To protect residents from unsafe handguns that are more prone to accidental discharge, lack safety devices, and may be prone to firing when dropped, the Council of the District of Columbia identified the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale (also known as the California Roster of Handguns Determined Not to be Unsafe) as a source list for safer handguns. Handguns on the roster have passed firing, safety, and drop tests and are certified for sale in California by the California Department of Justice. The Chief of Police is authorized to periodically revise, by rule, the roster of handguns permissible for sale.
The regulations will establish a District Roster of Handguns Not Determined to be Unsafe that will include the California list and handguns that are on the safe gun rosters of Maryland and Massachusetts. These regulations will allow for handguns with superficial differences from handguns on the roster – such as color or grip material – to be registered. The regulations will also allow for handguns that are removed from the California list for administrative reasons to remain on the District list.
In addition to the firearms meeting these state standards, the firearm must not fall under the District of Columbia's definiton of an Assault Weapon, as defined in DC Code § 7-2501.01 3A.