District of Columbia State Seal

District of Columbia Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my District of Columbia permit?
No
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
3k
Permits Issued
0
STATES HONORED
24
RECIPROCATING STATES
702k
STATE POPULATION
21
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
7
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
0.43%
PERMIT PERCENTAGE
2
YEARS PERMIT VALID
3
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

NEED ANSWERS NOW?

There’s a lot of information here, but our Customer Engagement Team is your best resource for help in a hurry.

Click to chat with someone on our team now.

Summary of District of Columbia Gun Laws

Washington, D.C. is a shall-issue district with concealed weapons permits issued by D.C. Metropolitan Police.

All firearms must be registered, and this process acts as a permit to purchase. Individuals cannot possess ammunition without a valid registration of a firearm.

Open carry is illegal in D.C. 

District of Columbia Concealed Carry Pistol Licenses (CCPLs) are required in order to concealed carry and are issued to residents and non-residents and require a firearms training course that has been approved by the Metro Police. You must be at least 21 years old to get a concealed carry permit in D.C. Any firearm you plan on carrying in Washington D.C. will also need to be registered in the District. In addition, possession of ammunition for an unregistered firearm is prohibited in the District of Columbia. Some areas are off-limits even with a D.C. CCPL, including schools, public memorials on the National Mall and along the Tidal Basin and the area around the White House. In terms of reciprocity, Washington D.C. does not honor CCW licenses from any other state. 

Under the case law of the District of Columbia, the District is neither a “stand your ground” nor a “duty to retreat” jurisdiction. The District case law has established a “middle ground.” You are entitled to claim self-defense: (1) if you actually believe you are in imminent danger of bodily harm; and (2) if you have reasonable grounds for that belief. You may use the amount of force which, at the time of the incident, you actually and reasonably believe is necessary to protect yourself (or a third person) from imminent bodily harm. This may extend to the use of deadly force if you actually and reasonably believe you are in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which you can save yourself only by using deadly force against your assailant. You should take reasonable steps, such as stepping back or walking away, to avoid the necessity of taking a human life, so long as those steps are consistent with your own safety. However, you do not have to retreat or consider retreating when you actually and reasonably believe that you are in danger of death or serious bodily harm and that deadly force is necessary to repel that danger. Generally, you may not use deadly force to protect your property.

USCCA Membership Card

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...
Join Today & Become
Completely Prepared
Join Today & Become
Completely Prepared
Learn More

District of Columbia Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does District of Columbia allow constitutional carry?

No. The District of Columbia does not allow constitutional carry.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in District of Columbia?

No. D.C. does not permit open carry.

[D.C. Code § 24-2344.1]

Gun Permit Licensure?

If District of Columbia requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

D.C. is a shall issue jurisdiction.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in District of Columbia to get a concealed carry permit?

You must be at least 21 years old to get a concealed carry permit in D.C.

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in District of Columbia with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No. A concealed weapons permit does not allow you to carry weapons other than handguns.

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in District of Columbia?

Yes. A person 18 years or older may possess a stun gun in the District of Columbia, although it may only be used to protect themselves or their property. No one other than a law enforcement officer is allowed to possess a stun gun in a building or office occupied by the District of Columbia government, a penal institution, secure juvenile residential facility, a halfway house, any building that is occupied by a children’s facility, preschool, elementary or secondary school, or any building or grounds in which the owner or occupant clearly posts forbidding the carrying of a stun gun.

[D.C. Code § 7-2502.15]

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in District of Columbia?

Yes, a person may use a self-defense spray only as reasonable force to defend themselves or their property. However, it must be propelled from an aerosol container and there are restrictions on the chemical mixtures, labeling and dating.

[D.C. Official Code §§ 7-2502.12 and 7-2502.13]

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does District of Columbia issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes. Permits are granted to non-residents, but any firearm carried in Washington D.C. must be registered in the District.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does District of Columbia allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No. The District of Columbia does not allow the public to access concealed carry registry information.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in District of Columbia?

Yes, with a D.C. CCPL only. Without a permit, the firearm must be unloaded inside a locked container, other than the glove compartment or console, and separate from ammunition.

[D.C. Code § 22-4504.02]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in District of Columbia?

Does not apply. The District of Columbia does not have roadside rest areas.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in District of Columbia?

No. You can not carry concealed firearms into national parks in Washington D.C.

[D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2509.07(a)(10-12)]

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in District of Columbia?

Yes, with a D.C. CCPL, unless posted, and provided you are not under the influence.

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does District of Columbia have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Title 7 Subtitle J Chpt. 25 § 7-2509.07. Prohibitions on carrying licensed pistols.
(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 following manner - unloaded, with neither the firearm nor any ammunition readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment ; or

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

Any person who is not otherwise prohibited by the law from transporting, shipping or receiving a firearm shall be permitted to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry the firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry the firearm if the firearm is transported in accordance with this section.

  • If the transportation of the firearm is by a vehicle, the firearm shall be unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported shall be readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the transporting vehicle.
  • If the transporting vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the driver's compartment, the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console, and the firearm shall be unloaded.
  • If the transportation of the firearm is in a manner other than in a vehicle, the firearm shall be:
    • Unloaded;
    • Inside a locked container; and
    • Separate from any ammunition.

[Title 22 Subtitle VI Chpt. 45 § 22-4504.02. Lawful transportation of firearms.]

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in District of Columbia?

Yes, you must notify an officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Washington D.C.
[D.C. Code § 7-2509.04(d)]

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does District of Columbia have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

>10 rounds.

The term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

[D.C. Code § 7–2506.01(b)]

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does District of Columbia have ammunition restrictions?

Yes. In order to possess ammunition, a person is at a firearm safety class or possesses a registration certificate for a firearm. Licensed dealers may transfer ammunition only to the registered owner of a firearm of the same caliber or gauge as the ammunition, or to a nonresident of the District who provides proof that the weapon is lawfully possessed and is of the same gauge or caliber as the ammunition to be purchased.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in District of Columbia? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

Yes.  

  •  Signs stating that the carrying of firearms is prohibited on any private property shall be clearly and conspicuously posted at any entrance open to the public of a building, premises or real property.
  • A sign shall be considered conspicuous if it is at least 8" by 10" in size and contains writing in contrasting ink using not less than 36 point type.

[D.C. Code § 24-2346]

Preemption?

Does District of Columbia have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Does not apply. Washington D.C. does not have preemption laws.

Red Flag Law?

Does District of Columbia have a red flag law?

Yes. Emergency Act A23-0041 expires on July 13, 2019.

[D.C. Act 23-41]

Brandishing?

Does District of Columbia state law define brandishing?

No. However, a person shall not unlawfully assault, or threaten another in a menacing manner with a dangerous weapon.

[D.C Code § 22-402]

Carry While Using Alcohol or Prescription Medication?

Does District of Columbia have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication?

No consumption is allowed.

[D.C. Code § 7-2509.06]

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchase Permits?

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in District of Columbia?

Yes. The firearms registration process also serves as a permitting process.

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Are background checks required for private gun sales in District of Columbia?

Yes. Private-party firearms transfers must be conducted through a licensed dealer, who is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale.

Waiting Period?

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in District of Columbia?

Yes. There is a 10-day waiting period.

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in District of Columbia?

Yes. All firearms must be registered with the Metropolitan Police Department. A background check and online training are required.

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in District of Columbia?

21 years old. At 21 years of age, a person may possess and transport a handgun in the District of Columbia.

[§ 7-2502.03]

Have Questions? Contact Our Award-Winning, Wisconsin-Based Member Services Team 24/7 at 800-674-9779​

District of Columbia Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does District of Columbia honor?

Washington D.C. does not honor CCW licenses from any state or subdivision of the United States.


Other States' Reciprocity With District of Columbia

Which states honor permits from District of Columbia?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with District of Columbia

Michigan (resident permits only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
South Dakota (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

Take USCCA Membership for a Test Drive

Get a feel for your USCCA Membership and see exactly what we’ll do for you the instant you activate your benefits. It’s 100% risk-free with your 365-day, money-back guarantee.

Discover Membership

In addition to the most trusted legal protection money can buy, discover what else your USCCA Membership has in store for you…

Discover Membership

District of Columbia Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be 21 or older;
  • Possess a registered pistol, or register one at time of CCPL application;
  • Have a bona fide residence or place of business:
    • Within the District of Columbia,
    • Within the United States and a license to carry a pistol concealed upon his or her person issued by the lawful authorities of any state or subdivision of the United States, or
    • Within the United States and meet all registration and licensing requirements;
  • Have completed a firearms training course or combination of courses;
  • Have demonstrated to the chief good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property or have any other proper reason for carrying a pistol;
  • Be a suitable person to be so licensed;
  • Not have been convicted of any weapons offense or felony in any jurisdiction;
  • Not be under indictment for a weapons or violence offense;
  • Not have been convicted of assault, bodily harm or drugs offense within the prior 5 years;
  • Not currently suffer nor have suffered from any mental illness or condition that creates a substantial risk that he or she is a danger to himself or herself or others in the previous 5 years;
  • Not have been acquitted of any charge by reason of insanity within the last 5 years;
  • Not have not been admitted to any mental hospital within the last 5 years;
  • Not have any physical defect that would make it unsafe to use a firearm;
  • Not have been found negligent in a firearm incident that resulted in death or injury;
  • Not have been found guilty of a misdemeanor family offense;
  • Not have renounced U.S. citizenship;
  • Not be legally blind;
  • Not have been convicted of 2 or more driving under the influence charges within the last 5 years;
  • Not have had a civil protection order placed on him or her within the last 5 years;
  • Not have had a conviction of stalking within the last 5 years;
  • Not have a history of violence within the last 5 years;
  • Have completed a firearms training course provided by the Metropolitan Police; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

$75 for initial and renewals

Valid For:

2 years

Processing Time:

90 days

Application:
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

Washington D.C. grants permits to non-residents, but any firearm you plan on carrying in Washington D.C. will need to be registered in the District. The process is the same as for residents.

Name/Address Changes:

Contact the D.C. Metropolitan Police for instructions.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

Upon discovery of such loss, notify the chief in writing of the loss, theft or destruction of the registration certificate or of a registered firearm. Return the registration certificate to the chief.


District of Columbia Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a District of Columbia Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete a firearm training course if required.

Step 2:

Download the application and instructions.

Step 3:

Bring all the items noted in the instructions to the Firearms Registration Section at:

Room 3058
300 Indiana Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

You will be fingerprinted and photographed.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail within 60 days whether your application has been approved or denied.


Firearms Training Requirements in District of Columbia

An applicant must also complete a firearms training course certified by the chief, which includes at least 16 hours of training and covers the following:

  • Firearm safety;
  • Firearm nomenclature;
  • Basic principles of marksmanship;
  • Care, cleaning, maintenance, loading, unloading and storage of pistols;
  • Situational awareness, conflict management and use of deadly force;
  • Selection of pistols and ammunition for defensive purposes; and
  • All applicable District and federal firearms laws and District law pertaining to self-defense.

At least 2 hours of range training must also be completed and conducted by an instructor certified by the chief, that includes live fire exercises.

A renewal applicant must complete 4 hours of firearm safety training and 2 hours of range practice within the previous 12 months.

Find a USCCA Class Near You

Find a Shooting Range in the District of Columbia 


District of Columbia Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a District of Columbia Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Concealed Carry Pistol Licenses (CCPLs) are required to be renewed every 2 years.

Step 2:

Download the application and instructions.

 

Step 3:

Bring all the items noted in the instructions to the Firearms Registration Section at:

Room 3058
300 Indiana Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

You will be photographed.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details, check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Retired and separated law enforcement officers (RLEOs) may obtain a concealed carry pistol license from the Metro Police Department. As of 5/21/2019 the D.C. circuit court ruled that retired D.C. corrections officers may carry concealed weapons under LEOSA.
Concealed Carry Pistol License application instructions
Concealed Carry Pistol License application

RLEOs who have a license to carry a pistol under HR-218 must renew their license on a yearly basis. MPD offers an online renewal service that allows you to complete the required form and submit it along with your payment for processing. The Firearms Registration Unit staff will review your submitted application and send a reply to your request through the online portal. Once your renewal application has been approved, a new license will be mailed to you. As an additional convenience, you may use the site to update your license details, including your address.


District of Columbia Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in District of Columbia?
  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, unless posted, and provided you are not under the influence.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No.
  • Carry in my place of business and my home? Yes, with a D.C. Pistol License.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests and WMAs? Does not apply.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in District of Columbia?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • A person issued a concealed carry license shall not carry more ammunition than is required to fully load the pistol twice, and in no event shall that amount be greater than 20 rounds of ammunition;
  • A person issued a concealed carry license may not carry any restricted pistol bullet as that term is defined in the Act;
  • The building and grounds, including any adjacent parking lot, of any child care facility, preschool, public or private elementary or secondary school, or a public or private college or university;
  • Any place while consuming alcohol or while impaired;
  • A building or office occupied by the District of Columbia, its agencies or instrumentalities;
  • A hospital or an office where medical or mental health services are the primary services provided;
  • A penal institution, secure juvenile residential facility or halfway house;
  • A polling place while voting is occurring;
  • A public transportation vehicle, including the Metrorail transit system and its stations;
  • Any premises, or portion thereof, where alcohol is served, or sold and consumed, on the premises (restaurants that sell alcohol are allowed);
  • A stadium or arena;
  • A public gathering or special event open to the public when the organizer has provided notice and posted signage prohibiting the carrying of pistols in advance of the gathering or special event;
  • 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;
  • The White House Complex and its grounds, up to and including 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.;
  • The U.S. Naval Observatory and its fence line, including the area from the perimeter of its fence up to and including 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;
  • Within 1,000 feet of a dignitary or high-ranking official of the United States or a state, local or foreign government that is moving under the protection of law enforcement;
  • A demonstration in a public place (within a perimeter of 1,000 feet designated by a law enforcement agency, and notice has been given by signs or an officer’s order);
  • Private residential property, unless otherwise authorized by the property owner or person in residential property;
  • A place of religious worship, 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;
  • Non-residential property that is posted with conspicuous signage prohibiting the carrying of a concealed pistol; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2509.07.


FAQ: District of Columbia Concealed Carry Questions

What Are the Knife Laws in District of Columbia?

It is illegal to possess switchblades. It is illegal to possess, with the intent to use unlawfully against another person, a dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, a knife with a blade longer than 3 inches or other dangerous weapon. You may not possess a deadly weapon in safe school or recreation zones.


Related Information & Links for District of Columbia Gun Laws


District of Columbia Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2019-10-31

Added brandishing info to At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Added Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray to the At A Glance table

2019-08-13

Added anchor links to various sections below the Summary

2019-07-24

Added minimum age to possess and transport a handgun to At A Glance table

2019-05-24

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

2019-04-29

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

2019-04-17

Links checked

2019-03-26

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

2019-02-15

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

2019-02-09

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

2019-02-06

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

2019-01-25

Added church carry info and statutory reference to location restrictions section

2019-01-25

Links checked

2019-01-24

Added info about alcohol or prescription medication to At A Glance table

2019-01-10

Mag limit info added to At A Glance table

2018-11-29

Added parking lot storage info to At A Glance table

2018-10-22

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for District of Columbia

Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email support@uscca.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. Members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

Should you have any questions regarding the legal process, membership or any of the great features and benefits a USCCA Membership provides, feel free to contact our award-winning Wisconsin-based Member Services team at any time.