The Washington Times - December 7, 2011, 08:10AM

A D.C. Council member has proposed legislation that eases the way for prospective D.C. gun owners to complete a required safety course and cuts red tape in the registration process. Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat and chairman of the council’s Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, said it is unlawful to handle a firearm in the District of Columbia unless it is registered to the person holding it, with the exception for immediate danger in the home. Yet a person cannot become registered unless first he or she handles a gun in a safety training course, according to The Washington Times.

Former Virginia governors and Senate candidates Tim Kaine and George Allen participate tonight in the first debate of the 2012 campaign season, in a race that will be one of the country’s most expensive and closely watched. The candidates will debate before their parties’ primaries are held, but Mr. Allen, a Republican, and Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, are already the presumptive nominees, The Times reports.


Mr. Kaine’s campaign staff said Tuesday they would not rule out bringing up Mr. Allen’s “macaca moment” in the Senate race, foreshadowing a potentially bruising contest through next November. On a conference call with the media previewing tonight’s debate in Richmond between the two former governors, Kaine campaign adviser Mo Elleithee made clear that “anything in any candidate’s record is fair game for discussion,” according to The Washington Post.

Four days after a federal raid on his Northeast Washington home, D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. took part in the unanimous approval of a sweeping ethics bill that could see final passage before the end of the year. Mr. Thomas entered the council chambers shortly after 11 a.m. — followed by a scrum of TV cameras — without indicating whether he will take a leave of absence in light of mounting pressure from accusations he diverted $300,000 in public funds intended for youth baseball programs, The Times reports.

Former Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson, the face of a wide-ranging federal corruption probe that has netted business owners, developers and government employees, was sentenced Tuesday to more than seven years in prison for accepting up to $1 million in bribes while in office, The Times reports.

The Montgomery County Council voted Tuesday to effectively kill a proposal for a youth curfew, with members saying they needed more time before voting on the emotionally charged issue, which split the community. The council voted 6-3 to postpone indefinitely discussion on the legislation, proposed in July by County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett after several late-night incidents involving teens, including a stabbing during a 70-person melee in Silver Spring, The Times reports.

Police sharpshooters will kill deer at a Montgomery County golf course this winter to control the population. County officials say the Department of Parks was asked to manage the population because of increasing vehicle accidents involving deer, Lyme disease from deer-borne ticks, and damage to native plants that is affecting birds and other animals that rely on the plants. The Sligo Creek Golf Course will be closed from 5:30 p.m. until sunrise in January, February and March while sharpshooters reduce the deer population, according to the Associated Press.

If the federal government decides to evict Occupy D.C. protesters from McPherson Square, it must now give the movement and its lawyer 24 hours notice, thanks to a court order issued by a federal judge this week. Jeff Light, a lawyer representing the protesters, said he filed a request for a temporary restraining order Sunday night after a protest over a wooden structure Occupiers had erected in the park. Police arrested 31 protesters after some refused to leave the structure. The judge did not grant the restraining order but instead issued a court order mandating the 24-hour notification window, according to the Washington Examiner.