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Heller v. DC being heard today

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Well . . . here we go.

 

Arguments have concluded:

 

From a Blog of an observer:

 

Based just on the questioning, which can prove inaccurate, the Court is divided along ideological lines in Heller, with Justice Kennedy taking a strong view that the "operative clause" of the Second Amendment protects an individual right unconnected with militia service that guarantees the right to hunt and engage in self-defense. If the oral argument line up were to hold when the Court votes, the Court will recognize an individual right to bear arms that will not be seriously constrained by military service of any kind. There was a seemingly broad consensus that the right would not extend to machine guns, plastic guns that could evade metal detectors, and the like. There was relatively little disccusion of the trigger lock provision. Justice Breyer seemingly sought to pick up a fifth vote for a narrower reading of the Second Amendment by attempting to tie the question of the reasonableness of the regulation to whether the challenged statute left individuals with the ability to possess weapons that could be used in milita service. But at argument, at least, none of the Court's more conservative members expressed much interest in that approach, and Justice Kennedy's view that the operative clause is not directed at militia service would seem not to point in that direction.

 

 

Justice Kennedy was very active in today's argument. He asked the second question, advancing a theme to which he repeatedly returned: that the first clause of the Second Amendment merely was a "reaffirmation" of the Constitution's militia clauses, and suggested that the first clause did not limit the distinct right to keep and bear arms (which he referred to as the "operative clause"), which was unconnected -- he used the phrase "quite independent" -- from militia service. Kennedy expressed the view that the Second Amendment was a "supplement to" the militia clauses. Kennedy also returned several times to the 1689 English Bill of Rights as the model for the Second Amendment. Kennedy also indicated that he does not put a lot of stake in the Court's opinion in Miller, saying that it ends abruptly and does not fully elaborate the interests encompassed by the Amendment.

 

I can't wait to see the Brady Bunch's take on this.

 

This ruling, if strong enough to overturn some of the firearms regulation and stop the dems form destroying this right, might allow me to vote for a couple of democrats.

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Analysis: Defining a right of self-defense

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 12:04 pm | Lyle Denniston | Print This Post

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Analysis

 

The Supreme Court’s historic argument Tuesday on the meaning of the Constitution’s Second Amendment sent out one quite clear signal: individuals may well wind up with a genuine right to have a gun for self-defense in their home. But what was not similarly clear was what kind of gun that would entail, and thus what kind of limitations government cut put on access or use of a weapon. In an argument that ran 23 minutes beyond the allotted time, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy emerged as a strong defender of the right of domestic self-defense. At one key point, he suggested that the one Supreme Court precedent that at least hints that gun rights are tied to military not private needs — the 1939 decision in U.S. v. Miller — “may be deficient” in that respect.

 

With Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Antonin Scalia leaving little doubt that they favor an individual rights interpretation of the Amendment (and with Justice Clarence Thomas, though silent on Tuesday, having intimated earlier that he may well be sympathetic to that view), Kennedy’s inclinations might make him — once more — the holder of the decisive vote.

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Interesting Op-Ed in the WSJ about two weeks ago by Larry Tribe, a very well know, very well respected, very liberal Harvard Law constitutional lawyer. In it he took the position that - even though it went against every bone in his liberal body - the second amendment was an individual right not constrained by militia service. He went on in the op-ed to encourage the Supreme Court to do a "narrow finding" - one that was constrained as possible.

 

I also found it interesting in reading the Court of Appeals decision some months ago that the writers did not tiptoe around suggesting that in some circumstance the finding was "a" and in some other circumstance the finding was "b." The CofA came out flatly that the right to bear arms was an individual right.

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I cannot see them constraining the Second Amendment. Nor should they. If we have learned anything over the last few years, it is that all of our rights are important.

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Interesting Op-Ed in the WSJ about two weeks ago by Larry Tribe, a very well know, very well respected, very liberal Harvard Law constitutional lawyer. In it he took the position that - even though it went against every bone in his liberal body - the second amendment was an individual right not constrained by militia service. He went on in the op-ed to encourage the Supreme Court to do a "narrow finding" - one that was constrained as possible.

 

I also found it interesting in reading the Court of Appeals decision some months ago that the writers did not tiptoe around suggesting that in some circumstance the finding was "a" and in some other circumstance the finding was "b." The CofA came out flatly that the right to bear arms was an individual right.

As a liberal, if I introspect about this, my support for anti-gun legislation comes down to not liking people who seem to have a fetish about guns, live in the same kind of completely safe neighborhood I live in, yet won't shut up about self defense and whose violent fantasies seem to be nearer the surface than my own. I have nothing whatsoever against guns per se, gun ownership etc.. I also think the public safety arguments on both sides are, for the most part, post hoc justifications for ideological positions.

 

Therefore, I am for lifting controls in guns and seeing what that does to crime statistics. If the trade-off seems to be in favor of more gun ownership, I'll shut up. If not, I'm for stronger controls and screw romantic and fanciful arguments about tyranny.

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REmember, its about your constitutional rights.

 

1st & 4th amendments aren't any more important than the 2nd.

 

If they can weaken or marginalize one, they can do the same to the others.

 

Its not about "romantic and fanciful" tyranny.

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REmember, its about your constitutional rights.

 

1st & 4th amendments aren't any more important than the 2nd.

 

If they can weaken or marginalize one, they can do the same to the others.

 

Its not about "romantic and fanciful" tyranny.

That's pretty much where I'm at now.

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DC's lawyer asked what is wrong with ban and he says nothing, because it only bans one type of guns

 

F/U: so its OK to ban books but not newspapers?

 

response: uh . . .uh . . . no

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Mar 18, 1:11 PM EDT

 

 

Justices Skeptical of Gun Ban

 

By MARK SHERMAN

Associated Press Writer

 

 

Justice Samuel Alito

Justice Stephen Breyer

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Anthony Kennedy

Chief Justice John Roberts

Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice David Souter

Justice John Paul Stevens

Justice Clarence Thomas

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to endorse the view that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns, but was less clear about whether to retain the District of Columbia's ban on handguns.

 

The justices were aware of the historic nature of their undertaking, engaging in an extended 98-minute session of questions and answers that could yield the first definition of the meaning of the Second Amendment in its 216 years.

 

A key justice, Anthony Kennedy, left little doubt about his view when he said early in the proceedings that the Second Amendment gives "a general right to bear arms."

 

Several justices were skeptical that the Constitution, if it gives individuals' gun rights, could allow a complete ban on handguns when, as Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out, those weapons are most suited for protection at home.

 

"What is reasonable about a ban on possession" of handguns?" Roberts asked at one point.

 

But Justice Stephen Breyer suggested that the District's public safety concerns could be relevant in evaluating its 32-year-old ban on handguns, perhaps the strictest gun control law in the nation.

 

"Does that make it unreasonable for a city with a very high crime rate...to say no handguns here?" Breyer said.

 

Solicitor General Paul Clement, the Bush administration's top Supreme Court lawyer, supported the individual right, but urged the justices not to decide the other question. Instead, Clement said the court should allow for reasonable restrictions that allow banning certain types of weapons, including existing federal laws.

 

He did not take a position on the District law.

 

The court has not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The basic issue for the justices is whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

 

The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

 

While the arguments raged inside, advocates of gun rights and opponents of gun violence demonstrated outside court Tuesday.

 

Dozens of protesters mingled with tourists and waved signs saying "Ban the Washington elitists, not our guns" or "The NRA helps criminals and terrorist buy guns."

 

Members of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence chanted "guns kill" as followers of the Second Amendment Sisters and Maryland Shall Issue.Org shouted "more guns, less crime."

 

A line to get into the court for the historic arguments began forming two days earlier and extended more than a block by early Tuesday.

 

The high court's first extensive examination of the Second Amendment since 1939 grew out of challenge to the District's ban.

 

Anise Jenkins, president of a coalition called Stand Up for Democracy in D.C., defended the district's prohibition on handguns.

 

"We feel our local council knows what we need for a good standard of life and to keep us safe," Jenkins said.

 

Genie Jennings, a resident of South Perwick, Maine, and national spokeswoman for Second Amendment Sisters, said the law banning handguns in Washington "is denying individuals the right to defend themselves."

 

Even if the court determines there is an individual right, the justices still will have to decide whether the District's ban can stand and how to evaluate other gun control laws. This issue has caused division within the Bush administration, with Vice President Dick Cheney taking a harder line than the administration's official position at the court.

 

The local Washington government argues that its law should be allowed to remain in force whether or not the amendment applies to individuals, although it reads the amendment as intended to allow states to have armed forces.

 

The City Council that adopted the ban said it was justified because "handguns have no legitimate use in the purely urban environment of the District of Columbia."

 

Dick Anthony Heller, 65, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection. His lawyers say the amendment plainly protects an individual's right.

 

The last Supreme Court ruling on the topic came in 1939 in U.S. v. Miller, which involved a sawed-off shotgun. Constitutional scholars disagree over what that case means but agree it did not squarely answer the question of individual versus collective rights.

 

Roberts said at his confirmation hearing that the correct reading of the Second Amendment was "still very much an open issue."

 

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

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Breyer asks Gura to assume two things that he may not agree with: 1) assume there is an individual right, but whose purpose is to have a militia and 2) assume that the Court will apply an intermediate standard of review.

 

 

Breyer notes that 80,000-100,000 people are killed or wounded by guns. In light of that, why isn't a ban on handguns - while allowing rifles - reasonable for a proportionate response?

 

 

Breyer says the military briefs focused on the nature of the right as maintaining a citizen army.

 

 

Gura says the DC fails any standard of review because proficiency with handguns would further a militia purpose.

 

 

Stevens asks what Gura believes to be the significance of the word "militia" in the Second Amendment.

 

Gura says it is not the exclusive purpose.

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Very interesting is that the justices are focusing on the terms "Keep" & "Bear" as two separate and distinct rights.

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Gura says that military purposes are not the primary purposes of the Second Amendment.

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REmember, its about your constitutional rights.

 

1st & 4th amendments aren't any more important than the 2nd.

 

If they can weaken or marginalize one, they can do the same to the others.

 

Its not about "romantic and fanciful" tyranny.

 

Wow, I just read that and was shocked.

 

Superficially, the 1st and 4th (along with the 5th, 7th and 14th) amendments are probably the most important ones dealing with personal freedoms. For me, the second amendment is symbolic. Guns are cool, I love to shoot, but they are far from necessary and no statistic can show that they make anything safer.

 

Tell me with a straight face that you can live without the protection from illegal search and seizure, free speech or self incrimination, but you can't live without your guns.

 

On the other hand, you are correct in saying that taking away rights starts with things that we live without, and before you know it, you have nothing.

 

The question still remains: What does the 2nd amendment give you? We know that the 1st amendment doesn't give you the right to yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater, but does the 2nd allow assault weapons? Handguns? Does it allow for regulation as to type of weapons allowed?

 

EDIT: On a side note, I am all for gun regulation, registration and fingerprinting, so long as there are protections for the gun-owner, but I think outright bans are stupid. If you are a drug dealer or violent criminal, the fact that the gun you have tucked into your waist band is illegal really does nothing to discourage crime.

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MoeAlfa; Respect for a Rational post (not "reasonable")

 

Have you heard of a small town in Georgia? Kennesaw

 

They passed a law requiring a gun to be kept in the home, with some provisions made for "conscientious objectors" to not be bound by the law.

 

Crime rate fell through the floor

 

, by the way, I object to it in principle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can't wait to see the Brady Bunch's take on this.

Sheesh, Sean,, ya oughta get on their mailing list. :D

 

well,, mayby not,, you'll get inundated by "send us money" requests

 

They are using this as a fund raiser.

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The question still remains: What does the 2nd amendment give you? We know that the 1st amendment doesn't give you the right to yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater, but does the 2nd allow assault weapons? Handguns? Does it allow for regulation as to type of weapons allowed?

If not, then can we please just end the 'War on Drugs' and, for that matter, end any bans on any substances of any kind whatsoever. I envision free markets in Plutonium and Oxycontin as the logical extensions of a potential SC decision not to differentiate between an 18th Century muzzle loader and an M4A1.

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MoeAlfa; Respect for a Rational post (not "reasonable")

 

Have you heard of a small town in Georgia? Kennesaw

 

They passed a law requiring a gun to be kept in the home, with some provisions made for "conscientious objectors" to not be bound by the law.

 

Crime rate fell through the floor

 

, by the way, I object to it in principle.

Sheesh, Sean,, ya oughta get on their mailing list. :D

 

well,, mayby not,, you'll get inundated by "send us money" requests

 

They are using this as a fund raiser.

 

Big problem in comparing Kennesaw to anywhere else. Kennesaw's (pop: 30000) demographics are not representative of the average American city, not are the statistics without fault. Notice that the statistics cited do not provide whether the crime is higher or lower than the surrounding areas or even whether it has changed compared to the surrounding areas.

 

I am not saying that Kennesaw is not a safe place, but taking a town of 30k people and callign it a victory for gun rights completely negates that Washington DC is a very very different place with it's own set of problems.

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I said before that the whole militia thing is a pointless waste of time for the anti gun folks. They keep saying that "militia" implies some kind of state run and organized stadning militia like the NG. Thats bullshit though because the NG's weapons are stored in the armory and they are certainly NOT allowed to take those weapons home with them.

 

No, the preamble "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," is all about something that is outside of the normal armed forces or state police. Furthermore, the "people" is clearly a reference to the "public", not some organized state or federal entity or militia.

 

To me this is clear cut, regardless of your emotional leaning.

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Big problem in comparing Kennesaw to anywhere else. Kennesaw's (pop: 30000) demographics are not representative of the average American city, not are the statistics without fault. Notice that the statistics cited do not provide whether the crime is higher or lower than the surrounding areas or even whether it has changed compared to the surrounding areas.

 

I am not saying that Kennesaw is not a safe place, but taking a town of 30k people and callign it a victory for gun rights completely negates that Washington DC is a very very different place with it's own set of problems.

That's essentially how I'd respond to Mike. Let's just shelve the emotional rhetoric and see what happens. Meanwhile I'm going to be very nice to everyone in concealed carry jurisdictions.

 

As far as the rights question goes, I couldn't imagine having enough personal firepower to negate the State's monopoly on force in some unlikely scenario, nor taking the time to learn how to use it. Even in an armed insurrection against a tyrant who, say, pushed the domestic War on Terror too far, I wouldn't trust the rest of the heavily armed idiots in my neighborhood, who can't even be bothered to observe traffic laws, to respect my right to stay alive.

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Meanwhile I'm going to be very nice to everyone in concealed carry jurisdictions.

 

Moe, I think you just hit the nail on the head inadvertantly about why guns are not the worst thing. An armed society may be a more polite society.

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I am always polite, even to people who can't shoot me. By "very nice", I mean walking around bowing and offering 10 dollar bills.

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B)-->

QUOTE(Jeff B @ Mar 18 2008, 06:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Moe, I think you just hit the nail on the head inadvertantly about why guns are not the worst thing. An armed society may be a more polite society.

 

Meanwhile, perhaps we should just be nicer to each other in every jurisdiction? Using manners and being polite shouldn't be a matter of fear.

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A polite, considerate, gun-toting
.

My survival procedures for concealed carry jurisdictions also include non-attributable farting.

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THANK GOD!

 

At last I can have my very own, and only £4,000.

 

32679s.jpg

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B)-->

QUOTE(Jeff B @ Mar 18 2008, 11:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I said before that the whole militia thing is a pointless waste of time for the anti gun folks. They keep saying that "militia" implies some kind of state run and organized stadning militia like the NG. Thats bullshit though because the NG's weapons are stored in the armory and they are certainly NOT allowed to take those weapons home with them.

 

No, the preamble "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," is all about something that is outside of the normal armed forces or state police. Furthermore, the "people" is clearly a reference to the "public", not some organized state or federal entity or militia.

 

To me this is clear cut, regardless of your emotional leaning.

 

 

What's clear cut to me, after digging aroung on this a bit, is that

the intent was that the Federal government does not have the

right to strip the people within any "free" state of their arms.

Seems real clear they didn't want the Feds to ever have a

standing army larger than the militias in order to prevent

the Feds from impinging on States rights. Leaving aside

the issues that have baked that cookie over the years,

it's a done deal. The feds are not going to be issuing

handgun laws that States have to abide by.

 

The noodle baking part of this case is that DC is not a state.

This is a case of the Federal government directly stripping

the people of DC of their arms.

 

The issue that has stood out there since the beginning,

and will continue to be there whateverthefuck the verdict is,

is: Does a State have the right to regulate arms within itself.

I bet they don't touch that with a ten foot pole.

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Why bother to see what would happen with unregulated gun ownership? We already have an answer to that...the history of post-Civil War America.

 

The country with the highest percapita ownership of guns in the world has the highest crime rate and murder rate in the developed world. We also have the highest percentage of population in jail of any country on earth.

 

Our ridiculous fascination with guns and our numb sense of who has a right to live or die has turned us into the violent crime and murder capital of the world.

 

That alone should tell all of you the effect of a gun-loving society.

 

Fuck guns, rifles, automatics and .50 cals and every one of you who insist that gun violence and ownership is the only answer. You are the ones who have been busy making the bed we now have to sleep in...a repressively violent and intolerant society full of reactionaries who see justice as an extension of their gun sights

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Why bother to see what would happen with unregulated gun ownership? We already have an answer to that...the history of post-Civil War America.

 

The country with the highest percapita ownership of guns in the world has the highest crime rate and murder rate in the developed world. We also have the highest percentage of population in jail of any country on earth.

 

Our ridiculous fascination with guns and our numb sense of who has a right to live or die has turned us into the violent crime and murder capital of the world.

 

That alone should tell all of you the effect of a gun-loving, intolerant society.

 

Fuck guns, rifles, automatics and .50 cals and every one of you who insist that gun violence and ownership is the only answer. You are the ones who have been busy making the bed we now have to sleep in...a repressively violent and intolerant society full of reactionaries who see justice as an extension of their gun sights

Although every bone in my body agrees with you, you are inferring causality from an association. The other side says the problem is not enough guns in the hands of the right people. Nothing we can say is going to convince them otherwise. The way the oral arguments at the SCOTUS went today, I suspect we may get the data to decide the question. As law abiding citizens, we have nothing to fear from an armed citizenry.

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In fairness to my many friends on the gun rights side, I think we Americans would continue to beat, stab, and burn each other to death with what ever was handy at a great old clip, if no guns were available

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Why bother to see what would happen with unregulated gun ownership? We already have an answer to that...the history of post-Civil War America.

 

The country with the highest percapita ownership of guns in the world has the highest crime rate and murder rate in the developed world. We also have the highest percentage of population in jail of any country on earth.

 

Our ridiculous fascination with guns and our numb sense of who has a right to live or die has turned us into the violent crime and murder capital of the world.

 

That alone should tell all of you the effect of a gun-loving society.

 

Fuck guns, rifles, automatics and .50 cals and every one of you who insist that gun violence and ownership is the only answer. You are the ones who have been busy making the bed we now have to sleep in...a repressively violent and intolerant society full of reactionaries who see justice as an extension of their gun sights

 

Sorry buddy, Moe has it right. Guns didn't make us a violent society, they are merely the tools a violent society uses in its trade.

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The problem is that like free speech, an individual right to keep and bear arms is sometimes untidy and disturbing.

 

We hear things that we don't like, but we are the first ones to defend that person's right to speak.

 

Michael Moore is a good example.

 

Kenedy had it right today when he asked the DC atty general if he would support banning newspapers as long as books were available.

 

I also think that they focused in on the problems with the right being based on membership in a militia.

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,,, differentiate between an 18th Century muzzle loader and an M4A1

 

Chuck, you ARE aware, aren't you, that in the 18th century the muzzle loading flintlock WAS the state of the art in firearms development.

 

The previous (obsoleted by the flintlock) tech of the time was the matchlock.

 

Does anyone want to think about going into battle in the rain with a matchlock ?? ,,

, or even to depend on one for hunting, where the consequences of a wet rope means your kids don't eat today ?

 

Technology has moved forward since then.

 

 

Moe & Lumpy ; big town vs small town is the standard way to try to discredit Kennesaw,, but the point remains.

 

 

,,, Let's just shelve the emotional rhetoric ,,,

 

I have tried to keep emotion out of the debate,, If you want to link to a post where I have used emotion rather than logic to carry my point,, link it, & let's look at it.

 

 

 

 

Remodel,, if you're interested in really big toys, you should hook up with these guys .

 

 

Privately owned

90mm.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a VICTIM of the Cruel Heartless EVIL Corporate Masters,

 

,who seem to think that I should do something they call "werk" to get my paycheck,

 

, back when I can.

B)

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I have tried to keep emotion out of the debate,, If you want to link to a post where I have used emotion rather than logic to carry my point,, link it, & let's look at it.

I wasn't accusing you and the anti-gun side is just as emotional.

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Moe & Lumpy ; big town vs small town is the standard way to try to discredit Kennesaw,, but the point remains.

 

But using the Kennesaw as rock solid proof that more guns equal less crime is stupid. Does the more guns theory work? No doubt it looks like it did in Kennesaw. But there are so many other variables at stake.

 

For instance, my hometown of Baltimore, lots of people have guns. And they are shooting and killing each other at an alarming rate. It's the people who don't have guns that generally not targeted and are generally only subject to property crime and crimes of oppurtunity. Of course, there are the highly publicised instances when yuppies get mugged, but all in all, the safest areas are where there are fewer guns. The reason is because the people that own guns are for the most part criminals. The non-criminals don't have all that much violent crime and they don't have guns either.

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B)-->

QUOTE(Jeff B @ Mar 18 2008, 07:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry buddy, Moe has it right. Guns didn't make us a violent society, they are merely the tools a violent society uses in its trade.

 

Ummm, that's what I was getting at to degree...that America has attached itself to the romanticism that surrounds gunplay in post-Civil War America from the conquest of the west to the gangs of Chicago. I'm saying that if we really want to know what it's like to remove restrictions from gun ownership we only have to look at our history. In truth, even with various legal restrictions in gun ownership, guns are still as available as a bar of candy.

 

We already have de facto unrestricted access to weapons and the evidence of its consequences...the data sits there in 145 years of American history. It's proof that the ideas and system as they have stood for all of these years has failed and maintaining the status quo in regards to gun ownership in America can only result in the continuation of our murderous ways.

 

As long as people have access to justice that fits in a palm, and the mind set that it's a legitimate form of self-expression protected by the Constitution, then we will continue to be a murderous and unforgiving society.

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Alan Korwin's take on the argument:

 

DATELINE: Washington, D.C. 3/18/08

 

Recovering from the Whirlwind of the Day

 

Heller Case Goes Better Than Expected

 

by Alan Korwin, Co-Author

Supreme Court Gun Cases

 

 

The bottom line is, I think we’re going to be OK.

 

When Justice Kennedy flat out said he believes in an individual right under the Second Amendment, there were no gasps in the hush of the High Court, but you could tell the greatest stellar array of gun-rights experts ever assembled, all there in that one room, breathed a sigh of relief -- we had five votes to affirm the human and civil right to arms.

 

The transcript will be a key for analysis going forward until June, when the decision is expected, and I’m working without the benefit of that at the moment. Digesting the fleeting and immensely complex speech that took place for one hour and thirty-eight minutes a few hours ago, it’s hard to see how any line of thought could be strung together to support the idea that the D.C. total ban on operable firearms at home can be seen as reasonable regulation, even though Mr. Dellinger, the city’s attorney, tried to suggest it was. He was shot down on this repeatedly, found no quarter from any of the Justices, though several found room to move on what amounts to reasonable restrictions.

 

And it is easy to see, from the non-stop rapid-fire comments and questions of eight of the Justices (Thomas asked nothing, extending his legendary running silence), how even the most permissive standard of review imaginable for gun-ban laws, could tolerate the District’s level of intolerance toward some sort of right to keep and bear arms.

 

That would give the pro-rights side what it so sorely wants – an admission that the Second Amendment protects something for “the people,” and the rest of that pie can be baked later.

 

Dellinger tried to suggest that rifles, shotguns and handguns had different usefulness, actually implying rifles are better for self defense in an urban home, because handguns were so inherently bad or dangerous that cities had a legitimate interest in banning them, but the Court wasn’t buying it, and noting that D.C.’s ban banned everything.

 

Packed into that short rabidly intense section, the Justices examined:

 

* Original intent, and actions and writings of the colonies at the time of adoption;

 

* The meanings of the words, though not to the extent some people had anticipated;

 

* Separability of the terms keep and bear, whether they represented one right or two, how one could exist without the other, if they had civilian meanings or military ones, if you are “bearing” arms to go hunting and more;

 

* The scope of the right covered, and whether personal or military protections stood alone, dependent or had preference over each other;

 

* The “operative” and and preamble clause, and their relationship, meaningfulness, and interactivity with each other;

 

* The types of weapons that might be covered by the term “arms,”

accepting the idea that some weapons fall outside a sense of militia arms, like “plastic guns” (that’s what they were called) that could escape airport metal detection, or “rocket launchers” (actually a commonly used modern militia arm in some countries experiencing insurgencies, a point that did not come up), and especially machine guns, a repeated point which the Justices did not resolve, especially since it has become the standard issue firearm for our modern armed forces and confused the Miller doctrine of commonly used arms;

 

* The rise and meaning of strict scrutiny, a doctrine that evolved around the First Amendment and had no actual root in the Constitution, and whose actual definition was fluid and with little consensus.

 

 

 

Scalia asked if permissible limits could restrict you to one gun, or only a few guns, or if a collector couldn’t complete a set like a stamp collector because of a quantity restriction, and then launched into a demonstration of his familiarity with firearms by suggesting a need to have a turkey gun, and a duck gun, and a thirty-ought-six, and a .270, which sent Thomas into a fit of off-mic laughter that other observers missed because they were focused on Scalia;

 

Noting that Massachusetts in colonial times regulated the storage of gunpowder (it had to be kept upstairs as a fire precaution), Breyer asked if there isn’t a lineage to permissible restrictions, and the Court generally agreed. The point of contention, and it would not go away, was where that line was drawn, and again and again the D.C. absolute ban was found violative in its absoluteness. The decision to test the protection of 2A against this law in particular was a brilliant stratagem.

 

Dellinger either deliberately misled the Court, or didn’t understand the D.C. ban law (as hard to believe as that is, and it could come back to bite him), because, in trying to make it appear less odious than it was, he:

 

* Suggested D.C. would carve out an exception for an operable gun if it were used in self defense -- which the law flatly does not abide (and a point thoroughly undercut by Heller’s attorney Alan Gura, who pointed out the District had such an opportunity twice and did not do so, and in fact did the opposite);

 

* For use in self defense, a gun could be easily and quickly unlocked and brought to bear, a point undercut by Chief Justice Roberts who had to fight to get an admission that the gun had to be reloaded as well, since the D.C. law banned loaded and unlocked arms;

 

* That lead to a wonderful exchange in which Dellinger said a gun can be simply unlocked quickly -– he actually said he could do it in three seconds, after demonstrating a poor understanding of how a lock (available at a “hardware store” nearby) fits on a gun with or without “bullets” in it;

 

* That lead to Scalia asking about turning a dial to find “3” and then turning it the other way to find the next number;

 

* To which Roberts noted that, don’t you first have to turn on the light having heard the sound of breaking glass, and then find your reading glasses -- which got the biggest audience laugh of the day (there were only a few other soft chuckles during the proceedings);…

 

 

OK, I recognize that this is a bit disjointed, and I’m working on an unfamiliar machine, at the end of a grueling endurance test that involved outrageous hours, little sleep, lousy diet, dire cold, miles of up and downhill walking, and I’m getting pretty hungry. I’ll do a better job over time, but I wanted to share some inside scoop you might not otherwise get. Let me, before pausing for some chow (which we’ll have to go out and find), convey some ambience.

 

Guests of the Court were ushered into the ground floor early on, milling around (line waiters including my friend Bob were prepped on the white marble steps outside). It was a who’s who inside and non-stop on-your-toes meet and greet. John Snyder, lobbyist for CCRKBA/SAF, had read my blog entry from last night, and introduced me to the companion on his lobby bench… Dick Heller, of the Heller case.

 

A nice mild mannered guy, “I just want to be able to keep my guns.” He said when they started this in 1994, they had no idea what they were getting into, and in 1997 they began entertaining the idea that it could go all the way and started raising funds. Now it had taken on a life of its own and barely involved him. At 9:30 last night, he walked the wait-to-get-in line and passed out cough drops. No one knew who he was. He sat just behind me in the Courtroom. I lucked into the second row.

 

Directly in front of me was… Mayor Fenty, and I sat in the bright reflected light of his pate. He turned, and in typical smiling politician fashion extended his hand, shook mine, and said warmly, “It’s nice to see you” as if we knew each other. Well at least, I knew him. One seat to my right was Ann Dellinger, the city’s lawyer’s wife, who turned out to be fascinating and a wealth of information. In a few moments, the mayor relinquished his eat to the D.C. Chief of Police, but she didn’t turn and say hi. Heady stuff. Everybody was a somebody.

 

Familiar faces were strewn about – there’s David Hardy on the other side of the aisle, and Bob Dowlut had a front row seat. Stephen Halbrook, one of my co-authors on Supreme Court Gun Cases had an early spot on the Supreme Court bar-members line, and my other co-author, Dave Kopel, who previously told me he would not be attending, turned out to be a last-minute addition to the Respondant’s table at the head of the Courtroom.

People who I think were on a better “tier” than I, like Joe Olson, Clayton Cramer and others, didn’t luck into a seat and listened to disembodied voices from the lawyers lounge outside the Courtroom.

 

Three calls for “sshhh” from a clerk at the front instantly dropped the growing anticipatory cacophony to silence which then ramped up gently until the next hiss for quiet. Three minutes to go and a call for silence left everyone with their own thoughts until a tone sounded, the aides signaled us to rise, God Bless This Court was spoken, and we were underway.

 

By a stroke of luck, Justice Thomas was assigned the reading of a decision of a prior case, and we got to hear his baritone voice, which often remains mute throughout. New members of the Supreme Court bar were sworn in, and Justice Roberts asked Mr. Dellinger to begin, which he did promptly.

 

More later.

 

Alan.

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...the data sits there in 145 years of American history.

 

Yessir . . 145 years of American History . . . . for once Coiler, you are aqbsolutely correct . . . . No mass murders or purges backed by one government, tribe, religious sect or political party, unlike societies that banned firearms . . . Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, Burundy, Rwanda come to mind.

 

Even in the South after the civil war . . . where the blacks were as well armed as the whites . . . well, you might not understand that concept.

 

Have you ever considered that Gun Control is racist?

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Yessir . . 145 years of American History . . . . for once Coiler, you are aqbsolutely correct . . . . No mass murders or purges backed by one government, tribe, religious sect or political party, unlike societies that banned firearms . . . Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, Burundy, Rwanda come to mind.

 

Even in the South after the civil war . . . where the blacks were as well armed as the whites . . . well, you might not understand that concept.

 

Have you ever considered that Gun Control is racist?

 

I hardly think any comparison to Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Burundi or Rwanda is remotely useful or reasonable. The US is a considerably different place and it's stretching to the absurd to suggest that gun ownership by the general populace has somehow stopped the US from following the Nazi or Soviet models (the other two examples are patently stupid).

 

Perhaps you could enlighten me, SC, about black gun ownership post-Civil War and please, please, please explain how gun control (NO CAPS) is racist.

 

Post-Civil War America is a near killing field because of the second amendment and the stability and security of our government has not been held at the end of a civilian firearm.

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Emily gets a gun

 

Part two in a series in which a reporter tries to legally obtain and own a handgun in Washington DC.

 

I asked where I could buy the gun. “You can go to any licensed dealer in another state - or on the Internet,” she said. “Then give this form to Charles Sykes downstairs, and he’ll go pick it up for you and transfer it.” I glanced through the registration packet and saw no reference to Mr. Sykes or transferring a gun. So I figured while I was there, I should track down this man, who seemed to play a key role.

 

By luck, Mr. Sykes was in the office, where he works about four hours a day, by appointment, as Washington’s only legal gun broker. While gun sales have been skyrocketing in the rest of the country, D.C. residents have been buying at a rate of about 250 a year, so Mr. Sykes isn’t getting rich. He charges $125 to pick up the gun and do the transfer.

 

I told Mr. Sykes that I’d recently asked D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown whether he supported the Second Amendment. “I don’t support having more guns in the District of Columbia,” Mr. Brown had replied, “I don’t think we need more guns in our streets.”

 

Mr. Sykes shook his head when he heard this. “In all other cities, you can have guns. Why do they say, ‘We don’t want guns in the nation’s capital?’ They are here. And you can go a lot of different places and get them just like that,” he said, snapping his fingers.

 

...

 

To help me find a certified instructor, the city provided two pages listing 47 random names and phone numbers. The list did not give an instructor’s address, background information, website or certification.

 

I decided to call all of them.

 

On the bottom of the police phone list, it says, “Revised on September 9, 2009.” This two-year lag was apparent when seven of the 47 numbers I called were out of service. More than half of my calls - 27 - went straight to voicemail. From all this effort, I quickly learned that the instructors were not allowed to teach the course in the District. How can it be constitutional for D.C. residents to be forced to go outside city limits to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms?

 

Finally, I found four instructors - all in Maryland - willing and able to teach the class. I would have to drive 30 minutes to an hour each way to take the class, as none was near a Metro stop. I don’t know what a D.C. resident without a car would do. The cost ranged from $130 to $250.

 

All the instructors teach out of their own homes or, more specifically, as one said, “in my basement.” The police do a criminal-background check on each of them, but I still didn’t feel safe going alone to an armed stranger’s basement.

 

It seemed to me the D.C. politicians who came up with this requirement never considered the impact this would have on a woman trying to register a gun. Forcing us to go to a strange man’s house in another state to take a gun-safety class is not something the police should do. I called the National Rifle Association to see if I could take the class at its headquarters, but it didn’t have any D.C.-certified instructors.

 

On a tip from a local gun store, I called Donna Worthy in Millersville, Md., who wasn’t on the city’s official list. When I went to her business, Worth-A-Shot, to take the course, she told me the police at the registry office had promised to add her. “That was last year,” she said. She has called repeatedly to ask to be included, to no avail....

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Fwiw Mr. Ray, I think I already started a thread here on our Little Miss Intrepid's hoop jumping journey to 2A nirvana..... :P

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Yessir . . 145 years of American History . . . . for once Coiler, you are aqbsolutely correct . . . . No mass murders or purges backed by one government, tribe, religious sect or political party, unlike societies that banned firearms . . . Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, Burundy, Rwanda come to mind.

 

Even in the South after the civil war . . . where the blacks were as well armed as the whites . . . well, you might not understand that concept.

 

Have you ever considered that Gun Control is racist?

 

I hardly think any comparison to Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Burundi or Rwanda is remotely useful or reasonable. The US is a considerably different place and it's stretching to the absurd to suggest that gun ownership by the general populace has somehow stopped the US from following the Nazi or Soviet models (the other two examples are patently stupid).

 

Perhaps you could enlighten me, SC, about black gun ownership post-Civil War and please, please, please explain how gun control (NO CAPS) is racist.

 

Post-Civil War America is a near killing field because of the second amendment and the stability and security of our government has not been held at the end of a civilian firearm.

 

gun_control_works2-e1323348755568.jpg

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Fwiw Mr. Ray, I think I already started a thread here on our Little Miss Intrepid's hoop jumping journey to 2A nirvana..... :P

 

Sorry, I missed that one. It probably lacks the historical perspective of this thread anyway...

 

The other side says the problem is not enough guns in the hands of the right people. Nothing we can say is going to convince them otherwise. The way the oral arguments at the SCOTUS went today, I suspect we may get the data to decide the question. As law abiding citizens, we have nothing to fear from an armed citizenry.

 

That was almost four years ago, and despite the Supreme Court's decision, today it looks from Emily's experience as if we are going to have to wait a lot longer before learning what DC would be like if people could just buy guns there in the normal, American way.

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Fwiw Mr. Ray, I think I already started a thread here on our Little Miss Intrepid's hoop jumping journey to 2A nirvana..... :P

 

Sorry, I missed that one. It probably lacks the historical perspective of this thread anyway...

 

The other side says the problem is not enough guns in the hands of the right people. Nothing we can say is going to convince them otherwise. The way the oral arguments at the SCOTUS went today, I suspect we may get the data to decide the question. As law abiding citizens, we have nothing to fear from an armed citizenry.

 

That was almost four years ago, and despite the Supreme Court's decision, today it looks from Emily's experience as if we are going to have to wait a lot longer before learning what DC would be like if people could just buy guns there in the normal, American way.

 

 

Except for a few buildings full of neat olde stuff, I'm having a hard time seeing any benefit D.C has for America....

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nor did the 13 colonies, which is why DC is in a swamp….

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REmember, its about your constitutional rights.

 

1st & 4th amendments aren't any more important than the 2nd.

 

If they can weaken or marginalize one, they can do the same to the others.

 

Its not about "romantic and fanciful" tyranny.

 

So you are fighting just s hard for legalizing marijuana - happiness of the people and stuff?

Or you are fighting just as hard against the over-reach of drug screenings (for instance, to be on a high school yearbook!) - because it violates the search clauses.

 

I call foul.

 

Gun nuts are usually....well, gun nuts. ALL of our rights are subject to various forms of rules and regulations. The typical NRA drivel and fear-mongering is not about reasonable gun rights, but is about no holds barred promotion of the industry.

 

That would be as wrong as, say, giant billboards for the best marijuana outside high schools (when they legalize)....

 

I am 100% in agreement that the founders, even outside of the constitution, thought citizens should have the right to own arms - so I don't quibble with that. However, ever that long ago, they would not have - for example - said that the average dude could own a small cannon. And if such was the case back then , it seems reasonable to have plenty of regulations today when an "arm" extends all the way to an ICBM and nuclear weapons.

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Even in the South after the civil war . . . where the blacks were as well armed as the whites . . . well, you might not understand that concept.

 

 

Hmm, so all those lynchings, the Jim Crow stuff, etc..were the freedoms they gained by being as well armed as the local whites??

 

Sorry, you negated your own point! Blacks may have been armed, but because they didn't make the laws and didn't have the wealth, it meant very little. A white was "allowed" to kill a black, but not the other way around.

 

If anything this shows that civil laws, NOT guns, are the keystone of a modern society.

 

 

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I am 100% in agreement that the founders, even outside of the constitution, thought citizens should have the right to own arms - so I don't quibble with that. However, ever that long ago, they would not have - for example - said that the average dude could own a small cannon.

 

What kinds of weapons were the British trying to confiscate from the colonial militias at Lexington and Concord again?

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So you are fighting just s hard for legalizing marijuana - happiness of the people and stuff?

 

Did not know you were a fellow Clarence Thomas fan!

 

Justice Thomas, dissenting.

 

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers....

 

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Clarence bucks many tides.

 

http://www.nytimes.c...ction.html?_r=1

 

He got that one wrong, in my opinion.

 

Justice Thomas’s dissent, at 19 pages, was almost five times as long as the majority opinion. “The question presented here is not whether a prudent prosecutor should have disclosed the information that Smith identifies,” Justice Thomas wrote.

 

Rather, he wrote, the question was whether Mr. Smith had not shown a reasonable probability that the jury would have reached a different conclusion had it known of the undisclosed statements. Justice Thomas said a careful review of the balance of the evidence demonstrated that nothing would have changed.

 

 

I don't know the law here, but that seems wrong. It seems like the question IS the one he says it is NOT, and it seems like the second question, the one Thomas answered, is not a question judges should be answering. If judges knew what a jury would do, why have a jury?

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despite the Supreme Court's decision, today it looks from Emily's experience as if we are going to have to wait a lot longer before learning what DC would be like if people could just buy guns there in the normal, American way.

 

For those wondering what I meant by that last bit, Emily elaborates.

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DC Gun Laws Still Unreasonable

 

And they're going to lose in court again. It's kind of funny to me. If only they were not quite so extreme, they might win in court, setting precedents I would probably not like. As long as they think stuff like what Emily is going through is "common sense gun control" I can rest easy, knowing they will continue to lose and lose again.

 

In July, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals smacked down the city of Chicago over instructional requirements similar to the District’s. The Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association sued the Windy City for requiring training at shooting ranges that were banned by city ordinance.

 

As The Washington Times has exposed, Washington has created the same impossible situation, requiring residents to trek to Maryland or Virginia if they want to own a gun in the District. Feeling the heat, D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson introduced the Firearms Amendment Act last month to, among other things, allow the gun safety course to be completed within the city - in theory.

 

Washington, of course, has no shooting ranges for private citizens. For Mr. Mendelson’s proposal to be more than a public-relations stunt, the city should allow residents to use the police shooting range to complete the training demand.

 

 

No. No, they should not. If they did allow people to use the police range, they would win in court. Since they won't, they will lose. Again. :P

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DC Gun Laws Still Unreasonable

 

And they're going to lose in court again. It's kind of funny to me. If only they were not quite so extreme, they might win in court, setting precedents I would probably not like. As long as they think stuff like what Emily is going through is "common sense gun control" I can rest easy, knowing they will continue to lose and lose again.

 

In July, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals smacked down the city of Chicago over instructional requirements similar to the District’s. The Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association sued the Windy City for requiring training at shooting ranges that were banned by city ordinance.

 

As The Washington Times has exposed, Washington has created the same impossible situation, requiring residents to trek to Maryland or Virginia if they want to own a gun in the District. Feeling the heat, D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson introduced the Firearms Amendment Act last month to, among other things, allow the gun safety course to be completed within the city - in theory.

 

Washington, of course, has no shooting ranges for private citizens. For Mr. Mendelson’s proposal to be more than a public-relations stunt, the city should allow residents to use the police shooting range to complete the training demand.

 

 

No. No, they should not. If they did allow people to use the police range, they would win in court. Since they won't, they will lose. Again. :P

 

From DC to Virginia and Maryland is a "trek"?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2iaKs-s_54&feature=related

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DC Gun Laws Still Unreasonable

 

And they're going to lose in court again. It's kind of funny to me. If only they were not quite so extreme, they might win in court, setting precedents I would probably not like. As long as they think stuff like what Emily is going through is "common sense gun control" I can rest easy, knowing they will continue to lose and lose again.

 

In July, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals smacked down the city of Chicago over instructional requirements similar to the District's. The Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association sued the Windy City for requiring training at shooting ranges that were banned by city ordinance.

 

As The Washington Times has exposed, Washington has created the same impossible situation, requiring residents to trek to Maryland or Virginia if they want to own a gun in the District. Feeling the heat, D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson introduced the Firearms Amendment Act last month to, among other things, allow the gun safety course to be completed within the city - in theory.

 

Washington, of course, has no shooting ranges for private citizens. For Mr. Mendelson's proposal to be more than a public-relations stunt, the city should allow residents to use the police shooting range to complete the training demand.

 

 

No. No, they should not. If they did allow people to use the police range, they would win in court. Since they won't, they will lose. Again. :P

 

From DC to Virginia and Maryland is a "trek"?

 

 

Just like from Chicago to the suburbs is what the courts will say, it may surprise you to learn. They got out their ten foot pole for that city a while back, you know. ;)

 

The issue that has stood out there since the beginning,

and will continue to be there whateverthefuck the verdict is,

is: Does a State have the right to regulate arms within itself.

I bet they don't touch that with a ten foot pole.

 

 

 

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Mandating training while disallowing training facilities got Chicago in trouble in court because the court was able to recognize that there is no good reason to disallow firing ranges. Since the second amendment now applies to individuals, the government must show a good reason or this kind of infringement will be thrown out.

 

A comment left on this page gives another reason:

 

There are no ranges that are metro accessible (and I doubt that metro would allow you to take your gun, even cased, on it anyways) in MD or VA, so not having a range in DC effectively eliminates anyone who does not own a car from gun ownership.

 

So the answer to Mark's question would be yes. As usual, poor people do not get quite the second amendment rights that the rich get in this country, and yes, a poor person without a car would be in for quite a trek if he wanted to legally own a gun in DC.

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Mandating training while disallowing training facilities got Chicago in trouble in court because the court was able to recognize that there is no good reason to disallow firing ranges. Since the second amendment now applies to individuals, the government must show a good reason or this kind of infringement will be thrown out.

 

A comment left on this page gives another reason:

 

There are no ranges that are metro accessible (and I doubt that metro would allow you to take your gun, even cased, on it anyways) in MD or VA, so not having a range in DC effectively eliminates anyone who does not own a car from gun ownership.

 

So the answer to Mark's question would be yes. As usual, poor people do not get quite the second amendment rights that the rich get in this country, and yes, a poor person without a car would be in for quite a trek if he wanted to legally own a gun in DC.

 

http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/tripplanner/tripplanner_form_solo.cfm

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Mandating training while disallowing training facilities got Chicago in trouble in court because the court was able to recognize that there is no good reason to disallow firing ranges. Since the second amendment now applies to individuals, the government must show a good reason or this kind of infringement will be thrown out.

 

A comment left on this page gives another reason:

 

There are no ranges that are metro accessible (and I doubt that metro would allow you to take your gun, even cased, on it anyways) in MD or VA, so not having a range in DC effectively eliminates anyone who does not own a car from gun ownership.

 

So the answer to Mark's question would be yes. As usual, poor people do not get quite the second amendment rights that the rich get in this country, and yes, a poor person without a car would be in for quite a trek if he wanted to legally own a gun in DC.

 

http://www.wmata.com...r_form_solo.cfm

 

Are you saying that the Metro system allows guns?

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Continuing Efforts to Buy a Gun in DC

 

I was nervous about making such a big purchase without being 100 percent sure it was legal. I called the city’s only legal gun dealer, Charles Sykes. He had some news since we last spoke. “Remember I told you that you could buy any gun on the three state lists- Maryland, Massachusetts and California - but only ones that had been on the lists since 2009?” It rang a quiet bell. “Well they upgraded it, now you can buy any gun that is on those lists as of today.”

 

“Really? I’m surprised D.C. would do something like that. When did this happen? Did they tell you” I asked.

 

“Nope,” he replied and was silent for a moment. “Why would they be to informative to me? What time, when, how this happened - I have no idea. It just happened.”

 

I asked him for more help on having the gun sent from the online dealer to him. “Ask if they have my new address,” Mr. Sykes said referring to his new office in the same building as police headquarters. “Make sure they have my licence on file. If not, get their name and fax number for me to send it."

 

He added, "Try to get them to send UPS or, second, FedEx but not the postal service because they don’t deliver at police headquarters, and I want my guns passing through as few hands as possible.“ The post office doesn't deliver to the police department? This city never ceases to amaze me.

 

Anything else? “You know to make sure they only send the 10-round magazine and keep the ‘high-capacity’ at the store.”

 

Gulp. I quickly thumbed through the three pages of guns that are illegal in D.C. and saw no reference to the legal-limit magazine. But near the front of the 22-page packet, there was one line that said, “Please note that it is illegal to posses a magazine that holds more than ten rounds of ammunition in the District of Columbia.” So now what?

 

Finally Successful Purchase, Now the Road to Possession

 

In the end, I went with Immortal Arms because it is local and the price was the best, $781, which included switching the two 13-round magazines for two 10-round ones and shipping.

 

The owner, Mark Attanasio, is a disabled U.S. Army veteran, who started the appointment-only business in 2010. He’d been following my series on getting a legal gun in D.C. and posted to my wall when he saw my troubles in the search for a D.C.-legal Sig.

 

Mr. Attanasio said he’d have the gun in in two days. He apparently assumes that speed of delivery would be a selling point, as it is for Virginia citizens, but it doesn’t matter much for a D.C. resident.

 

And, that is the “but” in this story. Although I have paid and ordered the gun, I can’t take possession of it until it is transferred to Mr. Sykes, and I get an approved registration certificate.

 

In order to get this certificate, I still have to do the following: take a written test on the city’s firearm laws; get Mr. Sykes to fill out the application form; have the eligibility form notarized; get two passport photos and prove that my eyesight is better or equal to the driver’s license requirement (20/70 in best eye and field of vision of at least 140 degrees).

 

Next, I have to take all the forms to the registry office; pay $60 in fees; wait five days for the application to be approved; wait an additional five days for Mr. Sykes to be able to release my gun; and take the gun to the police for a ballistics test.

 

Finally, if I pass all of these steps, I should be able to take possession of the gun that I already bought.

 

If she wanted to break the law, I suppose she could get some of those super-dangerous 13 round magazines for her gun once she gets it home.

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Mandating training while disallowing training facilities got Chicago in trouble in court because the court was able to recognize that there is no good reason to disallow firing ranges. Since the second amendment now applies to individuals, the government must show a good reason or this kind of infringement will be thrown out.

 

A comment left on this page gives another reason:

 

There are no ranges that are metro accessible (and I doubt that metro would allow you to take your gun, even cased, on it anyways) in MD or VA, so not having a range in DC effectively eliminates anyone who does not own a car from gun ownership.

 

So the answer to Mark's question would be yes. As usual, poor people do not get quite the second amendment rights that the rich get in this country, and yes, a poor person without a car would be in for quite a trek if he wanted to legally own a gun in DC.

Never been to SE, eh? They don't need no steenking ranges.

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Never been to SE, eh? They don't need no steenking ranges.

 

 

SE?

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Clarence bucks many tides.

 

http://www.nytimes.c...ction.html?_r=1

 

He got that one wrong, in my opinion.

 

Justice Thomas’s dissent, at 19 pages, was almost five times as long as the majority opinion. “The question presented here is not whether a prudent prosecutor should have disclosed the information that Smith identifies,” Justice Thomas wrote.

 

Rather, he wrote, the question was whether Mr. Smith had not shown a reasonable probability that the jury would have reached a different conclusion had it known of the undisclosed statements. Justice Thomas said a careful review of the balance of the evidence demonstrated that nothing would have changed.

 

 

I don't know the law here, but that seems wrong. It seems like the question IS the one he says it is NOT, and it seems like the second question, the one Thomas answered, is not a question judges should be answering. If judges knew what a jury would do, why have a jury?

Because, some judges are appointed by democrats republicans democrats the other side.

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Emily finally got her gun

 

After months of aggravation, hundreds of dollars in fees, countless hours jumping over hurdles, I am now a gun owner and finally exercising my second amendment right to keep arms (bearing arms is still illegal in the nation’s capital).

 

...

 

Now, this series is far from over. As I've found, the hurdles placed before gun owners do not end here. I need to figure out the laws on getting ammunition and transporting the gun to a state that allows practice shooting.

 

Wow, the Supreme Court sure made the Wild West out of Washington DC when they recognized the 2nd amendment as an individual right, didn't they? :lol:

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DC Gun Laws Still Unreasonable

 

And they're going to lose in court again. ...

 

In July, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals smacked down the city of Chicago over instructional requirements similar to the District's. ...

 

 

 

Looks like the DC Council decided they would prefer not to lose in court again and changed their laws.

 

The newly-drafted legislation eliminates the five-hour training requirement for gun ownership. As documented in The Washington Times’ “Emily Gets Her Gun” series, this turned out to be the most time-consuming and expensive barrier. The classes, which cost an average of $200, could not even be legally taken within city limits, calling into question the requirement’s constitutionality.

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DC Folds In The Gun Rights Battle

 

Emily Miller's headline there might be a bit optimistic, but at least some progress is being made on the more ridiculous issues. You have to pass their test, with questions about the law. OK, fair enough, right? No, not the existing law, the previous law.

 

The second revised test will be released after Mayor Vincent Gray signs the bill. Spokesmen for the mayor have not responded to my repeated requests for information on why the legislation has not been signed in the three weeks since the city council unanimously passed it.

 

Whenever Mayor Gray gets around to putting pen to paper, the new gun test will no longer have questions related to the now-eliminated vision test and ammunition laws.

 

The phrase kicking and screaming still comes to mind, hardly "folding."

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Jfc, what a bunch of clustery-fukassery....

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Can't wait for the RNC Convention in Tampa. Our wonderful Gov. Scott turned down the mayor of Tampa's request to restrict gun possession at the Convention. I think we should air drop booze, guns and ammo into that convention and let's see if the righties will exercise their right to be crazy.

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Can't wait for the RNC Convention in Tampa. Our wonderful Gov. Scott turned down the mayor of Tampa's request to restrict gun possession at the Convention. I think we should air drop booze, guns and ammo into that convention and let's see if the righties will exercise their right to be crazy.

 

 

"There is no reason to have a concealed firearm in downtown Tampa that week," Buckhorn said in Wednesday's statement. "And, to be clear, I am far less concerned with those who have concealed weapons permits than the ones who may somehow acquire a weapon and use it to create mayhem."

 

He is right not to be worried about concealed weapons permit holders, as long years of data have shown that we are, as a group, less violent than the public at large.

 

The problem is, anyone else who is carrying a concealed weapon is already breaking the law. The Department of Redundancy Department wants to make that double-illegal? :rolleyes:

 

I'll be here after the convention to point out what has been true since the law was passed in the late 1980s: concealed weapons permit holders are not scary. I expect it will sink in about as well as ever.

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Guest One of Five

I'll be here after the convention to point out what has been true since the law was passed in the late 1980s: concealed weapons permit holders are not scary. I expect it will sink in about as well as ever.

 

Don't worry - there really is a gap.

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DC Grabs Guns from Soldier

 

Before deploying overseas, the soldier drove his collection - which included an AR-15, a Beretta 9mm and several .45 caliber pistols - to his parents’ house in New Jersey for safe storage. Upon his return to the states and recovery, Lt. Kim wanted to bring his weapons back to his home in Charleston. On the way, he stopped at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington for a doctor’s appointment. That’s when his troubles started.

 

...

 

Lt. Kim became lost in the city and was pulled over. The cops asked Lt. Kim if they could search his vehicle. The lieutenant agreed because his guns were cased and stored in full compliance with federal firearm-transport laws. “I told them I had been under the impression that as long as the guns were locked in the back, with the ammunition separate, that I was allowed to transport them,” Lt. Kim told The Washington Times. “They said, ‘That may be true, however, since you stopped at Walter Reed, that makes you in violation of the registration laws.’ ” It is illegal to possess a firearm anywhere in the District other than the home.

 

...

 

The tank platoon leader was booked on four felony counts of carrying outside the home, which threatened a maximum penalty of a $20,000 fine and 20 years imprisonment. “I knew if I got one felony, my military career would be over,” Lt. Kim recalled. The next day, he hired firearms attorney Richard Gardiner to represent him. After several months of negotiations, Mr. Gardiner persuaded the U.S. attorney to offer a deal in which Lt. Kim would plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of one unregistered gun which would then be dismissed if he avoided violating the law for nine months. Though all charges were dropped a year ago, Lt. Kim’s record has not yet been expunged.

 

In June, the U.S. attorney’s office had certified Mr. Kim’s $10,000 worth of guns were no longer needed for evidence, but the city wouldn’t release them. The District also ignored Mr. Gardiner’s letter from December asking for their return. “This is legalized theft,” said Mr. Gardiner. “The charges were dropped, and they don’t give you your property back?”

 

The DC government still must be dragged kicking and screaming to the point where they may one day respect the second amendment rights of citizens.

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politifact%2Fphotos%2F10reasons.jpg

 

 

 

 

4 is unquestionably true.

 

Sincerely,

 

A potential future Obama voter

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The DC government finally gave in and returned property they were illegally holding.

 

Lt. Kim Got His Guns Back

 

More or less intact, but with new marks (illegally) permanently engraved into them by the police.

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DC 12 Step Gun Program

 

While there are a few guides online about getting a legal gun in D.C., they are all outdated. Anything written before July 2012 does not reflect the changes in the firearm laws over the past six months which make the registration process somewhat easier and cheaper. One of my goals over the last nine months writing this series, “Emily Gets Her Gun”, was to help other Washingtonians become gun owners as easily as possible. I went through the registration ordeal without taking any shortcuts or using insider information so that I could find every bump in the road or dead end. I never read any other guide on going through the process.

 

So here is my guide on how to get a gun in the District. The steps are listed in the order I think is quickest, followed by more detailed tips.

 

Get a gun -- If you aren’t just registering a gun that you already own, I suggest picking out and buying your gun first because the ten-day waiting period begins on the purchase date. Make sure your final pick is on one of these three states’ lists, and that it comes with a magazine that holds no more than 10 rounds.

 

Transfer the gun -- Handguns have to go through a local federal firearms licensee (FFL). Call D.C.’s only legal gun dealer, Charles Sykes, and tell him you will be sending the firearm to his office. Phone is (301) 577-1427. Shotguns and rifles do not need to be transferred through a local FFL. They can then be shipped directly to you from the out-of-state dealer once you can show the registration certificate.

 

Get the forms -- Unfortunately, MPD has not put the forms you need online. Call the firearms registry office at (202) 727-4275 and ask to have them send you the “application for firearm registration certificate” (they call it "PD-219") and the gun registration packet. For new guns, fill out the right side of the registration form and leave the left side for Mr. Sykes. Download the “statement of eligibility” form and fill it out. Be sure to answer “yes” on the 11th question if you haven’t lied on questions 1 to 10.

 

Take the online course -- Click on this link to watch the video about fundamentals, safety and local laws. It takes about 30 minutes to watch it. You might want to take notes in your registration packet for the written test. At the end, you print out the certificate, sign it and bring it with you to MPD.

 

Meet with Charles Sykes -- When your handgun arrives, Mr. Sykes will call you to make an appointment to fill out the registration form (PD-219). His office is in the same building as MPD, inside the entrance for the DMV on C Street. Bring his $125 fee in cash. He will have you fill out some forms and wait while he calls FBI for an instant background check. Take the gun’s receipt.

 

Apply to register at MPD -- If you already own a gun and just need to register, take the gun and all the forms to the registry office, which is inside the entrance of MPD headquarters at 300 Indiana Ave, NW. From Mr. Sykes’s office, take your gun upstairs one floor to the registration office. Bring with you the completed registration and eligibility forms, training course certificate, proof of residency (driver’s license) and identity (Social Security card).

 

Take the test -- The registry office administers a 20-question, written, multiple-choice test on the online course and the registration packet. MPD now allows you to look at the packet while taking the test, so you don’t need to memorize anything.

 

Get fingerprinted -- You’ll be asked to fill out a few more forms, then be photographed and fingerprinted.

 

Go to DMV - The registration office will be given a bill for $48 in fees. You have to take this downstairs to the DMV and pay the fee in cash. Once you have the receipt, go back to MPD, so they can complete your application.

 

Waiting period -- The registration office staff will tell you what day to come back for the end of the ten-day waiting period. It starts either the day you submit the registration certificate or when you purchased the gun, whichever is earliest. Be sure to show them your purchase receipt to get a shorter wait.

 

Return to MPD -- The day before your waiting period ends, you can call and ask if your application was approved. If so, call Mr. Sykes to make an appointment to meet to pick up the handgun. Go back to MPD to pick up the registration permit. Take the form to Mr. Sykes so he can release the gun to you. If you already own your gun or you are buying a rifle or shotgun, you can have the registration certificate mailed to you to save you the trip.

 

Pick up your gun -- Take the document downstairs to Mr. Sykes’s office, and he’ll release the gun to you. Check ahead of time to ensure your gun came with a lock and a case. If not, be sure to bring one to transport the gun home.

 

Here are more in-depth details:

 

Legal magazine: The biggest restriction on a handgun purchase is finding one with a 10-round magazine. Mr. Sykes can’t accept the gun if it is shipped to him with the larger-size mag. You will most likely have to have the standard-issue mag of 13-rounds exchanged for a D.C.-legal 10-round one. To do this, you’ll need to buy the gun from a dealer willing to open the box and do the swap. The big online dealers usually ship straight from the warehouse so are not able to change the magazine. Local dealers can do this for you if you purchase from them.

 

Transferring the gun: Ask the dealer to use UPS or FedEx because the U.S. postal service does not deliver to Mr. Sykes’s office because it is in police headquarters. His mailing address is 300 Indiana Ave., NW #1140A, Washington D.C. 20001.

 

Registering a gun you own: If you already own your gun and just moving into the District, I’d recommend spending $125 and having Mr. Sykes transfer your gun to MPD. If you can afford the added cost, it will alleviate your fears of being arrested by having the dealer pick up the gun at your home for storage at his office at MPD until your registration is complete. If you have owned guns for a long time but not registered them because they’ve been at a relative’s in another state (wink, wink), I’d suggest having Mr. Sykes transfer from your home to MPD as a good way to get on the right side of the law with minimal risk.

 

Taking a gun to MPD: If you have a gun and are headed to MPD with your firearm for registration, keep in mind that there are no good parking options nearby. There are some public lots a few blocks westward or Union Station is about four blocks eastward. Street parking is almost impossible. It is legal to transport a firearm on public transportation as long as it’s in a locked box and unloaded. The closest Metro stop is Judiciary Square.

 

Finding MPD: The headquarters is not well marked. It’s the large, tan-colored building engraved with “300 Henry J. Daly Building.” The registration office is inside glass doors, directly across from the metal detectors at the entrance.

 

Exceptions for the online course: You do not need to take the online course if you can prove that you have have had any of these: completed firearms training in the military or a course “equal” to MPD’s. It’s easier just to take the free, online course to avoid the hassle.

 

DMV: When you go in the main room, get in line at the front desk to get a number to pay. You will be sent to get in line at the cashier’s in the far back of the large room on the left. Expect to wait a while in both lines. The DMV only takes cash.

 

Shortening the waiting period: As mentioned above, you are registering a new gun, be sure to bring the receipt with you and tell the officer you want your wait time shortened to the purchase date.

 

Registration certificate: You’ll get the yellow and pink copies of a three-ply full-size piece of paper. Always keep one copy with your gun when transporting. (MPD is supposed to update the certificates to be card-sized to fit in a wallet.)

 

Taking your gun home: If your new gun does not come with a lock, the registration office will give you one. You will need also need a box or other container that can be locked, like a backpack. To legally transport your gun home, it must be locked and unloaded. If you drove, put the gun in the trunk of the car. For an SUV or truck, put it as far out of reach of the passenger cabin as possible.

 

And, if you think all that is bad, it used to be much worse...

 

I’ve been writing this guide bit by bit from the day in Oct. 2011 when I first went to the District’s firearm registration office and said, “I want a gun.” Back then, I expected it to take a few weeks and cost $60 to have a firearm at home. I was off by a few months and $375. Also, I believed that documenting the process for the newspaper would mean a few stories about long lines and frustrating bureaucrats. I was far off the mark.

 

When I started, there were 17 steps to getting a legal gun in Washington. However, as my series exposed the particularly burdensome requirements to gun ownership, the city council moved to remove some of those barriers. Now there are 12 steps that take much less time and the cost has decreased by $262.

 

While registering guns with the government is still an unnecessary burden on our Second Amendment rights, it’s not as bad as it used to be.

 

Happy gun ownership!

 

 

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Wow, 10 day waiting period??? That blows! When I bought my new Glock a couple of weeks ago, I was annoyed that it took 20 min for the background check to come back.

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I think she should get a medal for being more or less solely responsible (well, along with some corporate first amendment rights) for doing away with the 5 most ridiculous and expensive steps. As always, sunlight is a great disinfectant and indefensible rules simply melted away. Go Emily!

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DC 12 Step Gun Program

 

While there are a few guides online about getting a legal gun in D.C., they are all outdated. Anything written before July 2012 does not reflect the changes in the firearm laws over the past six months which make the registration process somewhat easier and cheaper. One of my goals over the last nine months writing this series, "Emily Gets Her Gun", was to help other Washingtonians become gun owners as easily as possible. I went through the registration ordeal without taking any shortcuts or using insider information so that I could find every bump in the road or dead end. I never read any other guide on going through the process.

 

So here is my guide on how to get a gun in the District. The steps are listed in the order I think is quickest, followed by more detailed tips.

 

Get a gun -- If you aren't just registering a gun that you already own, I suggest picking out and buying your gun first because the ten-day waiting period begins on the purchase date. Make sure your final pick is on one of these three states' lists, and that it comes with a magazine that holds no more than 10 rounds.

 

Transfer the gun -- Handguns have to go through a local federal firearms licensee (FFL). Call D.C.'s only legal gun dealer, Charles Sykes, and tell him you will be sending the firearm to his office. Phone is (301) 577-1427. Shotguns and rifles do not need to be transferred through a local FFL. They can then be shipped directly to you from the out-of-state dealer once you can show the registration certificate.

 

Get the forms -- Unfortunately, MPD has not put the forms you need online. Call the firearms registry office at (202) 727-4275 and ask to have them send you the "application for firearm registration certificate" (they call it "PD-219") and the gun registration packet. For new guns, fill out the right side of the registration form and leave the left side for Mr. Sykes. Download the "statement of eligibility" form and fill it out. Be sure to answer "yes" on the 11th question if you haven't lied on questions 1 to 10.

 

Take the online course -- Click on this link to watch the video about fundamentals, safety and local laws. It takes about 30 minutes to watch it. You might want to take notes in your registration packet for the written test. At the end, you print out the certificate, sign it and bring it with you to MPD.

 

Meet with Charles Sykes -- When your handgun arrives, Mr. Sykes will call you to make an appointment to fill out the registration form (PD-219). His office is in the same building as MPD, inside the entrance for the DMV on C Street. Bring his $125 fee in cash. He will have you fill out some forms and wait while he calls FBI for an instant background check. Take the gun's receipt.

 

Apply to register at MPD -- If you already own a gun and just need to register, take the gun and all the forms to the registry office, which is inside the entrance of MPD headquarters at 300 Indiana Ave, NW. From Mr. Sykes's office, take your gun upstairs one floor to the registration office. Bring with you the completed registration and eligibility forms, training course certificate, proof of residency (driver's license) and identity (Social Security card).

 

Take the test -- The registry office administers a 20-question, written, multiple-choice test on the online course and the registration packet. MPD now allows you to look at the packet while taking the test, so you don't need to memorize anything.

 

Get fingerprinted -- You'll be asked to fill out a few more forms, then be photographed and fingerprinted.

 

Go to DMV - The registration office will be given a bill for $48 in fees. You have to take this downstairs to the DMV and pay the fee in cash. Once you have the receipt, go back to MPD, so they can complete your application.

 

Waiting period -- The registration office staff will tell you what day to come back for the end of the ten-day waiting period. It starts either the day you submit the registration certificate or when you purchased the gun, whichever is earliest. Be sure to show them your purchase receipt to get a shorter wait.

 

Return to MPD -- The day before your waiting period ends, you can call and ask if your application was approved. If so, call Mr. Sykes to make an appointment to meet to pick up the handgun. Go back to MPD to pick up the registration permit. Take the form to Mr. Sykes so he can release the gun to you. If you already own your gun or you are buying a rifle or shotgun, you can have the registration certificate mailed to you to save you the trip.

 

Pick up your gun -- Take the document downstairs to Mr. Sykes's office, and he'll release the gun to you. Check ahead of time to ensure your gun came with a lock and a case. If not, be sure to bring one to transport the gun home.

 

Here are more in-depth details:

 

Legal magazine: The biggest restriction on a handgun purchase is finding one with a 10-round magazine. Mr. Sykes can't accept the gun if it is shipped to him with the larger-size mag. You will most likely have to have the standard-issue mag of 13-rounds exchanged for a D.C.-legal 10-round one. To do this, you'll need to buy the gun from a dealer willing to open the box and do the swap. The big online dealers usually ship straight from the warehouse so are not able to change the magazine. Local dealers can do this for you if you purchase from them.

 

Transferring the gun: Ask the dealer to use UPS or FedEx because the U.S. postal service does not deliver to Mr. Sykes's office because it is in police headquarters. His mailing address is 300 Indiana Ave., NW #1140A, Washington D.C. 20001.

 

Registering a gun you own: If you already own your gun and just moving into the District, I'd recommend spending $125 and having Mr. Sykes transfer your gun to MPD. If you can afford the added cost, it will alleviate your fears of being arrested by having the dealer pick up the gun at your home for storage at his office at MPD until your registration is complete. If you have owned guns for a long time but not registered them because they've been at a relative's in another state (wink, wink), I'd suggest having Mr. Sykes transfer from your home to MPD as a good way to get on the right side of the law with minimal risk.

 

Taking a gun to MPD: If you have a gun and are headed to MPD with your firearm for registration, keep in mind that there are no good parking options nearby. There are some public lots a few blocks westward or Union Station is about four blocks eastward. Street parking is almost impossible. It is legal to transport a firearm on public transportation as long as it's in a locked box and unloaded. The closest Metro stop is Judiciary Square.

 

Finding MPD: The headquarters is not well marked. It's the large, tan-colored building engraved with "300 Henry J. Daly Building." The registration office is inside glass doors, directly across from the metal detectors at the entrance.

 

Exceptions for the online course: You do not need to take the online course if you can prove that you have have had any of these: completed firearms training in the military or a course "equal" to MPD's. It's easier just to take the free, online course to avoid the hassle.

 

DMV: When you go in the main room, get in line at the front desk to get a number to pay. You will be sent to get in line at the cashier's in the far back of the large room on the left. Expect to wait a while in both lines. The DMV only takes cash.

 

Shortening the waiting period: As mentioned above, you are registering a new gun, be sure to bring the receipt with you and tell the officer you want your wait time shortened to the purchase date.

 

Registration certificate: You'll get the yellow and pink copies of a three-ply full-size piece of paper. Always keep one copy with your gun when transporting. (MPD is supposed to update the certificates to be card-sized to fit in a wallet.)

 

Taking your gun home: If your new gun does not come with a lock, the registration office will give you one. You will need also need a box or other container that can be locked, like a backpack. To legally transport your gun home, it must be locked and unloaded. If you drove, put the gun in the trunk of the car. For an SUV or truck, put it as far out of reach of the passenger cabin as possible.

 

And, if you think all that is bad, it used to be much worse...

 

I've been writing this guide bit by bit from the day in Oct. 2011 when I first went to the District's firearm registration office and said, "I want a gun." Back then, I expected it to take a few weeks and cost $60 to have a firearm at home. I was off by a few months and $375. Also, I believed that documenting the process for the newspaper would mean a few stories about long lines and frustrating bureaucrats. I was far off the mark.

 

When I started, there were 17 steps to getting a legal gun in Washington. However, as my series exposed the particularly burdensome requirements to gun ownership, the city council moved to remove some of those barriers. Now there are 12 steps that take much less time and the cost has decreased by $262.

 

While registering guns with the government is still an unnecessary burden on our Second Amendment rights, it's not as bad as it used to be.

 

Happy gun ownership!

 

 

 

This reply somehow found its way to the wrong thread, so I decided to put it below this post, where it seems to fit better.

 

Still think we need no better gun control? "Guns don't kill, people who can buy guns like candy, however, do kill".

 

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MILLER: Q&A on D.C.'s gun laws

 

The shooting at the Family Research Council in Washington on Wednesday raised many questions about the guns laws in the District of Columbia. As people continued to tweet me questions, I decided to answer them all in one post. Below are your questions, followed by my responses. Feel free to elaborate in the comment section at the bottom. Q: Is it legal to carry a concealed firearm in DC?

 

A: No, the nation’s capital does not recognize the right to bear arms. It is illegal to have a gun outside the home in D.C. The city was forced in 2008 to recognize the right to keep arms when the Supreme Court ruled that the 30-year total ban on handguns was unconstitutional in the Heller decision.

 

Q: Does DC accept CCW from other states? Which ones?

 

A: No concealed carry permits can be used in D.C. It’s important for visitors to the nation’s capital to know this so that they don’t get arrested for an innocent mistake. It happens too often.

 

Under no circumstances can a non-resident of the District bring a gun into the city. Army 1st Seargent Matthew Corrigan spent two weeks in jail for unregistered guns. Read his story here.

 

Residents can have guns in their homes if each one is registered with the city. Click here to read my new guide to registering firearms in D.C.

 

Also keep in mind that ammunition has to be registered so non-residents can be arrested for this, as happened in the case of Army Specialist Adam Mecker (click to read his story). The city council is moving to make it a civil instead of a criminal offense for visitors to get caught with unregistered guns or ammunition, but that bill has not had a hearing yet. Click to read more about that change.

 

Q: How has that law not been overturned?

 

A: The main excuse the local politicians use for not granting any carry rights -- open or concealed -- is that having congressmen, the president and Supreme Court justices around town makes this a unique case and legal guns would put them in more danger. Read more here. Of course, if someone wants to assassinate the president or lawmaker, he won’t care that carrying a gun is illegal.

 

Q: Woollard v Sheridan may change things in the next few years. Are you going to be DC's test case!?

 

A: The recent court Woolard case which ruled that neighboring Maryland's carry permit process was unconstitutional because it puts the burden on the citizen for proving a need to carry the gun, rather than the state saying why you cannot, is being watched very carefully for its impact on D.C.

 

Just last week I asked D.C. city council chairman Phil Mendelson about the carry laws, and he said of the Woolard ruling that, “I’m anxious to see it play out and what the court is thinking.” He's been saying that since the ruling first came down in March. Bottom line, D.C. knows if that decision sticks, it will soon be forced in court to allow carry rights.

 

Q: When do you see the courts finally allowing law-abiding-citizens to carry on the streets of DC? What about reciprocity?

 

A: I think it could happen in the next two years as long as Woollard holds up in court. Also, D.C. politicians want, more than anything, to get more autonomy with their budgets. They know however that Congress is not happy with the overly-restrictive gun laws.

 

We saw recently that Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, single-handedly sunk the D.C. budget autonomy bill in the Senate by attaching amendments that would give more gun rights to residents, including carry rights. Read more about the move here. The combination of Congress and the courts are putting a lot of pressure on D.C. to allow carry rights.

 

However, as it did with the right to keep arms, I would expect an onerous process that will make it virtually impossible to actually get a carry permit. Read here about what changes the city was forced to make on its registration process this year. Reciprocity I would only expect to be done in D.C. when forced on the federal level. The Senate has held up the House-passed bill on national reciprocity since April.

 

Q: How is one supposed to transport their firearms in DC?

 

A: The police made it very complicated, but we forced them to clear up the information they were giving to the public. Read about them giving out false information on the transport laws here and here and then the city council forcing them to stop here.

 

The federal transport laws apply in the District. The law is simple: you can transport a gun from one place to another where you can legally possess it as long as the gun is properly stowed. So in D.C., I can legally possess in my home and then take it, for example, to a shooting range in Virginia.

 

Q: Please explain if the DC recognizes the federal law that allows the transportation of unloaded firearms through all 50 states?

 

A: Yes, see above. Though if a cop in D.C. arrests you while legally transporting your gun, as happened in the case of Lt. Augustine Kim (read his story here), then call a good firearms attorney.

 

Rep. Morgan Griffith has a bill in Congress that would be helpful for anti-gun locales like D.C. to make the federal law as clear as possible. Read about his legislation here.

 

Q: How do you get a newly-purchased gun to the home???

 

A: This falls under the federal transport laws, as it’s legal to have the gun at the registry office and the home. I brought my new gun home from the police station on the Metro in a locked box -- perfectly legal! Read my story here, with a photo of my gun in the subway.

 

Q: Emily you mentioned in an article that DC might start using cards (vice paper) for registrations. any word on that?

 

A: The Metropolitan Police Department is supposedly working on my suggestion to upgrad the flimsy registration certificates to cards to keep in a wallet. Things move slowly here.

 

Q: I would think that the VP's firearms would protected by federal privilege right? (Ryan if elected)

 

A: I’ve never heard of a federal privilege. Members of Congress are bound by D.C.’s gun laws when they are in town. I think Rep. Paul Ryan will have to go through the same registration process as the rest of us, which I wrote about in the paper today in: Ryan is first on Second Amendment.

 

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times. Her "Emily Gets Her Gun" series on the District's gun laws won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.

 

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Emily went to Illinois (where you can't carry a gun) for training because she lives in DC, where training is impossible.

 

Illinois is the only state in the country that denies all rights to carry arms. When I arrived there this week, however, I felt like I was free compared to the District. To get better at shooting, I took a ladies self-defense training course taught by Rob Pincus at the Winchester Ammunition in the Prairie State.

 

 

With my gun in a locked box, I was able to take it from the St. Louis airport to the hotel in Collinsville and the two shooting ranges. In Washington, I can only legally have my gun in my home. A visitor to the nation's capital could not bring a gun to train because it's always illegal to possess an unregistered gun in Washington. Also, there are no shooting ranges in D.C. because the city uses zoning to make it effectively impossible to open one.

 

A city of that size and diversity should have more than one gun dealer and more than one place to practice.

 

The right to keep and bear arms in locked boxes seems... strange.

 

If a cruising boat (possibly with a gun aboard that was legal back home) wanders up the river and ties up at a DC marina, is it "in Washington"?

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If a cruising boat (possibly with a gun aboard that was legal back home) wanders up the river and ties up at a DC marina, is it "in Washington"?

 

Most likely. That's the wonderful thing about states rights - the kaleidoscope of laws as one moves from one to the other. Those that like to defend states rights claim it as a benefit ;)

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