Defending Second Amendment Rights One Weapon at a Time

Alan Gura, Dick Heller's attorney, reports that the .22-caliber revolver his client began to register last week is the same weapon he tried to register in 2002 before suing the District of Columbia over its handgun ban. Therefore, Gura says, assuming Heller is allowed to register the revolver and keep it at home, "the city appears to be complying with the literal command of the [Supreme Court] judgment," which said "the District must permit [Heller] to register his handgun" as long as he is not "disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights" (i.e., has no criminal or psychiatric record that bars him from owning a firearm). Gura adds:

That does not mean that the rest of the D.C. Code with respect to firearms is constitutional. Much of it is not. But the entire code was not directly at issue in our case. It is our hope that Mayor Fenty and the City Council, or Congress, if the Mayor and City Council are unwilling to do so, sit down with their code books and the Supreme Court's opinion, and make a serious effort to conform the former to the latter. If the political branches do not make the city's firearm laws constitutional, then as we've seen, the courts will do it for them. 

In particular, the remaining storage requirements (which say even a gun locked in a safe must also be kept unloaded) and the "machine gun" ban (which the city used to stop Heller from registering a .45-caliber pistol with a seven-round magazine, arguing that the ban covers most semiautomatics) seem ripe for challenge. I'll have more on this in my column on Wednesday.

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  • Dan||

    The first person to register a gun in DC was Amy McVey, according to The Examiner. She registered a .357 Magnum.

  • ||

    It is our hope that Mayor Fenty and the City Council, or Congress, if the Mayor and City Council are unwilling to do so, sit down with their code books and the Supreme Court's opinion, and make a serious effort to conform the former to the latter.

    Whoa, is it time for the Friday Funny already?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "and the "machine gun" ban (which the city used to stop Heller from registering a .45-caliber pistol with a seven-round magazine, arguing that the ban covers most semiautomatics) seem ripe for challenge.

    The claim that any semi-automatic pistol counts as a "machine gun" is totally absurd and most certainly is ripe for a challenge.

  • ||

    Gloria: Do you know that sixty percent of all deaths in America are caused by guns?

    Archie Bunker: Would it make you feel any better, little girl, if they was pushed out of windows?

  • JB||

    Shall. Not. Be. Infringed.

    I hate illiterates.

  • ||

    The claim that any semi-automatic pistol counts as a "machine gun" is totally absurd and most certainly is ripe for a challenge.

    I was wondering what that smell was -- ripe indeed!

  • ||

    I'd like to see this Fenty a-hole walk alone from Wisconsin & M down to say, the Anacostia boat basin late some night & see if he's still against handguns as personal protection.

  • ||

    "Foolish liberals who are trying to read the 2nd Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a public safety hazard don't see the danger in the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like." - Alan Dershowitz (certainly no right-wing gun nut)

  • ||

    John-David: Please verify your facts...in 2005 (the latest year for which data is available) Firearm deaths accounted for just over 0.7% of ALL deaths in America (789 Accidental deaths, 17002 Suicides, out of a total of 2,448,017 deaths.) In contrast, motor vehicle accidents accounted for 45,343 deaths in the same year (1.85%). Here's some help, so you can stop throwing invective and rhetoric around: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm.

  • ||

    John-David: My bad. I should learn to not post until after my morning coffee...it allows me to actually read things in context.

  • ||

    As a Jewess in the US, I say it is high time that our Congress enact legislation mandating that any NRA memberhip card is an automatic NATIONAL Concealed Carry permit!

    Let's take BACK our streets!

  • ellipsis||

    Oh damn. I was hoping it was the semi-auto Heller had tried to register, which would make the lifting of the semi-auto ban a judicial slam dunk.

    Oh well, sounds like Alan Gura will be sending it up the flag pole anyway. Good for him.

  • ||

    I could be stupid here, but why doesn't the city council in D.C. look at cities who have much better violent crime rates than they do and try to adopt similar gun laws?
    Yeah, it probably is a stupid idea.

  • ||

    "I could be stupid here, but why doesn't the city council in D.C. look at cities who have much better violent crime rates than they do and try to adopt similar gun laws?
    Yeah, it probably is a stupid idea."

    Alternatively, they could adopt the laws of the state of Maryland, perhaps use the state's FFL's and gun stores for purchase, transfer, and background checking. This would eliminate problems of transfer in and out of the city. Adopt MD's concealed carry laws.

    Naw, that wouldn't be the Home Rule Way.

  • anonymous||

    In 2005 (the latest year for which data is available) Firearm deaths accounted for just over 0.7% of ALL deaths in America (789 Accidental deaths, 17002 Suicides, out of a total of 2,448,017 deaths.)

    You left out homicides: 10,100.

    Why?

  • LarryA||

    Alternatively, they could adopt the laws of the state of Maryland, perhaps use the state's FFL's and gun stores for purchase, transfer, and background checking. This would eliminate problems of transfer in and out of the city. Adopt MD's concealed carry laws.

    Interesting idea, except that if you compare 2006 murder rates among the sixteen cities that are comparable to D.C. in population (500,000-700,000) Baltimore is the only one that is higher. And it's 49% higher. Baltimore is also higher than D.C. in almost every other category.

    Note that Maryland has some of the strictest state gun laws in the U.S. including a very restrictive discretionary concealed carry law.

    Virginia would be a much better choice.

  • ||

    So what if it were a machine gun? The Second Amendment, if anything, specifically allows citizens to keep and bear military arms, which includes machine guns. The only people who pretend not to understand this, are the Nazi bastards who run the BATFE. It must be nice to get a paycheck from Uncle Sam, all along pledging allegiance to Adolph Hitler.

  • a non e mouse||

    >>In 2005 (the latest year for which data is >>available) Firearm deaths accounted for just >>over 0.7% of ALL deaths in America (789 >>Accidental deaths, 17002 Suicides, out of a >>total of 2,448,017 deaths.)

    >You left out homicides: 10,100.

    >Why?

    If you read his second post, you can probably figure out why. However, even with the addition of homicides, it only brings the percentage to 1.14%...still below simple vehicular accidents (not including vehicular homicide, which he also forgot to take into account).

    Something the 'Brady Bunch' and all the "milita clause" detractors forget to take into account is the fact that according to the United States Code Title 10, Subtitle A, Part I, Chapter 13, Subsection 311:
    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are-
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

    i.e. All males (and by lawful extention females) from 17 to 45 are MEMBERS OF THE MILITIA. Take from that what you will...

  • ||

    Hey Mayor Fenty,

    Suck the muzzle of my Ruger Mini-14!

  • ||

    It's long past time for District voters to vote out or recall those chronic, psychotic anal apertures and replace them with Americas who have and give true allegiance to the Constitution and Bill of Rights,

    Fielding
    the Scribe

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