Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–2505.03. Microstamping.

(a) For the purposes of the section, the term:

(1) “Firearms dealer” means a person or organization possessing a dealer’s license under authority of subchapter IV of this chapter.

(2) “Manufacturer” means any person in business to manufacture or assemble a firearm, for sale or distribution.

(3) “Microstamp-ready” means a semiautomatic pistol that is manufactured to produce a unique alpha-numeric or geometric code on at least 2 locations on each expended cartridge case that identifies the make, model, and serial number of the pistol.

(4) “Semiautomatic pistol” means a pistol capable of utilizing a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and automatically chamber the next round, and that requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each successive round.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, beginning on January 1, 2018, a semiautomatic pistol shall be microstamp-ready if it is:

(1) Manufactured in the District of Columbia;

(2) Manufactured on or after January 1, 2018, and delivered or caused to be delivered by any manufacturer to a firearms dealer in the District of Columbia; or

(3) Manufactured on or after January 1, 2018, and sold, offered for sale, loaned, given, or transferred by a firearms dealer in the District of Columbia.

(c)(1) A semiautomatic pistol manufactured after January 1, 2018, that is not microstamp-ready and that was acquired outside of the District by a person who was not a District resident at the time of acquisition but who subsequently moved to the District shall be registered if the requirements of this unit are met, and may be sold, transferred, or given away; provided, that the pistol shall be sold, transferred, or given away only through a firearms dealer.

(2) If a firearms dealer lawfully acquires a microstamp-ready semiautomatic pistol that was originally purchased by a non-dealer resident of the District of Columbia, the firearms dealer shall not sell, offer for sale, loan, give, or transfer that pistol if he or she knows or reasonably should have known that the unique alphanumeric or geometric code associated with that pistol has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated, excepting for normal wear.

(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, and except for normal wear, no person shall change, alter, remove, or obliterate the unique alpha-numeric or geometric code associated with that pistol.

(2) Replacing a firing pin that has been damaged or worn and is in need of replacement for the safe use of the semiautomatic pistol or for a legitimate sporting purpose shall not alone be evidence that someone has violated this subsection.

(e) Beginning January 1, 2018, a manufacturer that delivers a semiautomatic pistol, or causes a semiautomatic pistol to be delivered, to a firearms dealer for sale in the District of Columbia shall certify whether the pistol was manufactured on or after January 1, 2018, and, if it was, that:

(1) The semiautomatic pistol will produce a unique alpha-numeric code or a geometric code on each cartridge case that identifies the make, model, and serial number of the semiautomatic pistol that expended the cartridge casing; and

(2) The manufacturer will supply the Chief with the make, model, and serial number of the semiautomatic pistol that expended the cartridge case, when presented with an alpha-numeric or geometric code from a cartridge case; provided, that the cartridge case was recovered as part of a legitimate law enforcement investigation.

(f) The Chief, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this section.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title V, § 503; as added Mar. 31, 2009, D.C. Law 17-372, § 3(m), 56 DCR 1365; June 3, 2011, D.C. Law 18-377, § 2(f), 58 DCR 1174; Sept. 29, 2012, D.C. Law 19-170, § 2(m), 59 DCR 5691; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 3022(b), 61 DCR 9990; June 30, 2016, D.C. Law 21-125, § 701(b), 63 DCR 4659.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-2504.08.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-377, in subsec. (f), substituted “January 1, 2013” for “January 1, 2011”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-170 substituted “January 1, 2014” for “January 1, 2013” wherever it appears in (b), (c)(1), and (e).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 substituted “January 1, 2016” for “January 1, 2014” throughout the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3(m) 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 § 502(f) of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-693, January 18, 2011, 58 DCR 640).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 502(f) of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-45, April 20, 2011, 58 DCR 3701).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(m) 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(m) 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 (b), (c)(1) and (e), see § 2(m) of the Firearms Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-510, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12808).

For temporary amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Microstamping Implementation Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-261, January 2, 2014, 61 DCR 324).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3022(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3022(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3022(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Microstamping Implementation Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-258, Jan. 6, 2016, 63 DCR 530).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Microstamping Implementation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-329, Mar. 16, 2016, 63 DCR 4298).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Microstamping Implementation Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-93, March 11, 2014, 61 DCR 783).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Microstamping Implementation Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-93, Mar. 23, 2015, 63 DCR 993).