D.C. tries new method for “controlling” guns in the District

After losing the fight to keep the Unconstitutional gun ban in the District, the Washington D.C. council has now turned to harassment law in hopes of reducing firearm ownership. Rather than saying you just can’t own a handgun, the new law will require permit renewals every 3 years and included a mandated annual recertification of ownership with district police.

Since September, D.C. residents have been allowed to register magazine-loaded semiautomatic handguns as well as revolvers. The legislation banned magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Yesterday’s legislation would also require firearms owners to take a safety course and undergo a background check every six years.

After the vote, council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) said in a statement, “Today’s vote puts the District at the forefront of using regulation to reduce gun violence, rather than the simpler, prior approach of hoping that an outright ban will be effective.”

I am not a firearm owner, but to me the 2nd amendment is pretty clear on the right of ownership. While my limited reading of the recent legislation seems to follow the letter of the law, I think there is some question as to following the intended rights protection inherent in the amendment. I have to question my visitors who partake of this right – doesn’t it seem that the proper way to reduce gun violence to implement much harsher penalties for misuse? Rather than making legal owners suffer under laws illegal users will just ignore, isn’t it smarter to make sure the chance of repeat offense is reduced? Increase jail time for theft of a firearm. Increase jail time for theft carried out via firearm. Tack on additional sentencing mandates for homicides carried out by firearm.

I don’t directly benefit from loosening firearm restrictions for legitimate users. I do, however, know that if someone tries to rob a McDonald’s or a bank while I am there, I want to have the hope of someone in the facility being a legal carrier. My interactions with those that carry suggests to me that I am safer with them around than with most police.

[tags]Firearms, 2nd amendment, Washington DC, Right to bear arms[/tags]