Washington D.c. Gun Laws

Washington D.C. Gun Laws

In the realm of firearm laws and concealed carry permits, the District of Columbia (D.C.) presents a distinct landscape. This article delves into the concealed carry reciprocity regulations in D.C., shedding light on the rules, regulations, and rights associated with carrying a concealed weapon within its boundaries.

Washington DC gun laws Reddit

The gun laws in Washington DC are very strict, as noted in many Reddit discussions. DC bans the ownership of handguns by private citizens and is essentially a “no-issue” jurisdiction regarding concealed carry permits. There are exceptions for law enforcement and some qualified security personnel. The transport of firearms is also heavily regulated. Violating DC’s firearms regulations can potentially lead to criminal charges.

Understanding the Numbers

  1. 721K: STATE POPULATION: The District of Columbia is home to approximately 721,000 residents, making it a densely populated urban jurisdiction.
  2. NO: CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY: Unlike some states, D.C. does not have constitutional carry laws in place, meaning a permit is required to carry a concealed firearm.
  3. 8K: LICENSES ISSUED: D.C. has issued around 8,000 concealed carry permits, allowing qualified individuals to carry concealed firearms legally.
  4. 26: RECIPROCATING: The District of Columbia has reciprocity agreements with 26 states, allowing licensed individuals from these states to carry concealed weapons in D.C.
  5. 0: STATES HONORED: While D.C. honors permits from other states, there are no states that reciprocate D.C.’s concealed carry permits.
  6. 21: MINIMUM AGE TO CC: The minimum age to apply for a concealed carry permit in D.C. is 21 years old.
  7. 2: YEARS LICENSE VALID: A concealed carry permit in D.C. is typically valid for two years.
  8. NO: STAND YOUR GROUND: D.C. does not have stand-your-ground laws in place, meaning individuals must retreat before using deadly force in self-defense.
  9. 1.1%: LICENSE PERCENTAGE: Approximately 1.1% of the D.C. population holds a concealed carry permit.
See also  Washington Hunting

Overview of District of Columbia Gun Laws

The District of Columbia operates as a “shall-issue” jurisdiction for concealed carry permits, with the D.C. Metropolitan Police responsible for processing permit applications. Aspiring permit holders must meet specific criteria, including being at least 21 years old.

D.C. Gun Laws Quick Facts

  • Constitutional Carry? No – D.C. is not considered a constitutional carry state.
  • Open Carry Permitted? No – Washington D.C. does not allow open carry.
  • Carry In Vehicle? Yes – Concealed carry within vehicles is allowed with a valid CCPL. Without a permit, firearms must be securely stored.
  • Carry In State Park? No – Firearms are not allowed in D.C. parks.
  • Carry In Restaurants? Yes/No – Concealed carry is not allowed where alcohol is served.
  • No Weapon Sign Enforced? Yes – No weapons signs are legally enforceable on properties with proper signage.
  • Must Notify Officer? Yes – Interaction with law enforcement requires informing them about carrying a firearm.

D.C. CCW Reciprocity List

States Honoring CCW Permits:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Restricted Reciprocity:

  • Some states have restricted reciprocity agreements with D.C.

States NOT Honoring CCW Permits:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

How Reciprocity Works in D.C.

Non-residents in D.C. can use firearms in the state if registered, and those who work or own property in D.C. can also apply for permits. However, D.C. does not recognize permits issued by other states.

See also  Washington Gun Permit

Where Is CCW Allowed in D.C.?

Places Allowed:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Personal vehicles
  • Roadside areas
  • State forests and parks

Places Not Allowed:

  • Schools
  • Public Properties
  • Government buildings
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Detention facilities
  • Polling units
  • Places of worship
  • Health care centers
  • Private properties
  • Hotels and guest houses
  • State capitol premises

Concealed Carry Laws in D.C.

  • Open Carry: Not allowed.
  • Carry-In Vehicle: Concealed carry within vehicles is permitted with a valid CCPL.
  • Carry-In State Parks: Not allowed.
  • Carry-In Restaurants: Concealed carry is not allowed where alcohol is served.
  • Constitutional Carry: Not allowed.
  • No Weapon Signs Enforced: No weapons signs are enforceable by law if properly presented.
  • Must Notify Officer: Interacting with law enforcement requires informing them about carrying a firearm.


In conclusion, the District of Columbia’s concealed carry reciprocity regulations provide insight into the intricate web of firearm laws in the nation’s capital. While some freedoms are granted to licensed individuals, certain restrictions ensure public safety and maintain order. It’s crucial to stay informed and follow the guidelines for responsible concealed carry in D.C.


Q1. Can I open carry in D.C.?

No, open carry is not permitted in D.C.

Q2. What self-defense weapons are legal in DC?

Pepper spray, mace, and Tasers are considered legal for self-defense within home or work spaces in Washington DC. Expandable batons are permissible if kept on private grounds. Other defensive items like knives have additional restrictions concerning blade length and circumstances for public carrying.

Q3. Are there any states that recognize D.C. concealed carry permits?

No, D.C. permits are not recognized by other states.

See also  Washington Open Carry

Q4. Does Washington DC have strict gun control laws?

Yes, Washington DC has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States. Private ownership of handguns, assault weapons, and high-capacity magazines is generally prohibited.

Q5. Is there a duty to inform law enforcement about carrying a firearm?

Yes, you must notify law enforcement when interacting with them in D.C.

Q6. Can non-residents carry firearms in D.C.?

Non-residents can carry firearms if registered in D.C. and under certain circumstances.

Similar Posts