Owning a gun in the District of Columbia can be dangerous, because the city’s hastily drafted rules are putting the innocent in jeopardy. A gun owner who has cleared the District’s 17 registration hurdles still isn’t home free.
To continue exercising the Second Amendment right to keep arms, individuals have to renew registration certificates every three years and show up at the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) every six years to be fingerprinted. The citizen is responsible for the fees in each case.
The city council hastily drafted these requirements after the Supreme Court smacked down D.C.’s handgun ban in the 2008 Heller decision. The laws are proving to be so badly written that even the city can’t enforce them.
Anyone who registered a new pistol or owned a long gun prior to March 31, 2009, was supposed to receive an expiration notice from the police by the end of 2011 and submit a request for renewal by Jan. 31. This apparently did not happen.