Second Amendment

In Clever Effort To Generate New Criminals, D.C. Demands Registered Gun Owners Re-Register Again and Again

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Model 1911
Sam Lisker

Officials in the nation's capital seem to believe that not enough gun-owning city residents have told them to get stuffed; they want already registered gun owners to register again, and again, every couple of years. It's an effort guaranteed to turn some of the compliant into instant criminals, and to guarantee that nobody will ever have a handle on just who is armed.

The new rule hasn't yet been added to the online repository of D.C. Municipal Regulations, but you can read it in its proposed form along with a handy summary. The key passage says:

2326.1 Pursuant to § 207a of the Act, a registration certificate shall expire three (3) years after the date of issuance, unless renewed in accordance with the Act and this section or otherwise stated in law or regulation.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, "30,000 firearm registrations would be subject to the renewal requirement," with each registrant subject to a three-month grace period during each re-registration period. "A registrant would be required to appear in person at MPD headquarters; submit fingerprints; confirm possession of the previously-registered firearm, home address, and continued compliance with the Act's registration requirements."

The Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro comments, "Of the 50,000 or however many people there are, at least one person won't comply. Not willfully but because they haven't heard about the new law and all of a sudden they'll be in technical violation of the law which has serious penalties."

Another problem is that renewed registration turns the process into more of a revokable permitting scheme than actual registration. In the wake of Heller, D.C. probably can't get away with arbitrarily capping or reducing the number of legal guns it will allow, as New York City has, repeatedly (with the result that those with political connections or cash to spare are favored). But it can make the process such a hassle that people don't bother complying—which is already par for the course with less-restrictive laws.

It's hard to think of a justification for the law, other than outright harassment. Either gun owners register when they enter the District, or they don't (and reducing the hassle factor would encourage at least some degree of compliance). And why should D.C. officials care if owners move on and are no longer residents? Few jurisdictions make much effort to track gun owners leaving their turf.

Years ago, just for the hell of it, I tried to follow the New York City Police Department's procedure for giving up a registration on my one legal gun when I happily left that dump swell town in the rearview mirror. The officer on the phone was so flummoxed by the idea that I'd moved somewhere that required neither licensing nor registration that I finally told her to fuck herself and hung up (despite my mild-mannered demeanor in print, I have a short temper with officialdom). If Bloomberg's minions can make their peace with aging registration records, D.C. could possibly manage, too.

Then again, D.C.'s new registration law may be a misfired attempt to really nail down how prevalent gun ownership really is. There's something of a mantra making the rounds in gun-hating circles that firearms ownership is on the decline and so the whole "problem" will eventually go away as it fades from the culture.

Gun ownership
Gallup

But that claim is based on self-reporting, as pollsters call people to ask them if they own politically controversial items that many politicians want to severely restrict or outlaw. The percentage of self-reported gun ownership has blipped up and down over the years, but generally settled from 50 percent to 37 percent from 1960 to now.

That number has settled even as support for gun restrictions has dropped in Reason-Rupe polling, AP polling, and Gallup polling. Those self-reported numbers have settled even as market observers expect 2013 to end as a record year for gun sales, adding to the estimated 270,000,000 or so guns already in American hands. Those numbers have settled even though firearms are incredibly durable, and guns sold decades ago are likely to be remain serviceable, even as they gain new neighbors on the wall or in the gun safe from those record sales (I own a Marlin lever-action rifle manufactured in 1900 that still shoots perfectly). Or maybe those neighboring guns are quite a distance away, since many recent gun buyers have been first-timers.

I've written before about the long and consistent history of abject failure enjoyed by gun registration laws. Attempts to get Americans, Canadians, French, Germans, and everybody else to register their boomsticks with government officials always result in more defiance than compliance—probably because governments repeatedly misuse the information. Chances are that the widely accepted "decline" in gun ownership reflects a similar unwillingness to surrender sensitive information about a highly politicized issue.

By making the hurdle to compliance with its gun regulations higher and more annoying, and threatening even technical violators with fines and criminal charges, Washington, D.C. officials guarantee that the gap will only widen between what they think they think they know and reality.

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  1. The officer on the phone was so flummoxed by the idea that I’d moved somewhere that required neither licensing nor registration that I finally told her to fuck herself and hung up

    I would pay money to hear this conversation.

    1. JD’s mistake was bothering with registration in the first place. Just have your guns in NYC; no one will ever know.

      But related to this, I was getting fingerprinted in CT for my concealed carry permit and I had brought some fingerprint cards for Florida as well, figuring that if the officer was already fingerprinting me, he could also do my Florida application while we were at it. You should have seen his reaction. He became very confused, and then suspicious, wondering “why would you want a CW permit in another state?” at that point I realized the guy was a retard who had no idea about reciprocity or maybe wanting to carry in other states that you were often in. Unsurprising, really, since any cops can carry anywhere in the country just by virtue of being cops (thanks 1980’s federal law that I can’t remember the name of). They don’t need to know about reciprocity.

      1. Just have your guns in NYC; no one will ever know.

        Until you use one to repel a home invasion or some other criminal act. Then you face more time in prison than the guy you were protecting yourself from.

        1. Nope. It used to be, as a counter to how absurd the gun registration laws were, that up to 20 or so unregistered firearms was still a misdemeanor (first offence, at least). Of course Bloomberg found out about that and went apeshit and got it changed to (I think) four or less is still a misdemeanor, and over 4 is a felony. So just have four guns or less and even if you shoot an intruder, the unregistered gun charge is still a misdemeanor.

          You just need to know the rules to know how to tweak them.

          1. Four guns??? What good is only having four guns?

            1. Just keep the rest of your guns in a storage center, and only have four at a time in the apartment. Duh.

              1. One in my living room, one in my family room, one in the master bedroom, one in the master bathroom… but what if I’m in the kitchen, genius?

                1. I have a shotgun in the bedroom closet, a revolver in the bedroom bedside table, a semi-auto in my coat downstairs and a semi-auto in my tennis bag. That’s four and it covers me pretty well. Including the kitchen, smart guy!

                2. DC condos and apartments are often under 1100 sq ft.

          2. I recall reading something from the Daily Fail, just a year or two ago, about a guy who caught himself on his surveillance system chasing off an intruder from his NYC high rise apartment with a pistol. I don’t think any shots were fired. For some reason I recall the cops promptly arresting him and charging him with multiple felonies upon seeing the video. The intruder was never found.

        2. Why would you face any prison time for shooting someone with an unregistered gun that you took from them during the struggle?

          1. Just make sure it’s a Hi-Point or some other cheap piece of (functional) crap. That way you won’t miss it when the cops steal it.

      2. Fingerprinted to get a CCW? Why would they even need that info?

        1. I’ve never gotten a CCW without having to be fingerprinted. Ever. Have you?

          I’m not saying they need the information, but being government, it’s a bottleneck where they can get your fingerprints because you want something (the CCW) from them. So of course they use it to get info on you, because that’s what they do.

          1. When I had a PA permit, all I had to do was go to the courthouse, get a background check, get my picture taken, and pay $17. PA has that going for it, at least.

          2. I’m in PA. It’s a one-page application plus $25 to the county sheriff, then he does the standard state police record check, and you return in 6 weeks for the license. Actually I think they lowered the cost to $20 now.

            1. In Washington, you go down to the permit office, they have you fill out a single page form (name, address, have you ever been…etc), they fingerprint you (electronic, no ink), you pay your $55, and within 30 days they have to have gotten you your permit unless you’re a felon or something like that. But they still fingerprint you. Same for CT, Florida, Utah, lots of states.

              1. Sure, but I’m just questioning the utility of getting fingerprints. How does that help determine if you are eligible for a CCW? A name and criminal history check should do that. In PA, even putting down your SS number on the application is optional.

                1. This is government. It’s not about utility. Why would you even think that way about the way the government operates? It’s an excuse to get more identification data on more people. The government loves that. Shit, I remember being a kid and some government flunkies (they may have been cops) wanting to fingerprint us in like 2nd or 3rd grade “for identification in case we got kidnapped” or some other bullshit like that. It was voluntary and I avoided it. That was a weird day, when those scum came in. If I recall my parents were pissed. It never happened again.

              2. You mean Washington State. In Washington, DC it is more involved. A young woman reporter just wrote a book about it. It takes weeks.

            2. Wow, six weeks? My initial one back in 1994 took only.about 4 or so. I have friends who have recently got their first PA CCW in less than 3. The key is.usually having references who actually answer their.phones.

              1. I got my PA CCW just a few years back, and I had to wait for about 15 minutes until I got it. No fingerprints or SSN either.

          3. PA does not require fingerprints.

          4. No fingerprints or photo needed in NH. And the have to give it to you in under 2 weeks.

        2. I just bought a Ruger .357 GP100 here in the People’s Republic of California. I had to give a thumb print, just to register the weapon (which I still can’t pick up until the 10 day waiting period is over).

      3. since any cops can carry anywhere in the country just by virtue of being cops (thanks 1980’s federal law that I can’t remember the name of).

        Actually it was 2004, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..Safety_Act

        (Because a retired NYC cop visiting Nebraska is likely to be tracked down by someone he arrested.)

  2. “A registrant would be required to appear in person at MPD headquarters; submit fingerprints; confirm possession of the previously-registered firearm, home address, and continued compliance with the Act’s registration requirements.”

    Why anyone would ever live in this corrupt shithole and support this ongoing criminal enterprise, is beyond me.

    1. The article is about DC. Good thing America isn’t like that.

  3. Fuck you. No.

  4. and the effort to turn citizens into subjects continues.

  5. I hope the first person arrested is a liberal or a journalist.

    1. DC clearly has selective enforcement, as shown by David Gregory’s waving around an illegal gun clip on his TV show broadcast from the NBC studio on Nebraska Avenue NW in DC.

  6. I finally told her to fuck herself and hung up (despite my mild-mannered demeanor in print, I have a short temper with officialdom

    My respect for you goes up by the post, JD.

  7. Those numbers have dropped even though firearms are incredibly durable, and guns sold decades ago are likely to be remain serviceable, even as they gain new neighbors on the wall or in the gun safe from those record sales (I own a Marlin lever-action rifle manufactured in 1900 that still shoots perfectly).

    I looked up the serial number on my old .38 police special and it was manufactured somewhere between 1948 and 1950. Shoots about as straight as anything else with a four inch barrel.

    1. Shoots about as straight as anything else with a four inch barrel.

      Is that what she tells you?

        1. You have an extra “s” there.

  8. (I own a Marlin lever-action rifle manufactured in 1900 that still shoots perfectly).

    My favorite rifle is my Finnish M39 that was manufactured in 1943 but is built on a pre-WW1 action. I hope some Finn killed a lot of Russians with it.

    1. I thought your favorite rifle was a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range. Doesn’t it hook up to your timesuit?

      1. FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE

        1. You got a dead cat in there or something buddy?

    2. That is nice. I have a German K98. I hope it killed a lot of Russians. And it shoots very straight. It is my home defense weapon. If I am ever the victim of a home invasion, I so hope the guy is wearing a flack vest. I really want to see the look on his face when he realizes that wearing one is a great idea as long as the guy in the house you are invading isn’t using a rifle.

      1. Isn’t a K98 kind of ungainly for a home defense weapon, John?

        I bought a K98 from an ad in a magazine one time; supposedly packed in Cosmoline and in perfect condition. Well, once I got it and took it our to the range, it was fucked. I was trying to get a grouping at 50 or 100 feet and I couldn’t even seem to hit the target. I brought it in much closer and found that the spread on the grouping (I was shooting from a secured rest, so it wasn’t me) was phenomenally huge, like a foot at 30 feet. Since I paid like $100 for it, i just had the action taken out and put in a synthetic stock with a new 30-06 barrel and got myself a new rifle from it. Still, that was a dumb purchase. My SKS on the other hand was a great purchase.

        1. Mine was rebuilt and sporterized and shoots better than new. So it is an “old rifle” in name only.

          As far as the ganglness, I am a pretty big guy so for me it is not a problem.

          It is only gangly if you plan on moving around and confronting someone. I have no plans of doing that. I have no desire to ever get in a fair gunfight. So my home defense plan consists of retreating to my bedroom and killing anyone dumb enough to come through the door. If they want to steal some shit before the cops come, they can have fun. That is why I have insurance.

          I have a handgun in the downstairs in case someone broke in at a decent hour with me downstairs. But I doubt anyone would be crazy enough to do that. Most likely it would come late at night when I am in my bedroom. And in that case, crouching behind my bed with the weapon pointed at the door will work just fine.

        2. If you want a nice old european milita4y rifle.get a swiss k31. Straight pull bolt action, phenomenal trigger for a military.issue rifle, nicely accurate.

          1. I have always had a soft spot for HKs

            http://www.hk-usa.com/military…..eneral.asp

      2. I had a friend with one of those, and he said finding 8mm ammo was a bitch.

        1. It is. I love the shoot it. But I rarely do since aomo is such a pain in the ass. I have a thousand rounds and use it very judiciously. The other problem is that it is loud as hell and like all high caliber bolt action rifles kicks like a mule.

          But it is still a beautiful weapon. There is something fabulous about being able to reach out and touch something 400 yards away.

          1. Shooting 100 rounds through a Mauser or Mosin or Springfield will leave a nice bruise on your shoulder. It’s how you know you had a fun day at the range.

            1. I prefer to go six rounds of trap or skeet using a 12-gauge. That also leaves a nice bruise.

              1. What tyoe of shotgun do you use, Epi? I recently bought a Stoeger over/under in 12-gauge and it seems like it would be equally effective as a blunt instrument as a shotgun.

                While I was in the store (Gander Mountain) I thought about picking up a Mosin-Nagant for $149.

                1. Winchester Model 1300 Defender. I have more shotguns, but that’s the self-defense one. I also paid way less than the MSRP listed there. I bought it in a Hannaford’s parking lot in Augusta, Maine.

        2. You have a dumb friend. It’s easy to find. (Looks at “sold out” graphics) …Well…it was.

          1. If you find any send me the link. I don’t look that often. But I generally haven’t had great luck.

            1. All the surplus importers had tons of it in happier times. I remember buying a Turkish Mauser for $50 and a bunch of 70 round bandoleers for $14 apiece back around 2001 or 2002. I wonder if I have any of that left.

              Unfortunately, it looks like all the surplus stuff has been bought, and the newly manufactured stuff is sold out, and expensive in any case. I’m glad I bought all that surplus commie 7.62x54r back when it was $20 per 440 round tin.

              1. My ammo is surplus commie from Yugoslavia I think. It really does make you think that the fucking government bought all of this shit up. There is no reason why this ammo should be hard to find. Not many people shoot 8mm (and virtually no law enforcement) and there are probably billions of surplus rounds of it floating around in the world. Yet, it is impossible to find. Funny that.

                1. I read somewhere that Obama used an executive order to ban imported ammunition, which is why the stuff is so expensive. Supply and demand. If that is true, then at least the good news is that the next president can simply rescind the order, lifting the ban without an act of Congress. Then the people who stockpiled when the price peaked will look like buffoons.

                  1. “somewhere” = InfoWars?

                    There were shelves full of PPU (Serbia) and Tula (Russia) ammo the other day in Walmart, so no.

            2. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com…..?catid=626

              They have some.

                1. Well, “decent”. I miss the days of 10 cent per round surplus ammo.

                  1. Years ago I bought 700 rounds of 7.62×39–Russian ammo, steel cased–for $69. I still have a few boxes. It came in a tin with a can opener. That was a great deal.

                    1. That was about what the price was before the age of Obama. You could get I think 960 rounds of 7.62×39 in sealed tins for $69. I remember buying 1000 rounds of 5.56mm for $139 in maybe 2003. Fuck, I miss those days.

                      At least 5.45mm is still relatively cheap when you can find it. My old Romanian AK-74 clone is the most fun gun that I can shoot a lot and not feel bad for having wasted a lot of money.

                    2. I went to the range the other day with some friends who had never shot handguns before, and brought a couple of mine, but we mostly rented what they had in the case. But you have to buy their ammo. That was painful. $36 dollars for .38 Special (50 count)?!? Ugh.

                    3. $36 dollars for .38 Special (50 count)?!? Ugh.

                      I just paid $27 for a box of 50 ($21 for 25 hollow points), though I had to call three stores before I could find any.

                    4. Maybe you should handload more.

              1. You the man Bobarian. Thanks.

            3. I dont know how to enbed links or anything, John, but just check this site every once in awhile. (works for any caliber ammunition, or even magazines)

              http://ammoseek.com/ammo/8mm-mauser

      3. I’d like to see how the DC news would react if you shot some poor dumb burglar with a k98 at close range. “Vigilante with high-powered military rifle shoots local teen!”

        1. Not to mention what it would do to the poor bastard’s body.

          1. Isn’t that the point of shooting somebody?

            The real risk is what it does to the neighbor. 8mm surplus probably would have a problem with over-penetration.

            1. I live in a brick house. Unless it went through a window, the round is not going next door.

              1. Think again.

                Since you can’t do youtube, it’s a video of a kid blowing up a brick with a Mauser. I can’t find any videos of people shooting through brick walls, but I don’t think it would stop the bullet.

                1. 8mm will penetrate at least half an inch of steel at 100 meters, too.

                2. But it would sure as hell slow it down. How much energy is going to be left after it goes through a body and a brick wall and another wall or window to get to a person?

                  Yeah, it could happen. But it is pretty unlikely. And what is even more unlikely is the person that it first went through getting up off the floor.

                  1. Hunting ammo, something like JHP or JSP will fragment and do more damage to the target, but the surplus FMJ round is very likely to over-penetrate anything in a standard wood or brick home.

                    Load the right ammo if you are going to use it for shooting a burglar. Save the surplus ammo for the range (or for when they come to confiscate your weapons).

                    1. What Bobarian said. JHP’s and JSP’s out of a full-sized rifle cartridge will still penetrate most flak jackets and bullet-resistant vests with ease, or at least anything a burglar is likely to be wearing.

          2. “Crazy Jill” went on a rampage at the Penn State main campus with her boyfriend’s sporterized 7mm Mauser while I.was there. She shot this poor girl in the chest and basically blew it.all over the HUB lawn. You do not.ever want to.get hit with a hunting.bullet.

            1. People like to measure their dicks with their big bore handguns. I wouldn’t to get shot with anything. But even the largest handgun is a pop gun to compared to a high caliber rifle. The powder load and amount of kinetic energy in the round is just astronomical compared to a handgun.

              1. Well, an 8mm Mauser runs about 2800 ft/s with a 154 grain bullet so, about 5 Joules of energy compared to 1 J for a 230 grain .45 at 850 ft/s. A 44 mag goes about 2.2 joules. So while it is a factor of up to 5, it is still comparable.

                1. I don’t see a multiple of three much less five being comparable.

                  1. They will all do the job.

                2. db, I think your units are off a bit. 8mm Mauser has muzzle energy about 4000 J, 45acp about 500-600 J, 44 Mag about 1600 J.

              2. Well, an 8mm Mauser runs about 2800 ft/s with a 154 grain bullet so, about 5 Joules of energy compared to 1 J for a 230 grain .45 at 850 ft/s. A 44 mag goes about 2.2 joules. So while it is a factor of up to 5, it is still comparable.

        2. The pants wetting would be epic. But I would be in my bedroom with nowhere to retreat. Provided the guy was actually armed, they would play hell ever convicting. And even if he wasn’t, I would still have a very compelling case for being in fear for my life.

  9. Phone poll? If I had a gun in the house, I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone who called me in the current hysterical climate.

    1. This^^ I would never disclose to a pollster whether or not I had a gun in my house. I’m even hesitant to mention guns in the comment sections here and at other websites. Perhaps I’m paranoid, but the less info the government has access to on my gun owning habits, the better.

    2. How about “Why don’t you come over and find out?”

    3. Regardless of the.climate there is.no reason.to hand out that info anyway. No guarantee.it is not.some thief casing potential victims.

    4. Where I live, the object of most burglaries are guns and tools: expensive, small, portable, easily-fenced.

  10. The database is just there for your protection.

  11. In the wake of Heller, D.C. probably can’t get away with arbitrarily capping or reducing the number of legal guns it will allow, as New York City has, repeatedly (with the result that those with political connections or cash to spare are favored). But it can make the process such a hassle that people don’t bother complying?which is already par for the course with less-restrictive laws.

    What?

    1. I’m the first one to pick on post-Lucy atrocities of language (particularly those perpetrated by the beardless boy-man), but these are just unwieldy sentences punctuated by unnecessary commas, caused by impending deadlines–perpetrated by inflexible editors–not incomprehensible ones.

  12. I alluded to this earlier, but it bears repeating:

    Even Chicago doesn’t make you register your guns any more.

    Not even your AWs. (Of course, that’s because you’re not supposed to have them in the first place, but still, that’s convenient.)

    1. Does this apply to long guns and handguns?

  13. The officer on the phone was so flummoxed by the idea that I’d moved somewhere that required neither licensing nor registration that I finally told her to fuck herself and hung up (despite my mild-mannered demeanor in print, I have a short temper with officialdom)

    Self perception meets the perception of others.

    If I had to pick a single member of the Reason staff who would hit Gillespie with a pie in the face at the xmas party or who would haze the interns with arbitrary demands or water balloons, it would be Tucille. Maybe Doherty the week after Burning Man, but mostly Tucille.

    1. Tuccille. Still need an edit button.

  14. Fuck Cook County….

    “The director of the Illinois State Police has turned down a request from the Cook County Sheriff’s office for help in vetting applicants for concealed carry permits under the state’s new firearms law.
    State Police Director Hiram Grau says he can’t legally share a statewide database with local law enforcement, even though Sheriff Tom Dart says he needs it to ensure gang members and people arrested for domestic violence or gun possession don’t obtain permits to carry concealed weapons.
    In a letter to Dart dated Dec. 16, Grau said neither local law enforcement nor the state police is allowed to use the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS) as part of the law’s process that allows local agencies to object to individual applications. The reason, he said, is such a use constitutes a “non-criminal justice purpose.”

    Read more: http://www.sj-r.com/article/20…..z2nrQ0jNtT

  15. Again, fuck this stupid country.

  16. Something seems wrong with this story. DC only has 600,000 residents, including minors. And the DC government has made it extremely hard to get a permit to have a gun. So while there may be 30,000 gun owners in DC, I have trouble believing there are 30,000 with registered guns.

    1. Unless they are counting every DC police, Park police, FBI agent, U.S. Capitol police etc. in DC as “registered gun owners.” But even then I don’t think 5% of DC’s population has a registered gun.

  17. While I’m totally against gun registration in any form, the requirement to re-register isn’t that different from the situation with vehicle registration, where you have to re-register every two years or even every year in some states.

  18. The right to bear arms when permitted if permitted, in certain jurisdictions. Does this also apply to speech?

  19. I was just reading Stephen Halbrook’s book ‘Gun Control in the Third Reich’ about a similar law in Weimar Germany. The Weimar law required license renewals just like DC. “Neglect to renew a license was grounds for a conviction for unlawful possession of a weapon.” Prosecutions of those deemed “unreliable “followed. And of course the Nazis made extensive use of all that lovely data when they came to power. Nothing new under the sun.

  20. The officer on the phone was so flummoxed by the idea that I’d moved somewhere that required neither licensing nor registration that I finally told her to fuck herself and hung up

    Down here in Texas I get those calls fairly regularly. Recently heard from a frustrated guy that had been all over the state police website trying to find out how to register his guns when moving here.

    Question: “What is the procedure for moving into Texas with my guns?”
    Answer: “Put them in your car and drive across the border.”

    I love giving out good news.

  21. I dunno. Ya ever wonder if all this gun-grabbing horsehit is actaully instigated by the gun industry? I mean, everytime it becomes a front-and-center issue, gun sales spike upward. Once we think we can’t have something we want it more. Worked on me, I bought two new guns this year.

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