Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–2501.01. Definitions.

As used in this unit the term:

(1) “Acts of Congress” means:

(A) Chapter 45 of Title 22;

(B) Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended (title VII, Unlawful Possession or Receipt of Firearms (82 Stat. 1236; 18 U.S.C. Appendix)); and

(C) An Act to Amend Title 18, United States Code, To Provide for Better Control of the Interstate Traffic in Firearms Act of 1968 (82 Stat. 1213; 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq.).

(2) “Ammunition” means cartridge cases, shells, projectiles (including shot), primers, bullets (including restricted pistol bullets), propellant powder, or other devices or materials designed, redesigned, or intended for use in a firearm or destructive device.

(3) “Antique firearm” means:

(A) Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and

(B) Any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica:

(i) Is not designed or redesigned for using rim-fire or conventional center-fire fixed ammunition; or

(ii) Uses rim-fire or conventional ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

(3A)(A) “Assault weapon” means:

(i) The following semiautomatic firearms:

(I) All of the following specified rifles:

(aa) All AK series including, but not limited to, the models identified as follows:

(1) Made in China AK, AKM, AKS, AK47, AK47S, 56, 56S, 84S, and 86S;

(2) Norinco (all models);

(3) Poly Technologies (all models);

(4) MAADI AK47 and ARM; and

(5) Mitchell (all models).

(bb) UZI and Galil;

(cc) Beretta AR-70;

(dd) CETME Sporter;

(ee) Colt AR-15 series;

(ff) Daewoo K-1, K-2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100, and AR110 C;

(gg) Fabrique Nationale FAL, LAR, FNC, 308 Match, and Sporter;

(hh) MAS 223.

(ii) HK-91, HK-93, HK-94, and HK-PSG-1;

(jj) The following MAC types:

(1) RPB Industries Inc. sM10 and sM11; and

(2) SWD Incorporated M11;

(kk) SKS with detachable magazine;

(ll) SIG AMT, PE-57, SG 550, and SG 551;

(mm) Springfield Armory BM59 and SAR-48;

(nn) Sterling MK-6;

(oo) Steyer AUG, Steyr AUG;

(pp) Valmet M62S, M71S, and M78S;

(qq) Armalite AR-180;

(rr) Bushmaster Assault Rifle;

(ss) Calico —900;

(tt) J&R ENG —68; and

(uu) Weaver Arms Nighthawk.

(II) All of the following specified pistols:

(aa) UZI;

(bb) Encom MP-9 and MP-45;

(cc) The following MAC types:

(1) RPB Industries Inc. sM10 and sM11;

(2) SWD Incorporated -11;

(3) Advance Armament Inc. —11; and

(4) Military Armament Corp. Ingram M-11;

(dd) Intratec TEC-9 and TEC-DC9;

(ee) Sites Spectre;

(ff) Sterling MK-7;

(gg) Calico M-950; and

(hh) Bushmaster Pistol.

(III) All of the following specified shotguns:

(aa) Franchi SPAS 12 and LAW 12; and

(bb) Striker 12. The Streetsweeper type S/S Inc. SS/12;

(IV) A semiautomatic, rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:

(aa) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

(bb) A thumbhole stock;

(cc) A folding or telescoping stock;

(dd) A grenade launcher or flare launcher;

(ee) A flash suppressor; or

(ff) A forward pistol grip;

(V) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:

(aa) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;

(bb) A second handgrip;

(cc) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel; or

(dd) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip;

(VI) A semiautomatic shotgun that has one or more of the following:

(aa) A folding or telescoping stock;

(bb) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

(cc) A thumbhole stock; or

(dd) A vertical handgrip; and

(VII) A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine; and

(VIII) All other models within a series that are variations, with minor differences, of those models listed in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, regardless of the manufacturer;

(ii) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder; provided, that this sub-subparagraph shall not apply to a weapon with an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition; and

(iii) Any firearm that the Chief may designate as an assault weapon by rule, based on a determination that the firearm would reasonably pose the same or similar danger to the health, safety, and security of the residents of the District as those weapons enumerated in this paragraph.

(B) The term “assault weapon” shall not include:

(i) Any antique firearm; or

(ii) Any of the following pistols, which are designed expressly for use in Olympic target shooting events, sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and by USA Shooting, the national governing body for international shooting competition in the United States, and used for Olympic target shooting purposes:

MANUFACTURER MODEL CALIBER
BENELLI MP90 .22LR
BENELLI MP90 .32 S&W LONG
BENELLI MP95 .22LR
BENELLI MP95 .32 S&W LONG
HAMMERLI 280 .22LR
HAMMERLI 280 .32 S&W LONG
HAMMERLI SP20 .22LR
HAMMERLI SP20 .32 S&W LONG
PARDINI GPO .22 SHORT
PARDINI GP-SCHUMANN .22 SHORT
PARDINI HP .32 S&W LONG
PARDINI MP .32 S&W LONG
PARDINI SP .22LR
PARDINI SPE .22LR
WALTHER GSP .22LR
WALTHER GSP .32 S&W LONG
WALTHER OSP .22 SHORT
WALTHER OSP-2000 .22 SHORT

(C) The Chief may exempt, by rule, new models of competitive pistols that would otherwise fall within the definition of “assault weapon” pursuant to this section from being classified as an assault weapon. The exemption of competitive pistols shall be based either on recommendations by USA Shooting consistent with the regulations contained in the USA Shooting Official Rules or on the recommendation or rules of any other organization that the Chief considers relevant.

(4) “Chief” means the Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia or his designated agent.

(5) “Crime of violence” shall have the same meaning as provided in D.C. Official Code § 23-1331(4).

(6) “Dealer’s license” means a license to buy or sell, repair, trade, or otherwise deal in firearms, destructive devices, or ammunition as provided for in subchapter IV of this unit.

(7) “Destructive device” means:

(A) An explosive, incendiary, or poison gas bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, mine, or similar device;

(B) Any device by whatever name known which will, or is designed or redesigned, or may be readily converted or restored to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant through a smooth bore barrel, except a shotgun;

(C) Any device containing tear gas or a chemically similar lacrimator or sternutator by whatever name known;

(D) Repealed.

(E) Any combination of parts designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device; or from which a destructive device may be readily assembled; provided, that the term shall not include:

(i) Any pneumatic, spring, or B-B gun which expels a single projectile not exceeding .18 inch in diameter;

(ii) Any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon;

(iii) Any device originally a weapon which has been redesigned for use as a signaling, line throwing, or safety device; or

(iv) Any device which the Chief finds is not likely to be used as a weapon.

(8) “District” means District of Columbia.

(8A) “.50 BMG rifle” means:

(A) A rifle capable of firing a center-fire cartridge in .50 BMG caliber, including a 12.7 mm equivalent of .50 BMG and any other metric equivalent; or

(B) A copy or duplicate of any rifle described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, or any other rifle developed and manufactured after January 6, 2009, regardless of caliber, if such rifle is capable of firing a projectile that attains a muzzle energy of 12,000 foot-pounds or greater in any combination of bullet, propellant, case, or primer.

(9) “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 frame or receiver of any such device; or any firearm muffler or silencer; provided, that such term shall not include:

(A) Antique firearms; or

(B) Destructive devices;

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

(D) Any device used exclusively for firing explosive rivets, stud cartridges, or similar industrial ammunition and incapable for use as a weapon; or

(E) A stun gun.

(9A) “Firearms instructor” means an individual who is certified by the Chief to be qualified to teach firearms training and safety courses.

(9B) “Intrafamily offense” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 16-1001(8).

(10) “Machine gun” means any firearm which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term “machine gun” shall also include the frame or receiver of any such firearm, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a firearm into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

(11) “Organization” means any partnership, company, corporation, or other business entity, or any group or association of 2 or more persons united for a common purpose.

(12) “Pistol” means any firearm originally designed to be fired by use of a single hand or with a barrel less than 12 inches in length.

(12A) “Place of business” means a business that is located in an immovable structure at a fixed location and that is operated and owned entirely, or in substantial part, by the firearm registrant.

(13) “Registration certificate” means a certificate validly issued pursuant to this unit evincing the registration of a firearm pursuant to this unit.

(13A)(A) “Restricted pistol bullet” means:

(i) A projectile or projectile core which may be used in a pistol and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium;

(ii) A full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a pistol and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25% of the total weight of the projectile; or

(iii) Ammunition for a .50 BMG rifle.

(B) The term “restricted pistol bullet” does not include:

(i) Shotgun shot required by federal or state environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes;

(ii) A frangible projectile designed for target shooting;

(iii) A projectile which the Attorney General of the United States finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes; or

(iv) Any other projectile or projectile core which the Attorney General of the United States finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.

(14) “Rifle” means a grooved bore firearm using a fixed metallic cartridge with a single projectile and designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder.

(15) “Sawed-off shotgun” means a shotgun having a barrel of less than 18 inches in length; or a firearm made from a shotgun if such firearm as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or any barrel of less than 18 inches in length.

(16) “Shotgun” means a smooth bore firearm using a fixed shotgun shell with either a number of ball shot or a single projectile, and designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder.

(17) “Short barreled rifle” means a rifle having any barrel less than 16 inches in length, or a firearm made from a rifle if such firearm as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or any barrel of less than 16 inches.

(17A) "Stun gun" means any device designed or redesigned, made or remade, or readily converted or restored, and used or intended to be used offensively or defensively to immobilize or incapacitate a person by the use of electric current or audible, optical, or electromagnetic pulse.

(18) “Weapons offense” means any violation in any jurisdiction of any law which involves the sale, purchase, transfer in any manner, receipt, acquisition, possession, having under control, use, repair, manufacture, carrying, or transportation of any firearm, ammunition, or destructive device.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title I, § 101, 23 DCR 2464; Mar. 16, 1978, D.C. Law 2-62, § 2, 24 DCR 5780; Aug. 2, 1983, D.C. Law 5-19, § 2, 30 DCR 3328; Mar. 31, 2009, D.C. Law 17-372, § 3(a), 56 DCR 1365; Sept. 29, 2012, D.C. Law 19-170, § 2(a), 59 DCR 5691; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-295, § 2(a), 60 DCR 2623; May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-281, § 2(a), 64 DCR 1648.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2302.

1973 Ed., § 6-1802.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-2502.13, § 7-2507.06a, § 7-2531.01, § 7-2551.01, § 16-2301, § 16-2333, § 22-4501, § 42-3101, and § 48-1203.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-372 added pars. (3A), (8A), (9A), and (12A); in par. (9), substituted “any weapon, regardless of operability, which will, or is designed or redesigned, made or remade, readily converted, restored, or repaired, or is intended to,” for “any weapon which will, or is designed or redesigned, made or remade, readily converted or restored, and intended to,”; rewrote par. (10); in par. (12), substituted “hand or with a barrel less than 12 inches in length” for “hand”; and, in par. (15), substituted “18 inches in length” for “20 inches in length” in two places. Prior to amendment, par. (10) read as follows: “(10) ‘Machine gun’ means any firearm which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily converted or restored to shoot: (A) Automatically, more than 1 shot by a single function of the trigger; (B) Semiautomatically, more than 12 shots without manual reloading.”

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-170 rewrote (5); added (9A); redesignated former (9A) and (13a) as (9B) and (13A); and made a stylistic change.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-295 rewrote (13A).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Stun Gun Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-31, Mar. 27, 2017, 64 DCR 3084).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Stun Gun Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-630, Jan. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 907).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(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 § 2(a) 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 § 3(a) of Firearms Registration Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-651, January 6, 2009, 56 DCR 911).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Firearms Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-352, May 11, 2012, 59 DCR 5116).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Firearms Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-394, July 18, 2012, 59 DCR 8694).

For temporary amendment of (5), (9A) and (13a), see § 2(a) of the Firearms Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-510, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12808).

References in Text

“An Act to Amend Title 18, United States Code, to Provide for Better Control of the Interstate Traffic in Firearms Act of 1968,” referred to in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1), is the Gun Control Act of 1968, Pub. L. 90-618.