Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm

In order to secure a conviction for Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm in Washington, D.C., the government must prove that: (1) the defendant discharged a firearm without a permit issued by the D.C. Chief of Police, (2) the defendant did so voluntarily and on purpose, not by mistake or accident, and (3) the defendant was not acting in self-defense.

“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 term does not include antique firearms, destructive or signaling devices, industrial equipment that fires exploding rivets, or stud cartridges.

This offense is punishable by a maximum term of one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1000.  D.C. Criminal Code § 22-4503.01.