Guns

Heller (and Heller) Update

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The Washington Post reports that Dick Heller, whose lawsuit resulted in the Supreme Court decision overturning the District of Columbia's gun ban, yesterday tried to register his .22-caliber revolver, which is one of the few handguns D.C. does not consider a "machine gun," but was turned away because he did not bring the weapon with him. Today he is trying again, having been assured that a) he has to bring the gun (kept for him by a friend in Maryland) to the police station in order to register it and b) he won't be arrested for carrying an unregistered gun if he does so.

According to D.C.'s reading of its "machine gun" ban, Heller's .45-caliber pistol has to remain in Maryland, since it, like any other handgun capable of accepting a clip magazine that holds more than 12 rounds, qualifies as a machine gun. Dane von Breichenruchardt, president of the Bill of Rights Foundation, calls this restriction "foolishness" and notes that D.C.'s leaders are "trying to find as many ways as they can to make the [registration] process as difficult and unattractive as they can." He predicts the city will find itself back in court soon. "Mayor Fenty promised us he would follow the letter and spirit of the law," he says. "He has done neither."

According to the Post, so far Heller is the only D.C. resident who has tried to register a handgun. One major barrier, in addition to the city's burdensome regulations and uncertainty about the risk of arrest, is the complete absence of legal gun dealers:

Because, under federal law, buyers can purchase handguns only in the states where they live, D.C. residents cannot legally purchase and take delivery of firearms until a licensed firearms dealer sets up shop in the District. Officials said that one dealer is in the process of reactivating his license and that others will probably obtain licenses eventually.

Eventually, it will be possible for D.C. residents to buy pistols in other states and have dealers in those states ship the guns to dealers in the District for delivery.

NEXT: "Unfortunately, his jurisprudence is likely to be anything but conservative"

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  1. like any other handgun capable of accepting a clip magazine

    Fixed.

    Very nice post Jacob, thank you.

  2. Oh, sorry Mr. Heller, did we forget to mention the law prohibiting weapons of any kind inside a state or federal building? Off to jail with you.

  3. complete absence of legal gun dealers

    Maybe, maybe not.

  4. Indeed. It seems that Josh Sugarmann, Executive Director of the Violence Policy Center is in the enviable position of being one of the only people in Washington DC to have a Federally-issued license to sell guns.

  5. “buyers can purchase handguns only in the states where they live”

    But DC’s not a state.

  6. Because, under federal law, buyers can purchase handguns only in the states where they live, D.C. residents cannot legally purchase and take delivery of firearms until a licensed firearms dealer sets up shop in the District.

    And of course D.C. has extra regulations beyond the FFL for being a gun dealer, too.

    There are, of course, several hundred people who work and often live in the District who are not residents of D.C. But Members of Congress have never had to follow laws like gun registration, which were designed for peons, not patrones.

  7. LarryA,

    You mean like Patron Senator of Reason, Jim Webb and his staff?

  8. In the meantime, can residents of DC make their own guns?

  9. Something about Heller, a .22, and a maze of inpenetrable bureaucracy reminds me of a famous book…

  10. Because, under federal law, buyers can purchase handguns only in the states where they live

    Sounds like some brave soul needs to openly and very publicly purchase a handgun in some other state from an equally brave firearms dealer and defy anyone to enforce this unconstitutional federal law.

  11. prolefeed,

    That law falls (justly, I think) under the authority of the Interstate Commerce Clause. I don’t see how it would be in violation of the 2nd Amendment either.

  12. You mean like Patron Senator of Reason, Jim Webb and his staff?

    And Kennedy’s bodyguard, and Feinstein’s concealed handgun license, and…

    In the meantime, can residents of DC make their own guns?

    If they have a federal firearms manufacturing license. Otherwise, see “zip gun, illegal.”

  13. The DC government is nothing but a bunch of cocksucking little bitches. Fuck them.

    If you want someone to rob, go look up the addresses of the DC City Council. You know they don’t have any guns nor any balls.

    “Shall not be infringed” is very easy to understand. But they willfully ignore the Constitution to protect all their criminal friends that roam the streets of DC. Virginia is for lovers, but DC is for criminals and their patrons on the City Council.

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