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Lt. Jon Shelton revealed that there were only two handgun applications denied by his office in 2011 and 2012. Not a single rifle or shotgun application was refused.

The criminals just aren’t stopping by police headquarters to get fingerprinted and photographed before hitting the streets.

Meanwhile, the police recovered 12,000 unregistered firearms from 2007 to 2013.

Officers only found 36 registered guns in that same six-year period. Even then, only 17 of the those firearms were involved in charges against the registered firearm owner, and only two resulted in convictions of that person for a violent crime.

Furthermore, the police also aren’t using the registration records to solve crimes. “Lt. Shelton cannot recall any specific instance where registration records were used to determine who committed a crime,” except for possession offenses,” the plaintiffs wrote.

Contrary to previous assertions that registration is “critical” to police safety, the plaintiffs’ brief uncovers the truth that officers do not have access to registration records before responding to calls.

“D.C. maintained for years that guns must be registered so that police officers will know whether a gun is present when they respond to a call,” Mr. Halbrook told me.  

“Yet no good cop would assume that criminals register guns.  Now we know that D.C. police don’t check the gun registry when on the way to a crime scene, and the reason for registration collapses.”

Coincidentally, the appeals decision came down just one day before I walked into the Metropolitan Police Department and started a four-month odyssey to register a gun for the first time.

In the two years since, it has become clear that a 17-step registration mandate exists solely to dissuade law-abiding people from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

The registration process in D.C. has resulted in the good guys having their rights infringed, while the bad guys have a field day.

The courts should rule that it is unconstitutional. Mr. Heller plans to appeal until they do.

Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).