I don't know how much has changed since the Supreme Court decision on gun rights for residents of the District, but even though you may have the right to have a gun in your home, transporting outside the home could still be a very big problem. I'd suggest calling the NRA to ask about it. If it were me, for many reasons, I would not become a resident of DC, and would be looking at suburban Virginia instead.
DC shooters normally have registered their birds in Maryland, but I don't think you are forced to do that. Read the rulebook. If your home club is in Virginia, I would register my birds in Virginia. What club do you think you will affiliate with?
if you are seriously considering northern VA, shoot me an email (pun intended ;-) ). I can give you a brief overlay of the land, I have lived here going on 5 years now but have earned my stripes pretty quickly, enduring daily work commutes from hell to and from southeast DC and living in a few towns in Fairfax and Loundon Counties to know the area pretty good.
another good resource is to visit city-data.com and check out the northern VA and MD forums for general living advice.
go to WTOP.com for the metro DC area local news radio station...looking through the past couple of months stories should give you an idea of where to live LOL
Live in Maryland, if you can. Then you can attend VA, W VA, PA, NJ, DE and MD state shoots very easily. Even NY is not too far away. There are a lot more clubs available to you, in my experience, for practice as well. Maryland and PA (just across the border) are crawling with trap clubs.
one thing I learned, in my first year in living in the DC metro region, it is truly a great benenfit to live as close to where you are working....after putting up with an hour and a half commutes, at 5am in the morning no less and 3 hour commutes when the weather turns nasty or because of an accident, I now cherish having a 5 minute commute to work, away from downtown DC. If that means living in an area with relatively few shooting clubs, so be it.
yes, live where you work, deal with your state shoot later. I live near Pittsburgh yet will be at 810 Vermont Avenue tomorrow AM. Not a daily commute but a weekly one. I personally like Northern VA. Warrenton is the place for me when I have to stay over for multiple days. Handgun laws in MD are close to NJ ridiculous. I have only shot at Bull Run in the area, it was fun enough but not like my local clubs in PA.
Cue: too bad you didn't visit this week....yesterday you would have seen what a commute from hell is like when it snows and sleet around the DC metro area....some of my co-workers, who usually have 25 minute commutes, had anywhere between 4 to 6 hour commutes...gotta love working only 5 minutes from home ;-)