The District of Columbia has created a gun offender registry, requiring a gun offender to register with the Chief of Police (“Chief”) for a period of two years.1 A “gun offender” is any person: 1) convicted of a gun offense2 within the District; 2) convicted of a gun offense and resides in the District; or 3) who has as a mandatory condition of release a registration requirement in the District.3

The gun offender must register:

  • Within 48 hours of:
    • Release, if the gun offender receives a sentence of imprisonment;
    • The time sentence is imposed, if the sentence does not include imprisonment;
    • Receipt of notice of the obligation to register, if at a time other than sentencing; or
    • Changing the place where he or she resides, works, or attends school in the District or elsewhere;4 and
  • By personally appearing at an office designated by the Chief to sign a statement under oath, verified by documentation, that provides:
    • The gun offender’s name, date of birth, gender, race, height, weight, and eye color;
    • The address where the gun offender resides or expects to reside in the District;
    • Any other legal names of the gun offender;
    • Aliases of the gun offender;
    • The jurisdiction and a description of the offense for which the gun offender was convicted and the date of conviction;
    • Fingerprints of the gun offender;
    • The identification number of the gun offender’s driver’s license or non-driver photo identification card;
    • The name and address of any school the gun offender attends or expects to attend; and
    • The name and address of the gun offender’s expected place of work including the name and phone number of a supervisor.5

During the period in which a gun offender is required to register, he or she also must:

  • No later than 20 calendar days following the one-year anniversary of the gun offender’s initial registration date, personally appear at a place designated by the Chief to verify the required registration information; and
  • If a gun offender required to register under District law is confined to any federal, state, or local correctional facility, residential treatment center, hospital, or institution throughout the 20-day period following the one-year anniversary of the gun offender’s initial registration date, the gun offender shall personally appear to verify required registration information within 48 hours of his or her release.6

If a gun offender neither resides, works, nor attends school in the District, he or she will not be required to comply with the aforementioned reporting and verification provisions.7

A gun offender is required to comply with the registration and verification provisions for a period beginning when he or she is sentenced for a gun offense and continuing until two years after the expiration of any time being served on probation, parole, supervised release, or conditional release, or two years after the gun offender is unconditionally released from a correctional facility, prison, hospital, or other place of confinement, whichever is latest.8 The registration period pauses any time the gun offender fails to register or otherwise fails to comply with registration requirements.9

When a defendant is convicted of a gun offense, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (“Court”) is required to enter an order certifying that the defendant is a gun offender. As part of that order, the Court will:

  • Advise the gun offender of his or her registration duties under District law;
  • Order the gun offender to report to the Chief to register; and
  • Order the gun offender to comply with the registration requirements under District law.

When a Court orders the release of a gun offender into the community following a period of detention, incarceration, confinement, civil commitment or hospitalization, the Court must provide the gun offender with a copy of the order and require him or her to read and sign it.

For persons who have not been required to comply with the District’s registration requirements but nevertheless qualify, the Court may enter an order certifying that a person convicted of a gun offense within the period for which registration is required is a gun offender and issue an order requiring that person to register and comply with District registration laws. Moreover, any person convicted of a gun offense in a jurisdiction other than the District who is ordered by competent authority in that jurisdiction to register as a gun offender in the District must comply with District registration requirements.

Gun offender registration information may only be made available to other local, state, or federal government agencies. This information will not be made available as a public record.

Notes
  1. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2508.02(a).  A longer period of registration may be required by D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2508.03 (registration period compliance) or § 7-2508.07(b) (mandatory release condition). ⤴︎
  2. “Gun offense” means: 1) a conviction for the sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, acquisition, possession, use, manufacture, carrying, transportation, registration, or licensing of a firearm under District law (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4501 et seq.), or an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the aforementioned offenses; 2) a conviction for violating D.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-2502.01 (the District’s registration requirements), 7-2504.01 (prohibitions on the manufacture of firearms, destructive devices and ammunition and license requirements for gun dealers), 7-2505.01 (prohibitions on certain sales/transfers of firearms, destructive devices and ammunition), or 7-2506.01 (prohibitions on ammunition possession); 3) a conviction for a firearms-related violation of the provisions § 22-402 (assault with a dangerous weapon), § 22-2603.02 (unlawful possession of contraband), or § 22-2803(b) (carjacking);or 4) violations in other jurisdictions of any offense with an element that involves the violations previously listed.  D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2508.01(3). ⤴︎
  3. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2508.01(2). ⤴︎
  4. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2508.02(a)(1). ⤴︎
  5. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2508.02(a)(2). ⤴︎
  6. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2508.02(b)(1), (2). ⤴︎
  7. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2508.02(b)(3). ⤴︎
  8. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2508.03. ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎