Generally, no person under age 21 may obtain a registration certificate, which prevents such individuals from lawfully possessing a firearm (see the District of Columbia Background Checks section and the section entitled District of Columbia Prohibited Purchasers Generally for further information).1 The Chief of Police may, however, issue a registration certificate to an applicant between the ages of 18 and 21 years old, who is otherwise qualified, if the application is accompanied by a notarized statement of the applicant’s parent or guardian verifying that:

  • The applicant has the permission of his or her parent or guardian to own and use the firearm to be registered; and
  • The parent or guardian assumes civil liability for all damages resulting from the actions of the applicant in the use of the firearm to be registered.2

District regulations prohibit the possession of any firearm by a person under age 18.3

The District generally prohibits the sale of any handgun to a purchaser under age 21.4 Moreover, any person who knowingly or intentionally transfers a firearm or ammunition to a person under age 18 is criminally liable for a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.5

See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2502.03(a)(1). ⤴︎
  2. Id. Such registration certificate expires on the person’s 21st birthday. ⤴︎
  3. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2301.1. ⤴︎
  4. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4507. ⤴︎
  5. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2507.06(1). See also D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2302.1, 2302.3 (generally prohibiting the transfer of any firearm or ammunition to a person under age 18). ⤴︎