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Firearm Registration: Procedures in Brief

Newly Purchased Firearm

To register a newly purchased firearm, the applicant must provide a completed MPD “Application for Firearms Registration Certificate” (or PD-219), a form in triplicate that becomes your firearms registration certificate. Part of the PD-219 must be completed by the SELLER. The seller is identified in each of the possible scenarios below.

Rifle or Shotgun

  • Under federal law, you MAY purchase a rifle or shotgun in a state in which you do not live and bring it into your state of residence without going through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). In this instance, the SELLER is whoever initially sells the firearm to you. You should request a PD-219 from MPD before you shop for a firearm. You may pick it up at MPD’s Firearms Registration Section (FRS), or request that it be mailed to you.
  • You will complete the rest of the application and bring it to the FRS along with all other necessary materials to complete the registration process.
  • Once the application is approved (generally within five days), the FRS will notify you. You can pick up your registration certificate or request that it be mailed to you. Your registration process is then complete.
  • After you get the registration certificate, bring it to the dealer to pick up your rifle or shotgun.

Handgun

  • Under federal law, a handgun purchased in a state in which you do not live MUST be transferred through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) in your state of residence. The FFL will charge a fee for this service. A list of FFLs in the District is available from the FRS. (At the time of this publication, no FFLs in the District are providing retail sales to the public.)
  • Once you purchase a firearm in another jurisdiction, the original dealer will arrange to ship the firearm to an FFL operating in DC. The DC FFL becomes the SELLER, and will provide and complete Section A of MPD’s “Application for Firearms Registration Certificate” (PD-219).
  • You will complete the rest of the application and bring it to the FRS along with all other necessary materials to complete the registration process.
  • Once the application is approved (generally within five days), the FRS will notify you. You can pick up your registration certificate or request that it be mailed to you. Your registration process is then complete.
  • After you get the registration certificate, bring it to the dealer to pick up your handgun. (1)

1) Under DC law, a firearms dealer cannot release a firearm to a purchaser until 10 days after the initial date of purchase. (D.C. Official Code §22-4508)  Therefore, although MPD will process an application for registration in fewer than 10 days, the buyer cannot pick up the gun from the dealer until 10 days after initial purchase.

Previously Owned Firearm

To register a firearm you already own, you must file an application immediately after the firearm is brought into the District. You can comply with this requirement by personally communicating your intent to register the firearm to the FRS before bringing the gun into the District. You must then file an application for a registration certificate within 48 hours after communicating your intent to do so.

  • Bring your UNLOADED gun to the FRS (do not bring any ammunition) along with all materials necessary to complete the registration process.
  • After you complete the process, you will leave with your gun.
  • Once the application is approved (generally within five days), the FRS will notify you. You can pick up your registration certificate or request that it be mailed to you. Your registration process is then complete.