualify under Washington, D.C. law, it must:


  • be issued after a hearing that the respondent received actual notice of, and at which the respondent had an opportunity to participate; or it remained in effect after the respondent failed to appear for a hearing (that s/he was notified of);
  • restrain the respondent from assaulting, harassing, stalking, or threatening you or any other person named in the order; and
  • require the respondent to give up possession of any firearms.*

Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser's right to have a gun if you have a final protection order against him/her that meets certain requirements even if the judge does not specifically include on the order that s/he cannot have a gun.  Go to the Federal Gun Laws page to get more information.


* DC Code § 22-4503(a)(5)