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Changes to Firearms Registration Regulations

Monday, December 30, 2013

On Friday, December 27, 2013, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) published a Notice of Final Rulemaking in the D.C. Register to amend the D.C. Municipal Regulations requirements for the registration of firearms.

The rulemaking establishes a renewal process for firearms that, under the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 (the “Act”), effective March 31, 2009 (D.C. Law 17-372; D.C. Official Code § 7-2507.11) (2013 Supp.), were required to be registered with MPD before January 1, 2011. MPD records indicate approximately 30,000 firearm registrations would be subject to the renewal requirement. Individuals with firearms registered prior to 2011 would renew their firearm registrations over the course of two years, with the renewal dates based on the registrant’s date of birth. Under the Act, any firearm registration that fails to renew shall be cancelled.

The rulemaking establishes a simple, streamlined process for renewal in new Section 2326: A registrant would be required to appear in person at MPD headquarters; submit fingerprints; and confirm possession of the previously-registered firearm, home address, and continued compliance with the Act’s registration requirements.

The rulemaking establishes a three-month window for registrants to renew, with an additional 30-day grace period. Registrants that renew more than 30 days, but fewer than 90 days, after the three-month window would pay twice the amount of the $13 registration fee. Registrants that fail to renew 90 or more days after the end of the three-month renewal window would have their firearm registration cancelled, be treated as a new registrant, and their firearm would be subject to Section 202 of the Act.

The rulemaking also clarifies the requirements in Section 2319 for executors or administrators of estates that contain a firearm and updates the process and requirements in Section 2320 for registration of a pistol.

In addition, the rulemaking corrects legal citations to the current edition of the D.C. Official Code and updates the fees in Section 2331 related to registration.

The Notice of Final Rulemaking is available below.