Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–4514. Possession of certain dangerous weapons prohibited; exceptions.

(a) No person shall within the District of Columbia possess any machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, knuckles, or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, sand club, sandbag, switchblade knife, nor any instrument, attachment, or appliance for causing the firing of any firearm to be silent or intended to lessen or muffle the noise of the firing of any firearms; provided, however, that machine guns, or sawed-off shotgun, knuckles, and blackjacks may be possessed by the members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps of the United States, the National Guard, or Organized Reserves when on duty, the Post Office Department or its employees when on duty, marshals, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or their deputies, policemen, or other duly-appointed law enforcement officers, including any designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, or officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry such weapons, banking institutions, public carriers who are engaged in the business of transporting mail, money, securities, or other valuables, wholesale dealers and retail dealers licensed under § 22-4510.

(b) No person shall within the District of Columbia possess, with intent to use unlawfully against another, an imitation pistol, or a dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife with a blade longer than 3 inches, or other dangerous weapon.

(c) Whoever violates this section shall be punished as provided in § 22-4515 unless the violation occurs after such person has been convicted in the District of Columbia of a violation of this section, or of a felony, either in the District of Columbia or in another jurisdiction, in which case such person shall be imprisoned for not more than 10 years.

(d) In addition to any other penalty provided under this section, a person may be fined an amount not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01.


(July 8, 1932, 47 Stat. 654, ch. 465, § 14; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 94, ch. 159, § 204(h); May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 15(k), 41 DCR 1639; June 12, 1999, D.C. Law 12-284, § 6, 46 DCR 1328; May 15, 2009, D.C. Law 17-390, § 3(b), 55 DCR 11030; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 309(b), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-3214.

1973 Ed., § 22-3214.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 10-503.26, § 16-2301, § 22-951, § 22-4508, § 22-4510, and § 22-4513.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-390, in subsec. (a), substituted “sawed-off shotgun, knuckles,” for “sawed-off shotgun”, and deleted “or metal knuckles,” following “switchblade knife,”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 added (d).

Cross References

Dangerous weapon defined, public buildings and grounds, see § 10-503.26.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 6 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization and Street Solicitation for Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-428, August 6, 1998, 45 DCR 5884).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 6 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-506, November 10, 1998, 45 DCR 45 8139), and § 6 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-13, February 8, 1999, 46 DCR 2333).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 309(b) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Temporary Legislation

Section 6 of D.C. Law 12-282 inserted “including any designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department” in (a).

Section 13(b) of D.C. Law 12-282 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

References in Text

The Post Office Department, referred to in the proviso in subsection (a) of this section, was abolished and all its functions, powers, and duties were transferred to the United States Postal Service by § 4(a) of the Act of August 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 773, Pub.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.