The District took a big step toward bringing its gun laws in line with the rest of America. While an oppressive registration requirement remains in place, the D.C. Council voted unanimously on April 17 to make the overall process of becoming a handgun owner significantly less expensive and time-consuming for residents.
“I’m glad we were able to streamline some of the provisions because the law should not be unnecessarily burdensome,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Phil Mendelson told The Washington Times on Tuesday.
Asked whether there could be more changes in the future, the at-large Democrat said the laws are “a work in progress” as officials figure out the best way to comply with the 2008 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the city’s 30-year handgun ban.
“As we’ve seen, how this has been implemented since the changes in the Heller decision, we’ve learned where there’s some unnecessary hurdles and things that take too long,” Mr. Mendelson said.
The biggest hurdle, a five-hour training mandate, is gone. So too are ballistics testing, vision testing and the requirement that application documents be notarized. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will take photographs of applicants. Registered gun owners will no longer be subject to arrest if they possess the wrong type of ordinary ammunition.
The mayor will become a gun dealer if the city’s only federal firearms licensee goes out of business. The 10-day waiting period will start from the date the gun is purchased, rather than the date of the application. Finally, the three-year reregistration and microstamping requirements are both delayed until 2014.
Normally, Congress has 60 days to review changes to D.C. criminal law, which would delay this measure’s effective date until November. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS STORY.
NEXT IN THE SERIES: D.C. Folds in Gun Rights’ Battle
“Emily Gets Her Gun” is a series following senior editor Emily Miller as she tries to legally get her hands on a gun in the nation’s capital. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.