Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–2551.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this unit, the term:

(1) “Assault weapon” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-2501.01(3A).

(2) “Handgun” means a firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches in length at the time of manufacture.

(3) “Dealer” and “importer” shall have the same meaning as in 18 U.S.C. § 921.

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

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

(6) “Law enforcement agency” means a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, state militia, or an agency of the United States government.

(7) “Law enforcement officer” means any officer or agent of an agency defined in paragraph (6) of this section who is authorized to use a handgun or machine gun in the course of his or her work.


(Mar. 6, 1991, D.C. Law 8-263, § 3, 37 DCR 8482; Mar. 31, 2009, D.C. Law 17-372, § 4, 56 DCR 1365.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2391.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-372 rewrote par. (1).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4 of Firearms Registration Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-651, January 6, 2009, 56 DCR 911).

Temporary Legislation

Repeal and revival of Law 8-263: D.C. Law 8-263 was temporarily repealed by Emergency Act 9-1, § 2, the Assault Weapon Manufacturing Strict Liability Act of 1990 Emergency Repealer Act of 1991 (D.C. Act 9-1, February 15, 1991, 38 DCR 1457). Section 2 of D.C. Law 9-3 temporarily repealed D.C. Law 8-263. Section 3(b) of D.C. Law 9-3 provided that the act shall expire on the 225th day of its having taken effect or upon the effective date of the Assault Weapon Manufacturing Strict Liability Act of 1990 Repealer Act of 1991, whichever occurs first.

Effective Dates

Pursuant to the Court’s holding in Bliley v. Kelly, 23 F.3d 507 (D.C.Cir.1994), the Congressional review period for the Assault Weapon Manufacturing Strict Liability Act of 1990, began to run on November 19, 1991, and the act took effect on February 29, 1992.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 8-263: Section 6 of D.C. Law 8-263, as amended by § 3(b) of D.C. Law 10-194, provided that the act shall apply only to the discharge of an assault weapon that is manufactured, imported, or distributed after Mar. 6, 1991, and to the discharge of a machine gun that is manufactured, imported, or distributed after Oct. 7, 1994.

Repeal of Act 9-32: D.C. Act 9-32, the Assault Weapon Manufacturing Strict Liability Act of 1990 Repealer Act of 1991, May 17, 1991, 38 DCR 3380, was repealed by Referendum 006, certified by the Board of Elections and Ethics November 18, 1991.

Findings of Council: Section 2 of D.C. Law 8-263 provided findings of Council.