Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

District of Columbia: Don’t Blame the Pandemic for Our Gun Laws – They’ve Always Been Awful

Monday, April 27, 2020

District of Columbia: Don’t Blame the Pandemic for Our Gun Laws – They’ve Always Been Awful

Americans across the country are grappling with the “new normal”of COVID-19-related closures and the novel ways that anti-gun politicians capitalize on the pandemic to prevent the exercise of Second Amendment rights. For residents of the nation’s capital, though, the new normal is pretty much the same as the old normal, where local politicians treat lawful gun businesses with the same enthusiasm they have for the coronavirus.

For starters, there is no place to legally purchase a firearm in the District of Columbia because there are no federal firearms licensees (FFLs) that make retail sales of guns to the public. Any gun dealer that wants to open up shop in Washington, D.C. faces stringent zoning laws that severely limit the location of a “firearms retail sales establishment.”

D.C. law also requires that residents register their firearms with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The registration process must be successfully completed before a buyer may take lawful possession of a purchased rifle or shotgun. For handguns, the process requires that the dealer selling the firearm ship the handgun to a licensed dealer in the District, where the sale is completed and the firearm released to the buyer upon registration. In addition to the District’s other fees, the buyer is liable to pay the local dealer a $125 transfer fee.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a December 2019 list of FFLs in the District of Columbia shows exactly seven entries, two of which are for the ATF itself. Of the remaining five licensees, four are for dealers in firearms (Type 01 licenses). These licensees include Charles Sykes Jr., gun control activist Josh A. Sugarmann, and the Shakespeare Theatre, Inc.  

For years, Mr. Sykes has been the only licensed gun dealer available to process transfers of handguns in D.C. Its draconian zoning laws meant that when he lost his lease in 2011, he had to temporarily close his business because he was unable to get approval for alternative locations. As District law forbids firearm transfers between unlicensed individuals, that left residents with no legal means by which to purchase handguns.   

Prompted by a lawsuit, the District eventually agreed to lease Mr. Sykes a room inside the MPD headquarters so residents would have access to a local FFL. (The MPD location was not compliant with the zoning law, so an emergency amendment of the District’s zoning regulations had to be made.)

This March, however, Mr. Sykes quit.

Because there is no other commercial FFL operating in the District, residents are now required to go through the MPD as the local middleman-FFL. There is no indication of the processing or wait time under this new procedure, but the fact that a government agency is providing the service doesn’t mean residents get a break on the transfer fee. The MPD charges $125 per handgun, plus the District’s other fees.

Obviously, if D.C. treated gun stores as what they are –legitimate constitutionally-protected businesses that are, moreover, subject to extensive federal oversight and control –there would be no need to encumber local law enforcement or enforce an arduous and expensive process against lawful gun buyers.  

On April 20, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser advised that the current arrangement will stay in place until there is a “viable commercial alternative licensed to operate in D.C.” 

Unless Mr. Sykes resumes his business operations, we predict that’s not likely to be anytime soon. The D.C. government’s extreme hostility to firearms has scarcely abated since it appeared as the (losing) defendant in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment case. As we’ve observed before, it’s easier for District politicians to pretend that lawful gun owners are somehow to blame for the gun violence in D.C. Speaking to residents in 2015, Mayor Bowser made her own feelings clear: “You have a mayor who hates guns. If it was up to me, we wouldn’t have any handguns in the District of Columbia. I swear to protect the Constitution and what the courts say, but I will do it in the most restrictive way as possible.”

TRENDING NOW
Biden’s Anti-gun Lies are Too Much Even for Legacy Press Fact Checkers

News  

Monday, April 19, 2021

Biden’s Anti-gun Lies are Too Much Even for Legacy Press Fact Checkers

With President Joe Biden securely in office and the 2024 presidential election 43 months away, the mainstream press has determined it an acceptable time to expose the frequent fibber’s most flagrant falsehoods.

Hunter Biden Memoir Among Mounting Evidence of Federal Gun Law Violations

News  

Monday, April 19, 2021

Hunter Biden Memoir Among Mounting Evidence of Federal Gun Law Violations

As President Joe Biden and his Department of Justice concoct new firearm restrictions for ordinary law-abiding Americans, 

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.

Louisiana: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry Legislation

Monday, April 19, 2021

Louisiana: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry Legislation

Today, Senate Judiciary C Committee passed Constitutional Carry legislation, Senate Bill 118, by a 3 to 2 vote.  

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

At Biden's recent Rose Garden ceremony, where he announced his latest assault on the Second Amendment, he lied a number of times, and garbled the name of the federal agency tasked with enforcing federal gun ...

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference to unveil yet another gun control package in the Garden State.  

Nevada: Assembly Passes Ban on Home-Built Firearms

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Nevada: Assembly Passes Ban on Home-Built Firearms

Yesterday, the Assembly voted 26-16 to pass an amended version of Assembly Bill 286, to end the centuries old practice of making firearms for personal use.

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Signs Bill to Protect 2A Rights in Emergencies

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Signs Bill to Protect 2A Rights in Emergencies

Today, Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 458 into law. It prohibits the state, government officials and agencies, or local governments, from restricting the lawful carrying, sale, or use of firearms and ammunition during states of emergency ...

North Carolina: House to Hear Pistol Permit Repeal Language

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

North Carolina: House to Hear Pistol Permit Repeal Language

Today, at 3:00PM, the House Judiciary 4 Committee is going to hear an amendment to House Bill 398, to add language legalizing acquiring handguns without having to first apply for a permit.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

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.

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..