- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Sarah Palin’s online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- SWAT spends seven hours in standoff with empty home
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
MILLER: Gun re-registration begins in D.C., may lead to arrest and confiscation
First law in U.S. to require renewal with fingerprints and fees
Question of the Day
For the first time in the United States, a citizen who has legally registered a gun will have to submit to a renewal process. The consequences of not knowing about this new law or missing the specific 60-day window are dire.
Starting on Jan. 2, every single D.C. resident who has registered a firearm since 1976 must go to police headquarters to pay a $48 fee and be photographed and fingerprinted.
The Metropolitan Police Department estimates there are at least 30,000 registered gun owners.
If the registrant does not go to the police station within three months after a set time frame, the registration is revoked. That citizen is then in possession of an unregistered firearm, which is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
The gun itself is put into a category of weapons that can never be registered, just as though it were a machine gun or a sawed-off shotgun.
The city has not made clear how it will enforce the law, but the police are in possession of all registrants’ home addresses so confiscation and arrests would be simple.
The police are notifying registrants by mail that they have to come to the station on the set schedule.
Also, the department took out a $550 advertisement in The Washington Times to run on Monday. The required public notice is not being printed in any other newspaper or media outlet.
The three-year expiration date is supposed to uncover if a gun owner does something that makes him suddenly a danger to society, such as committing a felony, becoming a drug addict or being involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.
I recently asked D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who wrote these laws in 2009, why he couldn’t just run all our names through the FBI’s National Instant Background Checks System (NICS), which uses information including name, Social Security number, birth date and physical characteristics to determine if the applicant is legally prohibited from owning a gun.
NICS is used nationally for gun sales and transfers from licensed dealer and applications for a concealed-carry permit. (The records are not kept in order to prevent a national gun registry.)
“I don’t want name-based,” Mr. Mendelson replied. “I can go in and pretend I’m Emily Miller if I have your name and Social Security number. So name-based is not as good for identification as fingerprints. And NICS doesn’t have all the information.”
These points are disputed in a December court filing in the federal court case known as Heller II, which is challenging D.C.’s registration laws, including the reregistration section. The plaintiffs point out that NICS covers all state and local databases.
In a deposition, the officer in charge of the registration section for 20 years admitted that the unit has not had a problem with fake IDs.
Furthermore, criminals don’t go to the police station before buying their guns. Only the law abiding do that.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek tax investigation follows D.C. conviction for muzzleloader bullet ammunition
- MILLER: Harry Reid's hypocrisy on 'Equal Pay Day': No women on top leadership staff
- MILLER: Maryland bathroom bill for transgenders is part of LGBT lobby for sex-change rights
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek surrenders to D.C. police 'Gun Offenders Registry'
- MILLER: Exclusive - Mark Witaschek takes the stand in D.C. shotgun shell trial
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
Get Breaking Alerts
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- GOP report sees ties between rich donors, green 'nonprofits'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- NAPOLITANO: Is the president incompetent or lawless?
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
Recent Letters to the Editor
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Politics and corruption driving water woes
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Laws should target criminals, not the law-abiding
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Temple Mount is still Judaism's holiest site
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: If Israeli laid down its arms
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Stop silence on relocations of illegal aliens