Concealed Carry Permit Application in DC

Discover the essential steps, legal regulations, and how our experienced criminal defense attorneys can guide you through the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit in DC. Schedule a consultation today.

Can You Get a Concealed Carry Permit in DC?

If you’re considering purchasing a firearm in the District of Columbia, securing a concealed carry handgun permit in DC may initially seem complex. DC’s firearm regulations, although modified since 2014, still maintain strict standards, and adherence to proper legal procedures is critical. Carrying a firearm without a Concealed Carry Pistol License (CCPL) is a criminal offense that can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment and substantial fines. Ignorance of the application process, DC, or federal firearms laws is not considered a viable defense.  

Scrofano Law PC has a team of criminal defense attorneys ready to help you with firearms registration and training or provide a suitable defense if you are charged with violating the District law regarding concealed carry license. 

Legal Regulations and Compliance

Carrying a firearm without a license in DC beyond your home or place of business is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and hefty fines reaching up to $12,500. Additionally, possession of an unregistered firearm or unregistered ammunition constitutes a misdemeanor offense and can result in up to a year of imprisonment and fines. However, having an unregistered concealed firearm within a gun-free zone can double the penalties for the underlying offense.

For detailed information on DC weapons offenses, refer to FAQ DC Weapons Offenses.

Laws Governing Concealed Carry

Before 2014, DC residents were prohibited from acquiring handguns. However, a federal judge’s ruling in 2014 deemed DC’s concealed carry ban unconstitutional. The DC City Council established laws outlining requirements for individuals seeking a concealed carry permit in response. Though these rules initially included a “good reason” requirement, it was later revoked. Today, anyone who meets the eligibility requirements for a concealed carry license can obtain the license. 

Transporting Firearms

While licensed firearm dealers can transport firearms within DC under specific conditions, individuals, even those with a firearm permit, are prohibited from carrying firearms outside their homes or businesses. There are limited situations where transporting a firearm in DC is permissible, subject to particular circumstances.

Eligibility Criteria 

Specific criteria must be met to obtain a concealed carry permit in DC, as defined by DC Code § 22-4503. You must not be under indictment for weapons offenses or violent crimes, nor can you be addicted to controlled substances. Furthermore, physical impairments compromising safe firearm use, such as legal blindness, disqualify applicants. Additionally, individuals with a history of violent behavior or those subject to a protection order are ineligible. Anyone who has been committed to a mental hospital, voluntarily or otherwise, within the previous five years is also disqualified. 

Age and Residency Requirements

Applicants must be at least 21 to apply for a concealed carry license. Individuals aged 18 to 21 can register a long gun, provided their parent or guardian assumes liability for any damages resulting from firearm use. To be eligible, applicants must possess a residence or place of business within the District of Columbia. If not, they must hold a permit from their state of residence.

However, it’s crucial to note that DC does not recognize concealed carry permits from other jurisdictions. Therefore, non-residents must register any firearm they intend to carry in DC.

Criminal Record Considerations

You won’t be able to obtain a concealed carry permit if you have been convicted of the specific offenses, including:

  • Certain weapons offenses 

  • Felony in DC or any other jurisdiction, including crimes punishable by more than a year in prison

  • Assault, dangerous drugs offense, or threats to inflict bodily harm within the past five years

  • Two or more DUIs involving alcohol or drugs within the previous five years

  • Intrafamily misdemeanor offenses within the previous five years

You can’t have been found negligent in any firearm incident causing injury or death to another individual. Also, if you have been found not guilty of any criminal charges because of insanity, you are ineligible for a Concealed Carry Pistol License in DC. 

Application Process

The Concealed Carry Pistol License application can be found on the Metropolitan Police Department website. To obtain a concealed handgun permit in DC, you have to complete the following steps:

  • Complete a firearms training course.

  • Complete the application.

  • Present the application in person to the Firearms Registration Branch at 441 4th Street, NW, Room 550 South, Washington, DC 20001.

  • Pay the required application fees and submit to fingerprinting for a background check.

All Concealed Carry Pistol License applications are subject to review by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

Completing the Application

To complete the application for a CCPL, you’ll need to provide certain documents. If you have previously had a mental illness, you must submit a notarized document from a registered psychiatrist or psychologist confirming your fitness to handle a firearm safely.

You must also provide proof of residency in the District of Columbia, which can be supported with documents such as a motor vehicle license or registration, voter registration, or utility bills with your current residence address. If you are not a DC resident, you must also provide your concealed carry license issued by another state and relevant residency documents. 

Required Training

You are required to complete a minimum of 16 hours of firearm safety training under the guidance of an MPD-certified firearms training instructor. The course curriculum covers several topics, including:

  • Firearm safety

  • Care, cleaning, maintenance, loading, unloading, and storage of firearms

  • Marksmanship

  • Situational awareness

  • Conflict management

  • Use of deadly force

In addition, you have to complete at least two hours of range training. While this may seem demanding, this training is essential for a successful firearm permit application.

Submission and Fees

For the initial permit application, the MPD charges $75. You’ll also be required to pay $35 to have your fingerprints taken. If you are eligible, the MPD will register one carry handgun. Additional carry handguns incur extra charges.

Concealed carry permit renewal also costs $75, and a Concealed Carry Pistol License must be renewed every two years.

Renewal Process for Concealed Carry Permits

Once you’ve secured your concealed carry permit, staying compliant with renewal requirements is crucial. Typically, permits are valid for a set period, often five years, but this can vary by state. Renewals should be initiated well before expiration to avoid lapses in legal carrying status. Most jurisdictions recommend starting the renewal process at least 90 days prior to the permit’s expiration.

The renewal process generally involves submitting an application, undergoing a background check, and paying a renewal fee. Fees can range from $25 to $100, depending on your state. For example, in Virginia, the renewal fee is $50, while in Florida, it is $45. Ensure you verify the exact cost with your local authorities to avoid any surprises.

Many states also require permit holders to complete a refresher course or continued education as part of the renewal process. These courses, typically lasting a few hours, are designed to update you on changes in relevant laws and reinforce safe handling practices. It’s important to keep abreast of these requirements, as failing to complete them can result in delays or denials of your renewal application.

How Scrofano Law PC Can Assist with Your Concealed Carry Permit

District law pertaining to firearm possession often causes trouble for citizens whose only actual crime was that they did not know them. Moreover, navigating the concealed carry license application process in Washington, DC can be complicated. 

Scrofano Law PC lawyers can help you fill out the concealed carry permit application and obtain other necessary documents. We will be honest and keep you informed. We emphasize clear communication throughout the procedure to minimize any stress associated with criminal charges.

Getting arrested and charged with a criminal offense can be stressful. Scrofano Law PC Guns Practice Area is just one of several misdemeanor, felony, and other criminal defense matters our attorneys regularly handle.

If you need more information about the concealed carry permit application process in DC, contact our office so we can discuss your case. 


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