Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/29/2004)

District of Columbia Personal Protection Act - (Sec. 3) Amends the District of Columbia Code to provide that the D.C. Council's regulatory authority regarding firearms, explosives, and weapons in the District shall not be construed to permit the Council, the Mayor, or any governmental or regulatory authority of the District to prohibit, constructively prohibit, or unduly burden the ability of persons otherwise permitted to possess firearms under Federal law from acquiring, possessing in their homes or businesses, or using for sporting, self-protection or other lawful purposes, any firearm neither prohibited by Federal law nor regulated by the National Firearms Act. Denies the District any authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.

(Sec. 4) Amends the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 to repeal the portion of the definition of a machine gun that specifies any firearm which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily converted or restored to shoot semiautomatically, more than 12 shots without manual reloading. (Thus repeals the ban on semiautomatic weapons. Retains the ban on automatic weapons.)

(Sec. 5) Repeals the District's: (1) registration requirement for possession of firearms; (2) prohibition on registration of pistols (handguns); (3) prohibition on possession of handgun ammunition; (4) requirement that, under certain conditions, firearms in the possession of certain individuals must be kept unloaded, disassembled, or with the trigger locked; and (5) related firearm registration requirements, such as those for applicant qualifications and filing deadline.

Maintains the current ban on the possession and control of a sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, or short-barreled rifle.

(Sec. 9) Eliminates criminal penalties for possessing an unregistered firearm.

(Sec. 10) Amends the District of Columbia Code to eliminate criminal penalties of a fine of up to $5,000 or five years imprisonment, or both, for carrying a firearm (currently, carrying a pistol) whether loaded or unloaded outside one's dwelling house, place of business, or on other land possessed by such person. (Retains the criminal penalties for the basic offense of carrying a concealed weapon of a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both, for a first offense, as well as a fine of up to $10,000 or ten years imprisonment, or both, for a repeat offense.)

Replaces pistol with firearm regarding the exceptions to criminal penalties for a person carrying such weapon either openly or concealed within the District without a license issued pursuant to D.C. law.

Modifies the exception to the prohibition against carrying concealed weapons to include: (1) persons carrying or transporting a firearm used in connection with an organized military activity, a target shoot, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, hunting, a firearms or hunter safety class, trapping, or a dog obedience training class or show; (2) the moving by a bona fide gun collector of part or all of the collector's gun collection from place to place for public or private exhibition while the person is engaged in, on the way to, or returning from that activity if each firearm is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster; or (3) persons carrying or transporting a firearm in compliance with the Federal criminal code.