The District of Columbia deems machine guns unregisterable, thereby prohibiting possession of these firearms.1 Unregisterable firearms cannot be sold or transferred in the District.2 The District defines a machine gun as:
District law also provides that any manufacturer, importer or dealer of a machine gun will be held strictly liable for any direct and consequential damages resulting from injuries or death caused by these weapons:
Any defense available in a strict liability action is available as a defense to an action brought under the District’s machine gun strict liability laws.5
Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.6 In December 2018, ATF finalized a rule to include bump stocks within the definition of a machine gun subject to this federal law, meaning that bump stocks will be generally banned as of March 26, 2019,7 however, the District additionally banned bump stocks by ordinance in 2019.8
See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2502.02(a)(2). See also D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4514(a) (prohibiting possession of a machine gun in the District).
- D.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-2505.01, 7-2505.02(a).
- D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2501.01(10).
- D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2551.02.
- D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2551.03(d).
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d).
- Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (to be codified at 27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, 479).
- D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4514(a).