A blog covering our Second Amendment freedoms featuring Opinion Page Senior Editor Emily Miller. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyMiller
There is evil in the world, and the face of it was seen Monday when James Holmes made his first court appearance since he allegedly killed 12 innocent people at a showing of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo. As he sat with demonic-looking dyed-orange hair and bizarre facial expressions, it was hard to conceive of any law that could thwart such a maniac intent on mass murder.
Lawmakers in Prince George’s County, Md. hate guns so much they want to brand anyone convicted of violating one of the state’s convoluted firearm statutes. Stab someone with a knife, and the county won’t care or take notice of you after you serve your time. Sell a handgun that’s not on the state’s list of approved firearms, and the Washington suburb will mark you as a criminal and hold you up to public ridicule.
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. So here is my guide on how to get a gun in D.C.. The steps are listed in the order I think is quickest, followed by a list of more detailed tips.
The Washington Times has confirmed that D.C. city council Chairman Phil Mendelson will introduce a bill this week to partially decriminalize possession of unregistered firearms and ammunition for nonresidents. His legislation will allow those arrested in the District on firearms charges to choose administrative disposition of the charge, which means paying a fine and not getting a criminal record. This change will affect quite a few people, especially tourists to the nation's capital and military passing through the city.
Former Army Specialist Adam Meckler was arrested in Washington last year for possessing ordinary self-defense ammunition -- without a gun. To avoid the legal expense and time, he felt he had no choice but to plead guilty. He now wants to find a way to clear his record. Mostly, the veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wants others to learn from his experience so they don’t have their own records ruined by the District’s senseless firearms law.
Washington, D.C.'s restrictive gun laws are being used to persecute soldiers. The pattern is disturbing, as what follows is the third case I’ve uncovered of a veteran being unfairly prosecuted under laws that should not be on the books. In September 2011, former Army Specialist Adam Meckler was arrested at the VFW in the District because he happened to have a few long-forgotten rounds of ordinary ammunition in his bag. The veteran of both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was jailed and later accepted a plea deal, which he now regrets.
(Part 4 of 4) Army First Lt. Augustine Kim’s finally got the Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to return his guns after two years -- only to find them permanently damaged. The department violated its own regulations on handling firearms in evidence by engraving marks on the sides of the guns, and the city should reimburse the soldier for the loss.
Senior Editor Emily Miller was interviewed by NRA News about Washington D.C. police attempt to cover up the warrantless search and seizure of Iraq vet's guns. Cam Edwards is the host of the radio show "Cam and Company." The video of the interview is below
(Part 4 of 4) Army 1st Sergeant Matthew Corrigan learned the hard way that the District of Columbia doesn’t believe it has to abide by the U.S. Constitution like the 50 states do. The city ignores the Fourth Amendment right of Americans to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. If police can’t be bothered to obtain a search warrant, officers have no problem busting open your front door and taking your property. Most of all, Washington officials do not abide by the full meaning and spirit of the Second Amendment.
(Part 3 of 4) First Sergeant Matthew Corrigan fought insurgents in Iraq with weapons provided by the U.S. Army, but the nation’s capital saw fit to throw him in jail for two weeks simply because he failed to register three personal guns and some ammunition. Normally, being accused of a misdemeanor charge would not result in such an extensive punishment, but the District was so careless that it “lost” Sgt. Corrigan in the correctional system. All this happened because this military veteran was exercising a constitutional right that the District refuses to recognize.
Senior Editor Emily Miller was featured in the Reason TV story, "Girls, Guns, and The Problem with DC Firearm Laws." She was interviewed by Kennedy at Sharp Shooters range in Virginia.
(Part 2 of 4) The D.C. police arrested Army Sgt. Matt Corrigan, a veteran of the Iraq war and searched his house without a warrant, not to protect the public from a terrorist or stop a crime in progress, but to rouse a sleeping man the police thought might have an unregistered gun in his home.
Americans choose to take to the roads for vacations and to visit friends and family on Memorial Day. Often, they’ll bring their firearms with them for sport or personal protection, and it’s perfectly legal under federal law. This gets under the skin of a handful of anti-gun jurisdictions that have grown so out of control that they’ll jail an active-duty Afghanistan veteran who’s following the letter of the law. A growing, bipartisan movement in Congress is looking to stop the harassment.
(Part 1 of 4) The Metropolitan Police Department seems to have it out for our military. The department is using the city’s pointless firearm registration mandate to harass, arrest and jail servicemen. Army 1st Sergeant Matthew Corrigan was woken in the middle of the night, forced out of his home, arrested, had his home ransacked, had his guns seized and was thrown in jail, where he was lost in the prison system for two weeks -- all because the District refuses to recognize the meaning of the Second Amendment.
(Part 3 of 4) The active duty soldier who had his guns confiscated by the District of Columbia two years ago will have his property returned by Memorial Day. It took the help of a high-powered lawyer, two U.S. Senators, a member of Congress and national publicity to force the obstinate District to show some respect for the Constitution. It should never happen again.