Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–2509.07. Prohibitions on carrying licensed pistols.

(a) No person holding a license shall carry a pistol in the following locations or under the following circumstances:

(1) A building or office occupied by the District of Columbia, its agencies, or instrumentalities;

(2) The building and grounds, including any adjacent parking lot, of an childcare facility, preschool, public or private elementary or secondary school; or a public or private college or university;

(3) A hospital, or an office where medical or mental health services are the primary services provided;

(4) A penal institution, secure juvenile residential facility, or halfway house;

(5) A polling place while voting is occurring;

(6) A public transportation vehicle, including the Metrorail transit system and its stations;

(7) Any premises, or portion thereof, where alcohol is served, or sold and consumed on the premises, pursuant to a license issued under Title 25; provided, that this prohibition shall not apply to premises operating under a temporary license issued pursuant to § 25-115, a C/R, D/R, C/H, D/H or caterer license issued pursuant to § 25-113, or premises with small-sample tasting permits issued pursuant to § 25-118, unless otherwise prohibited pursuant to subsection (b)(3) of this section;

(8) A stadium or arena;

(9) A gathering or special event open to the public; provided, that no licensee shall be criminally prosecuted unless:

(A) The organizer or the District has provided notice prohibiting the carrying of pistols in advance of the gathering or special event and by posted signage at the gathering or special event; or

(B) The licensee has been ordered by a law enforcement officer to leave the area of the gathering or special event and the licensee has not complied with the order;

(10) The public memorials on the National Mall and along the Tidal Basin, and any area where firearms are prohibited under federal law or by a federal agency or entity, including U.S. Capitol buildings and grounds;

(11) The White House Complex and its grounds up to and including to the curb of the adjacent sidewalks touching the roadways of the area bounded by Constitution Avenue, N.W., 15th Street, N.W., H Street, N.W., and 17th Street, N.W.;

(12) The U.S. Naval Observatory and its fence line, including the area from the perimeter of its fence up to and including to the curb of the adjacent sidewalks touching the roadway of Observatory Circle, from Calvert Street, N.W., to Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., and around Observatory Circle to the far corner of Observatory Lane;

(13)(A) When a dignitary or high-ranking official of the United States or a state, local, or foreign government is moving under the protection of the MPD, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Capitol Police, or other law enforcement agency assisting or working in concert with MPD, within an area designated by the Chief, the Chief of the U.S. Secret Service, or the Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, or a designee of any of the foregoing, that does not include any point at a distance greater than 1,000 feet from the moving dignitary or high-ranking official; provided, that no licensee shall be criminally prosecuted unless:

(i) The law enforcement agency provides notice of the designated area by the presence of signs, law enforcement vehicles or officers acting as a perimeter, or other means to make the designated area of protection obvious;

(ii) The District or federal government has provided notice prohibiting the carrying of pistols along a designated route or in a designated area in advance of the event, if possible, and by posted signage along a route or in a designated area; or

(iii) The licensee has been ordered by a law enforcement officer to leave the designated area and the licensee has not complied with the order.

(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “moving” shall include any planned or unplanned stops, including temporary stops, in locations open to the public.

(14) When demonstration in a public place is occurring, within an area designated by the Chief or his or her designee, or other law enforcement agency, that does not include any point at a distance greater than 1,000 feet from the demonstration; provided, that no licensee shall be criminally prosecuted unless:

(A) The law enforcement agency provides notice of the designated area by the presence of signs, law enforcement vehicles or officers acting as a perimeter, or other means to make the designated area of the demonstration obvious;

(B) The District or federal government has provided notice prohibiting the carrying of pistols along or within a demonstration route or designated area in advance of the event, if possible, and by posted signage along a demonstration route or designated area; or

(C) The licensee has been ordered by a law enforcement officer to leave the designated area and the licensee has not complied with the order; or

(15) Any prohibited location or circumstance that the Chief determines by rule; provided, that for spontaneous circumstances, no criminal penalty shall apply unless the licensee has notice of the prohibition and has failed to comply.

(b)(1) The carrying of a concealed pistol on private residential property shall be presumed to be prohibited unless otherwise authorized by the property owner or person in control of the premises and communicated personally to the licensee in advance of entry onto the residential property.

(2) The carrying of a concealed pistol in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other place where people regularly assemble for religious worship shall be presumed to be prohibited unless the property is posted with conspicuous signage allowing the carrying of a concealed pistol, or the owner or authorized agent communicates such allowance personally to the licensee in advance of entry onto the property; provided, that such places may not authorize the carrying of a concealed pistol where services are conducted in locations listed in subsection (a) of this section.

(3) The carrying of a concealed pistol on private property that is not a residence shall be presumed to be permitted unless the property is posted with conspicuous signage prohibiting the carrying of a concealed pistol, or the owner or authorized agent communicates such prohibition personally to the licensee.

(c) Whenever a licensee carries a concealed pistol and approaches any prohibited location, or is subject to any prohibited circumstance, under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the licensee shall:

(1) If the licensee is in a vehicle or if a vehicle is readily available, immediately secure the pistol in the manner prescribed in § 22-4504.02(b); or

(2) If the licensee does not have a vehicle available, immediately leave the prohibited location or circumstance.

(d) A licensee shall not be in violation of this section:

(1) While he or she is traveling along a public sidewalk that touches the perimeter of any of the premises where the carrying of a concealed pistol is prohibited under subsection (a) and subsection (b) of this section, except for the areas designated in subsection (a)(11) and (a)(12), or along a public street, roadway, or highway if the concealed pistol is carried on his or her person in accordance with this unit, or is being transported by the licensee in accordance with § 22-4504.02; or

(2) While driving a vehicle into and immediately parking at any location listed in subsection (a)(2) of this section for the purpose of picking up or dropping off a student or a child; provided, that the licensee shall secure the concealed pistol in accordance with § 22-4504.02(b), before leaving the parked vehicle.

(e) A licensee shall not carry a pistol openly or otherwise in a manner that is not concealed.

(f) In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who violates this section shall be subject to revocation of his or her license.

(g) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Demonstration” means one or more persons demonstrating, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding a vigil, or engaging in any other similar conduct that involves the communication or expression of views or grievances and that has the effect, intent, or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers. The term “demonstration” does not include the casual use of property by visitors or tourists that does not have the effect, intent, or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers.

(2) “Public place” means a place to which the general public has access and a right to occupy for business, entertainment, or other lawful purpose. The term “public place” is not limited to a place devoted solely to the uses of the public, and includes:

(A) The front or immediate area or parking lot of a store, restaurant, tavern, shopping center, or other place of business;

(B) A public building, including its grounds and curtilage;

(C) A public parking lot;

(D) A public street, sidewalk, or right-of-way;

(E) A public park; and

(F) Other public grounds.

(3) “Public transportation vehicle” means any publicly owned or operated commercial vehicle, including any DC Circulator bus, DC Streetcar, MetroAccess vehicle, Metrobus, or Metrorail train.

(4) “Residence” means a building wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living and sleeping by human occupants, together with any fences, walls, sheds, garages, or other accessory buildings appurtenant to the building, and the area of land surrounding the building and actually or by legal construction forming one enclosure in which such a building is located, but does not include adjacent common areas or commercial property contained in any part of the building.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, § 907; as added June 16, 2015, D.C. Law 20-279, § 2(f), 62 DCR 1944; June 30, 2016, D.C. Law 21-125, § 601, 63 DCR 4659.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of section, see § 4 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Second Budget Support Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-202, Nov. 23, 2015, 62 DCR 15276).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-307, Feb. 18, 2016, 63 DCR 2182).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 5 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-76, Feb. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 264).