Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IV. Licensing of Firearms Businesses.


§ 7–2504.01. Manufacture of firearms, destructive devices or ammunition prohibited; requirement for dealer’s license.

(a) No person or organization shall manufacture any firearm, destructive device or parts thereof, or ammunition, within the District; provided, that persons holding registration certificates may engage in hand loading, reloading, or custom loading ammunition for his registered firearms; provided further, that such person may not hand load, reload, or custom load ammunition for others.

(b) No person or organization shall engage in the business of selling, purchasing, or repairing any firearm, destructive device, parts therefor, or ammunition, without first obtaining a dealer’s license, and no licensee shall engage in the business of selling, purchasing, or repairing firearms which are unregisterable under § 7-2502.02, destructive devices, or parts therefor, except pursuant to a valid work or purchase order, for those persons specified in § 7-2502.01(b)(1).

(c) Any license issued pursuant to this section shall be issued by the Metropolitan Police Department as a Public Safety endorsement to a basic business license under the basic business license system as set forth in subchapter I-A of Chapter 28 of Title 47.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title IV, § 401, 23 DCR 2464; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 2003(k)(1), 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-38, § 3(i)(1), 50 DCR 6913.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2341.

1973 Ed., § 6-1841.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-2508.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-38, in subsec. (c), substituted “Public Safety endorsement to a basic business license under the basic” for “Class A Public Safety endorsement to a master business license under the master”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(i)(1) of Streamlining Regulation Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-145, August 11, 2003, 50 DCR 6896).


§ 7–2504.02. Qualifications for dealer’s license; application; fee.

(a) Any person eligible to register a firearm under this unit and who, if a registrant, has not previously failed to perform any of the duties imposed by this unit; and, any person eligible under the acts of Congress to engage in such business, may obtain a dealer’s license, or a renewal thereof, which shall be valid for a period of not more than 1 year from the date of issuance. The license required by this unit, shall be in addition to any other license or licensing procedure required by law.

(b) Each application for a dealer’s license and each application for renewal thereof shall be made on a form prescribed by the Chief, shall be sworn to or affirmed by the applicant, and shall contain:

(1) The information required by § 7-2502.03(a);

(2) The address where the applicant conducts or intends to conduct his business;

(3) Whether the applicant, prior to September 24, 1976, held a license to deal in deadly weapons in the District; and

(4) Such other information as the Chief may require, including fingerprints and photographs of the applicant, to carry out the purposes of this unit.

(c) Each application for a dealer’s license, or renewal shall be accompanied by a fee established by the Mayor; provided, that such fee shall in the judgment of the Mayor, reimburse the District for the cost of services provided under this subchapter.

(d) Any license issued pursuant to this section shall be issued as a Public Safety endorsement to a basic business license under the basic business license system as set forth in subchapter I-A of Chapter 28 of Title 47.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title IV, § 402, 23 DCR 2464; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 2003(k)(2), 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-38, § 3(i)(2), 50 DCR 6913.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2342.

1973 Ed., § 6-1842.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-2504.04.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-38, in subsec. (c), substituted “Public Safety endorsement to a basic business license under the basic” for “Class A Public Safety endorsement to a master business license under the master”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(i)(2) of Streamlining Regulation Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-145, August 11, 2003, 50 DCR 6896).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority pursuant to D.C. Law 1-85, the Firearms Control Regulation Act of 1975


§ 7–2504.03. Issuance of dealer’s license; time period; corrections.

(a) Upon receipt of a properly executed application for a dealer’s license, or renewal thereof, the Chief, upon determining through further inquiry, investigation, or otherwise, that the applicant is entitled and qualified under the provisions of this unit thereto, shall issue a dealer’s license. Each dealer’s license shall be in duplicate and bear a unique dealer’s license number, and such other information as the Chief determines is necessary to identify the applicant and premises. The duplicate of the dealer’s license shall be delivered to the applicant and the Chief shall retain the original.

(b) The Chief shall approve or deny an application for a registration certificate within a 60-day period beginning on the date the Chief receives the application, unless good cause is shown, including nonreceipt of information from sources outside the District government. The Chief may hold in abeyance an application where there is any firearms revocation proceeding pending against such person.

(c) Upon receipt of a dealer’s license, each applicant shall examine the same to ensure that the information thereon is correct. If the dealer’s license is incorrect in any respect, the person named thereon shall return the same to the Chief with a signed statement showing the nature of the error. The Chief shall correct the error, if it occurred through administrative error. In the event the error resulted from information contained in the application, the applicant shall be required to file an amended application explaining the error in the original application. Each amended application shall be accompanied by a fee equal to that required for the original application.

(d) In the event the Chief learns of an error in a dealer’s license, other than as provided in subsection (c) of this section, he may require the holder to return the dealer’s license for correction. If the error resulted from information contained in the application, the person named therein shall be required to file an amended application as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(e) Each dealer’s license issued by the Chief shall be accompanied by a statement setting forth a dealer’s duties under this unit.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title IV, § 403, 23 DCR 2464.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2343.

1973 Ed., § 6-1843.


§ 7–2504.04. Duties of licensed dealers; records required.

(a) Each person holding a dealer’s license, in addition to any other requirements imposed by this unit, the acts of Congress, and other law, shall:

(1) Display the dealer’s license in a conspicuous place on the premises;

(2) Notify the Chief in writing:

(A) Of the loss, theft, or destruction of the dealer’s license (including the circumstances, if known) immediately upon the discovery of such loss, theft, or destruction or of the loss, theft, or destruction of any firearms or ammunition in the dealer’s inventory;

(B) Of a change in any of the information appearing on the dealer’s license or required by § 7-2504.02 immediately upon the occurrence of any such change;

(3) Keep at the premises identified in the dealer’s license a true and current record in book form of:

(A) The name, address, home phone, and date of birth of each employee handling firearms, ammunition, or destructive devices;

(B) Each firearm or destructive device received into inventory or for repair including the:

(i) Serial number, caliber, make, model, manufacturer’s number (if any), dealer’s identification number (if any), registration certificate number (if any) of the firearm, and similar descriptive information for destructive devices;

(ii) Name, address, and dealer’s license number (if any) of the person or organization from whom the firearm or destructive device was purchased or otherwise received;

(iii) Consideration given for the firearm or destructive device, if any;

(iv) Date and time received by the licensee and in the case of repair, returned to the person holding the registration certificate; and

(v) Nature of the repairs made;

(C) Each firearm or destructive device sold or transferred including the:

(i) Serial number, caliber, make, model, manufacturer’s number or dealer’s identification number, and registration certificate number (if any) of the firearm or similar information for destructive devices;

(ii) Name, address, registration certificate number or license number (if any) of the person or organization to whom transferred;

(iii) The consideration for transfer; and

(iv) Time and date of delivery of the firearm or destructive device to the transferee;

(D) Ammunition received into inventory including the:

(i) Brand and number of rounds of each caliber or gauge;

(ii) Name, address, and dealer’s license or registration number (if any) of the person or organization from whom received;

(iii) Consideration given for the ammunition; and

(iv) Date and time of the receipt of the ammunition;

(E) Ammunition sold or transferred including:

(i) Brand and number of rounds of each caliber or gauge;

(ii) Name, address and dealer’s license number (if any) of the person or organization to whom sold or transferred;

(iii) If the purchaser or transferee is not a licensee, the registration certificate number of the firearm for which the ammunition was sold or transferred;

(iv) The consideration for the sale and transfer; and

(v) The date and time of sale or transfer.

(b) The records required by subsection (a) of this section shall upon demand be exhibited during normal business hours to any member of the Metropolitan Police Department. In addition, the records required by subsection (a) of this section shall be submitted upon demand with the dealer’s application for license renewal.

(c) Each person holding a dealer’s license shall, when required by the Chief in writing, submit on a form and for the periods of time specified, any record information required to be maintained by subsection (a) of this section, and any other information reasonably obtainable therefrom.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title IV, § 404, 23 DCR 2464; Mar. 31, 2009, D.C. Law 17-372, § 3(j), 56 DCR 1365.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2344.

1973 Ed., § 6-1844.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-2504.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-372, in subsec. (a)(2)(A), substituted “destruction or of the loss, theft, or destruction of any firearms or ammunition in the dealer’s inventory;” for “destruction;”; and, in subsec. (b), added the second sentence.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 7–2504.05. Revocation of dealer’s license.

A dealer’s license shall be revoked if:

(1) Any of the criteria in § 7-2504.04 is not currently met;

(2) The information furnished to the Chief on the application for a dealer’s license proves to be intentionally false;

(3) There is a violation or omission of the duties, obligations, or requirements imposed by § 7-2504.04; or

(4) The license holder no longer meets any of the criteria required by this subchapter.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title IV, § 405, 23 DCR 2464; Mar. 31, 2009, D.C. Law 17-372, § 3(k), 56 DCR 1365; Sept. 29, 2012, D.C. Law 19-170, § 2(j), 59 DCR 5691.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2345.

1973 Ed., § 6-1845.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-372, in pars. (1) and (2), deleted “or” at the end; in par. (3), substituted “; or” for a period; and added par. (4).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-170 substituted “subchapter” for “unit” in (4).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(k) 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(j) 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(j) 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 (4), see § 2(j) of the Firearms Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-510, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12808).


§ 7–2504.06. Procedure for denial and revocation of dealer’s license.

(a) If it appears to the Chief that an application for a dealer’s license should be denied or that a dealer’s license should be revoked, the Chief shall notify the applicant or registrant of the proposed denial or revocation briefly stating the reason or reasons therefor. Service may be made as provided for in § 7-2502.10(a). The applicant or dealer shall have 15 days from the date of service in which to submit further evidence in support of the application or qualifications to continue to hold a dealer’s license, as the case may be; provided, that if the applicant or dealer does not make such a submission within 15 days from the date of service, the applicant or dealer shall be deemed to have conceded the validity of the reason or reasons stated in the notice, and the denial or revocation shall become final.

(b) Within 10 days of the date upon which the Chief receives such a submission, the Chief shall serve upon the applicant or registrant in the manner provided in § 7-2502.10(a) notice of his final decision. The Chief ’s decision shall become effective at the expiration of the time within which to file a notice of appeal pursuant to the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act (§ 2-501 et seq.) or, if such a notice of appeal is filed, at the time the final order or judgment of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals becomes effective.

(c) Within 45 days of a decision becoming effective, which is unfavorable to a licensee or to an applicant for a dealer’s license, the licensee or applicant shall:

(1) If he is eligible to register firearms pursuant to this unit, register such firearms in his inventory as are capable of registration pursuant to this unit;

(2) Peaceably surrender to the Chief any firearms in his inventory which he does not register, and all destructive devices in his inventory in the manner provided for in § 7-2507.05;

(3) Lawfully remove from the District any firearm in his inventory which he does not register and all destructive devices and ammunition in his inventory for so long as he has an interest in them; or

(4) Otherwise lawfully dispose of any firearms in his inventory which he does not register and all destructive devices and ammunition in his inventory.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title IV, § 406, 23 DCR 2464; Mar. 16, 1978, D.C. Law 2-62, § 2, 24 DCR 5780.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2346.

1973 Ed., § 6-1846.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1831.03.


§ 7–2504.07. Display of firearms or ammunition by dealers; security; employees of dealers.

(a) No licensed dealer shall display any firearm or ammunition in windows visible from a street or sidewalk. All firearms, destructive devices, and ammunition shall be kept at all times in a securely locked place affixed to the premises except when being shown to a customer, being repaired, or otherwise being worked on.

(b) No licensee shall knowingly employ any person in his establishment if such person would not be eligible to register a firearm under this unit.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title IV, § 407, 23 DCR 2464.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2347.

1973 Ed., § 6-1847.


§ 7–2504.08. Identification number on firearm required before sale.

(a) No licensee shall sell or offer for sale any firearm which does not have imbedded into the metal portion of such firearm a unique manufacturer’s identification number or serial number, unless the licensee shall have imbedded into the metal portion of such firearm a unique dealer’s identification number.

(b) Beginning on January 1, 2018, no licensee shall sell or offer for sale any semiautomatic pistol manufactured on or after January 1, 2018, that is not microstamp-ready as required by and in accordance with § 7-2505.03.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title IV, § 408, 23 DCR 2464; Mar. 31, 2009, D.C. Law 17-372, § 3(l), 56 DCR 1365; June 3, 2011, D.C. Law 18-377,§ 2(e), 58 DCR 1174; Sept. 29, 2012, D.C. Law 19-170, § 2(k), 59 DCR 5691; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 3022(a), 61 DCR 9990; June 30, 2016, D.C. Law 21-125, § 701(a), 63 DCR 4659.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2348.

1973 Ed., § 6-1848.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-372 designated subsec. (a); and added subsec. (b).

D.C. Law 18-377, in subsec. (b), 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” twice in (b).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 substituted “January 1, 2016” for “January 1, 2014” twice in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(l) 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(e) 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(e) 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(k) 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(k) 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), see § 2(k) 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(a) 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(a) 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(a) 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(a) 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(a) 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(a) 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(a) 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(a) of the Microstamping Implementation Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-93, Mar. 23, 2016, 63 DCR 993).


§ 7–2504.09. Certain information obtained from or retained by dealers not to be used as evidence in criminal proceedings.

No information obtained from or retained by a licensed dealer to comply with this unit shall be used as evidence against such licensed dealer in any criminal proceeding with respect to a violation of this unit occurring prior to or concurrently with the filing of such information; provided, that this section shall not apply to any violation of § 22-2402, or of § 7-2507.04.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, title IV, § 409, 23 DCR 2464; Mar. 16, 1978, D.C. Law 2-62, § 2, 24 DCR 5780; Aug. 2, 1983, D.C. Law 5-24, § 13, 30 DCR 3341.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2349.

1973 Ed., § 6-1849.

Emergency Legislation

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

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


§ 7–2504.10. District as federal firearms licensee.

(a) Whenever there is no active federal firearms licensee in the District of Columbia, the Mayor may seek from federal authorities a license for the District to act as a federal firearms licensee solely for the benefit of any District resident eligible and seeking to obtain a lawful handgun.

(b) The Mayor shall delegate the authority under subsection (a) of this section to a subordinate agency.

(c) The District shall act under the license obtained pursuant to subsection (a) of this section only until such time as there is an active federal firearms licensee in the District of Columbia.

(d) The District may charge a fee to recover the cost of acting as a federal firearms licensee pursuant to subsection (a) of this section by charging $125 or its actual costs, whichever is less, for each handgun.

(e) For the purposes of this section, the term “active federal firearms licensee” means a person or business that has applied for and received a federal firearms license pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 923 for the purpose of interstate transfer of handguns, and is operating commercially in the District of Columbia.


(Sept. 24, 1976, D.C. Law 1-85, § 410; as added Sept. 29, 2012, D.C. Law 19-170, § 2(l), 59 DCR 5691.)

Emergency Legislation

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

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