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Changes to Firearms Registration

Sample registerable handgun (Glock 17)

The Metropolitan Police Department is the agency responsible for registering firearms in the District of Columbia. The Department’s publication, Firearms Registration General Requirements and Study Guide, provides you with the information you need to comply with the District’s laws regarding proper registration and safekeeping of your weapon. By being familiar with the law and the process, you will be able to quickly and easily register your weapon and ensure that you are in compliance.

Changes to Firearms Registration

MPD is pleased to announce several changes to streamline the firearms registration process for registrants, consistent with the Firearms Emergency Amendment Act of 2012.

  1. Per MPD’s recommendation, the Council repealed the provision requiring first time registrants to take a 4-hour firearm training course.  Instead, MPD is now offering an online Firearms Safety Training Course.  There is no cost for taking this course and it should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. It can be accessed from any computer here. If you do not have access to a computer, you may use one at the office of the Firearms Registration Section.

    Note: The Online Firearms Safety Training Course requires the use of the Flash Player plug-in, which is not supported by iPhones and iPads. You will not be able to take this course using these Apple products. You may view the training video at the Firearms Registration Section.

    In addition, as MPD has done for the past four years, we will also accept as proof of adequate training:
    • Evidence that you have received firearms training in the United States military.
    • A license from another state which requires firearms training equal to that provided by MPD. Examples include, but are not limited to, a license or certificate for hunting or armed service as a special police officer.
    • Evidence that you have otherwise completed a firearms training or safety course conducted by a firearms instructor that is equal to that provided by the MPD.
  2. Under the new legislation, anyone who is not legally blind may now register a firearm. Instead of submitting proof of meeting a vision standard, registrants will be asked to certify that they are not legally blind. Pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 7-1009(1), the term "blind person" means, and the term "blind" refers to, a person who is totally blind, has impaired vision of not more than 20/200 visual acuity in the better eye and for whom vision cannot be improved to better than 20/200, or who has loss of vision due wholly or in part to impairment of field vision or to other factors which affect the usefulness of vision to a like degree. Please note that if FRS determines there are reasonable grounds to believe that the certification is not accurate, FRS may require the applicant to obtain a certification from a licensed optometrist that the applicant meets the vision requirement.
  3. In 2013, the firearms registration certificate issued by MPD will be smaller and more durable, similar to a driver’s license. Due to litigation, registrants will no longer be required to renew their firearms registrations
Service Contact: 
Firearms Registration Section
Contact Phone: 
(202) 727-4275
Contact TTY: 
Office Hours: 
Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm