Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

"Baghdad, D.C."?

Friday, June 6, 2008

We’ve often reported on the quandary the leaders of our nation’s capital face.  They govern a city that has had an outright ban on handguns for more than three decades, yet they’re constantly looking for panaceas for the District’s high rate of gun crime.  How ironic it is, that a city that should be an anti-gunner’s utopia is constantly plagued with high levels of gun violence.  Burying their heads in the sand, these leaders continue to try to avoid the unavoidable:  Criminals don’t obey the law and have ignored the gun ban since its inception.                       

Enter yet another doomed-to-fail attempt at a remedy—the so-called “Neighborhood Safety Zone” (NSZ).

Announced this week by D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), the NSZ program involves setting up military-style checkpoints in the violence-plagued Trinidad section of the city.  At each of these checkpoints, every vehicle will be stopped.  The occupants of the vehicle will be ordered to identify themselves, and to prove a “legitimate” reason for being in the area.  Police will search cars if they suspect there are guns or drugs inside, and will arrest people who do not cooperate.  Apparently, bicycle and pedestrian traffic will not be stopped.  Perhaps the assumption is that only those traveling in cars will be illegally armed. 

The plan faces so many civil liberty concerns it’s mind-boggling.  Not surprisingly, many groups have come out against it. 

In a June 5 Washington Post article, Arthur Spitzer, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Washington office said, “My reaction is, welcome to Baghdad, D.C.  I mean, this is craziness.  In this country, you don’t have to show identification or explain to the police why you want to travel down a public street.” 

In a D.C. Examiner article the same day, District Councilwoman and George Washington University constitutional law professor Mary Cheh said, “It’s still a free country.  You can travel where you want and not have to explain yourself to police.” 

And, also according to The Examiner, a top prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office warned D.C. officials two weeks ago that the plan might be unconstitutional.  The Examiner reported that in a May 20 e-mail to police officials, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley Weinsheimer raised questions about whether police can stop a driver with a disability or what police will do if a car has six occupants, but only one resident.  He also expressed concern over police officers’ determining who is considered “legitimate,” and if those determinations might lead to questions of selective prosecution. 

“As you can see, I am very concerned that the NSZs will not pass constitutional muster or at least that there are so many circumstances that will lead to discretionary calls on the part of officers that as applied, the NSZs will be unconstitutional,” Weinsheimer wrote. 

But Interim D.C. Attorney General Peter J. Nickles isn’t worried.  Nickles said that his office reviewed the initiative and that similar efforts had survived court tests.  “I don't anticipate us being sued.  But if you do want to sue us, the courts are open.” 

All this in a city where guns are outlawed!

The NSZ program is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

TRENDING NOW
Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

News  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications ...

Atlantic Writer Promotes Culture War on Gun Ownership

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

Atlantic Writer Promotes Culture War on Gun Ownership

Canadian-born political commentator and George W. Bush-era speechwriter David Frum has taken a break from promoting actual wars in the Middle East to advocate for a culture war on gun ownership here at home.

The Second Amendment Now Comes with Government-Issued “Harmful Language Alert”

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Second Amendment Now Comes with Government-Issued “Harmful Language Alert”

The absurdity and dysfunction of the Biden Administration have become so pervasive that it’s easy to become numb to it all. But some things it does are still so outrageous and inconceivable – touching on ...

Texas: Attorney General Ken Paxton's Office Puts Woke Corporations on Notice

Friday, September 10, 2021

Texas: Attorney General Ken Paxton's Office Puts Woke Corporations on Notice

As NRA-ILA reported to you last week, a dozen new pro-Second Amendment bills took effect on September 1, including Senate Bill 19 sponsored by State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) and State Rep. Gio Capriglione (R-Southlake).  Taxpayer dollars should ...

Trudeau Ramps Up Gun Control Promises, Makes Guns a Wedge Issue

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

Trudeau Ramps Up Gun Control Promises, Makes Guns a Wedge Issue

With days to go until the September 20 snap election called by Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party leader and current Prime Minister, face the possibility of losing seats. As of early September, the Conservative Party had overtaken Trudeau’s Liberals as ...

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

News  

Monday, July 26, 2021

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

During a July 21 CNN “presidential town hall,” Joe Biden expressed his support for a ban on commonly-owned handguns. Responding to a question about the recent increase in violent crime, the career politician stated,

The Truth about Radicals

News  

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Truth about Radicals

A once-reputable magazine used gunshot victims as a lever in the debate over medical treatment, using the claims of an untruthful doctor who would, apparently, say anything to advance his public health agenda.

NRA Files Comments Opposing ATF’s “Stabilizing Brace” Proposed Rule

News  

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

NRA Files Comments Opposing ATF’s “Stabilizing Brace” Proposed Rule

As we’ve previously reported, the Biden Department of Justice is threatening to upend the U.S. firearm industry and how Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

NRA Reacts to the Withdrawal of the David Chipman Nomination

News  

Thursday, September 9, 2021

NRA Reacts to the Withdrawal of the David Chipman Nomination

The NRA applauds the reported withdraw of David Chipman's nomination to head the ATF.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.