Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–4501. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Crime of violence” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 23-1331(4).

(2) “Dangerous crime” means distribution of or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. For the purposes of this definition, the term “controlled substance” means any substance defined as such in the District of Columbia Official Code or any Act of Congress.

(2A) “Firearm” means any weapon, regardless of operability, which will, or is designed or redesigned, made or remade, readily converted, restored, or repaired, or is intended to, expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosive. The term “firearm” shall not include:

(A) A destructive device as that term is defined in § 7-2501.01(7);

(B) A device used exclusively for line throwing, signaling, or safety, and required or recommended by the Coast Guard or Interstate Commerce Commission; or

(C) A device used exclusively for firing explosive rivets, stud cartridges, or similar industrial ammunition and incapable for use as a weapon.

(3) “Knuckles” means an object, whether made of metal, wood, plastic, or other similarly durable material that is constructed of one piece, the outside part of which is designed to fit over and cover the fingers on a hand and the inside part of which is designed to be gripped by the fist.

(4) “Machine gun” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-2501.01(10).

(5) “Person” includes individual, firm, association, or corporation.

(6) “Pistol” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-2501.01(12).

(6A) “Place of business” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-2501.01(12A).

(7) “Playground” means any facility intended for recreation, open to the public, and with any portion of the facility that contains one or more separate apparatus intended for the recreation of children, including, but not limited to, sliding boards, swingsets, and teeterboards.

(7A) “Registrant” means a person who has registered a firearm pursuant to Unit A of Chapter 25 of Title 7.

(8) “Sawed-off shotgun” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-2501.01(15).

(9) “Sell” and “purchase” and the various derivatives of such words shall be construed to include letting on hire, giving, lending, borrowing, and otherwise transferring.

(9A) “Shotgun” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-2501.01(16).

(10) “Video arcade” means any facility legally accessible to persons under 18 years of age, intended primarily for the use of pinball and video machines for amusement, and which contains a minimum of 10 pinball or video machines.

(11) “Youth center” means any recreational facility or gymnasium (including any parking lot appurtenant thereto), intended primarily for use by persons under 18 years of age, which regularly provides athletic, civic, or cultural activities.


(July 8, 1932, 47 Stat. 650, ch. 465, § 1; Dec. 27, 1967, 81 Stat. 736, Pub. L. 90-226, title V, § 501; Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 601(e), 29 DCR 3976; July 28, 1989, D.C. Law 8-19, § 3(a), 36 DCR 2844; May 8, 1990, D.C. Law 8-120, § 3(a), 37 DCR 24; Aug. 18, 1994, D.C. Law 10-150, § 3(a), 41 DCR 2594; Aug. 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-151, § 109, 41 DCR 2608; May 23, 1995, D.C. Law 10-257, § 401(c), 42 DCR 53; May 17, 1996, D.C. Law 11-119, § 4, 43 DCR 528; June 3, 1997, D.C. Law 11-275, § 8, 44 DCR 1408; June 8, 2001, D.C. Law 13-300, § 3, 47 DCR 7037; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-194, § 155, 49 DCR 5306; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 223(a), 53 DCR 8610; May 15, 2009, D.C. Law 17-390, § 3(a), 55 DCR 11030; May 20, 2009, D.C. Law 17-388, § 2(a), 56 DCR 1162; Sept. 29, 2012, D.C. Law 19-170, § 3(a), 59 DCR 5691.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-3201.

1973 Ed., § 22-3201.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-113.32, § 7-2508.01, § 16-2305.02, § 16-2333, § 16-4205, § 22-1804a, § 22-2104.01, § 22-4504, § 24-221.01b, § 24-403, § 24-403.01, § 24-408, § 24-921, and § 48-1203.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-300, in subsec. (g), deleted “, if the offense is punishable by imprisonment for more than 1 year” following “controlled substance” in the first sentence.

D.C. Law 14-194, in subsec. (f), substituted “manslaughter, an act of terrorism, manufacture or possession of a weapon of mass destruction, use, dissemination, or detonation of a weapon of mass destruction,” for “manslaughter,”.

D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote subsec. (f), which had read as follows: “(f) ‘Crime of violence’, as used in this chapter, means any of the following crimes, or an attempt to commit any of the same, namely: Murder, manslaughter, an act of terrorism, manufacture or possession of a weapon of mass destruction, use, dissemination, or detonation of a weapon of mass destruction, first degree sexual abuse, second degree sexual abuse, or child sexual abuse, mayhem, maliciously disfiguring another, abduction, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, housebreaking, any assault with intent to kill, commit first degree sexual abuse, second degree sexual abuse, or child sexual abuse, or robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to commit any offense punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary, arson, or extortion or blackmail accompanied by threats of violence or aggravated assault.”

D.C. Law 17-390 rewrote the section.

D.C. Law 17-388 added pars. (2A), (6A), (7A), and (9A); and rewrote pars. (4), (6), and (8).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-170 redesignated former (2A)(1) through (2A)(3) as (2A)(A) through (2A)(C).

Cross References

Crimes of violence defined, firearms control law, see § 7-2501.01.

Educational and meritorious good time credits, minimum sentence for violent crimes, see § 24-221.01b.

Eligibility for boot camp program, conviction under this section, see § 24-921.

Firearms regulations, see § 1-303.43.

Minimum sentences, crimes specified in this section, see § 24-403.

Murder in the first degree, sentencing, aggravating circumstances, see § 22-2104.01.

Parole eligibility, convictions under this section, see § 24-408.

Repeat offenders, crimes of violence, increased penalties, see § 22-1804a.

Sentencing, supervised release, and good time credit for felonies under this section committed on or after August 5, 2000, see § 24-403.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 109 of the Omnibus Criminal Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-255, June 22, 1994, 41 DCR 4286).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 223(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 223(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 223(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 223(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Second Firearms Control Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-502, September 16, 2008, 55 DCR 9904).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see §§ 3(a) and (4) of Second Firearms Control Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-601, December 12, 2008, 56 DCR 9).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Inoperable Pistol Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-652, January 6, 2009, 56 DCR 927).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Inoperable Pistol Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-24, March 16, 2009, 56 DCR 2309).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 302(a) of Crime Bill Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-129, June

For temporary amendment of (2A), see § 3(a) of the Firearms Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-510, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12808).