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Process of Legal Firearm Possession in DC

The DC government has a very strict licensing regimen that allows a person with a firearm registered in the District to obtain a license to carry that firearm outside of their home or place of business.

If someone already owns a firearm and wants to register it in DC, they need to file an application immediately after moving to the District. It cannot be some time shortly after or several years later.

As soon as the gun is brought to the District, the proper applications must be filed. An experienced gun lawyer could help you with the process of legal firearm possession in DC if you are interested in learning more.

How Has Legal Firearm Possession Law Changed?

This new licensing regimen is a result of recent court rulings that require the DC government to establish a permitting process to allow people to carry guns outside of their home or business. The question currently being litigated is whether DC law is overly strict or too vague in their requirements for granting these permits to carry firearms.

Often, people who believe that it should be easier to open carry or conceal carry their guns in DC argue that the permitting process is far too strict and very few people are able to obtain conceal carry or open carry permits under this licensing prejudice. The DC government is challenging that opinion, but it is still a question that is up in the air.

Understanding the Registration Process

Some claim the process of legal firearm possession in DC is fairly simple. Someone who wants to register a gun must go to the Metropolitan Police Department, provide the proper documentation for their gun, and pass a background check to have their gun registered. That registration only permits a person to keep a gun in their home or their place of business; the registration does not permit them to carry a gun outside of their home or place of business.

When Can Someone with a Valid Registration Lawfully Carry a Firearm?

If a person obtains a registration for their firearm, that only permits them to possess their firearm in their home or place of business. If they take that firearm outside of their home or place of business, they can be charged with a crime. If the firearm they have is a pistol, carrying that outside of their home or place of business could subject them to a felony charge.

Carrying a pistol outside of one’s home or place of business is a very serious offense. That applies even when the pistol is registered because the registration only allows them to keep the firearm in their home or their place of business.

Obtaining a License Through the Government

To leave their home or place of business with their firearm, a person must apply for a license through the DC government. Licenses through the DC government are currently difficult to obtain.

The showing for why a person wants to be able to carry their firearms is a very high showing, but that is currently being challenged in the courts by people who are advocating for looser licensing laws.

Steps to Legally Obtaining the Right to Carry a Gun

To begin the process of legal firearm possession in DC, the first thing a person should do is obtain the proper documentation and proper forms from the Metropolitan Police Department in the District before they buy the firearm. They must first get the proper documentation from the Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters.

They can also ask for that documentation to be mailed to them. They must bring that documentation with them when they buy the firearm. The firearm dealer is required to fill out certain information on that form when the purchase is made.

Even though a person has the registration, that does not mean they can carry the firearm outside of their home. They must have the proper registration documents at their home but they do not need to carry it on them all the time. If the gun registration is kept in their home or at the place of business where the firearm is kept, that is considered to be okay.

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