Possession of a Prohibited Weapon

It is illegal in Washington, D.C. to possess a machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, blackjack, slingshot, sand club, sandbag, switch-blade knife, metal knuckles, or any instrument, attachment or applicance that can be used to silence or muffle the noise of a firearm.  It is also illegal to possess an imitation pistol, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto or knife with a blade longer than three inches with the intent to use it unlawfully.

“Machine gun” is defined as any firearm that shoots more than one shot without manual reloading by a single pull of the trigger.  The term “sawed-off shotgun” means any shotgun with a barrel less than 18 or 20 inches in length.  “Shotgun” means a smooth grooved bore firearm using a fixed shotgun shell with either a number of ball shot or a single projectile, and designed or redesigned to be fired from the shoulder.  “Firearm” is defined as a weapon, regardless of operability, that is designed as or readily converted into a device that can expel a bullet or other projectile by an action of an explosive.

The offense of possessing a prohibited weapon is punishable as a misdemeanor by up to one year in prison and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.  However, defendants who have been previously been convicted of this offense or of a felony, either in D.C. or in another jurisdiction, are subject to punishment of up to 10 years in prison.  D.C. Criminal Code § 22-4514.  D.C. Criminal Code § 22-4515.