Should it be This Hard to get a Handgun in DC?


I was surprised to receive a few requests from readers wishing to discuss a story in Yesterday’s Washington Post titled, “Get a Gun in D.C. — Do You Feel Lucky?”. It starts:

“It took $833.69, a total of 15 hours 50 minutes, four trips to the Metropolitan Police Department, two background checks, a set of fingerprints, a five-hour class and a 20-question multiple-choice exam.”

A reader notes:

“The guy who needs a gun to defend himself from living in “a dangerous part of a dangerous city” – ie – Mt. Pleasant?!

77 Comment

  • Before the gun nuts chime in with their usual nonsense about how having more guns on the street will magically reduce crime, I thought I’d try to introduce some facts to the debate for the benefit of all. Try looking at homicide rates by country – notice any correlation between whether a country has sensible gun control policies and the murder rate?

  • Yes, I think it should be this hard to get a gun in the city. Period. Guns are dangerous and should be taken seriously. I don’t ever want to own one, but I understand that some folks do, and they need to be willing to take the time and effort (and spend the money) to be responsible, well-informed gun owners. I think this is a good thing.

  • All guns (except hunting rifles) should be outlawed. Period.

  • I have no issue with the DC policy on registering a handgun. It is easier to obtain a rifle and shotgun in the city, although I am not 100% read on the subject (I doubt there is a class you have to take, but you still need to go to Mr. Sykes to get it transferred into the district).

    Far as what this will do towards reducing or increasing gun violence in the District I believe is moot – as in the rest of this country. Most gun related crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms.

  • All guns (except hunting rifles) should be outlawed. Period.

  • I think it should be at least this difficult if not more difficult to get a hand gun. plus, i hope they tax the shit out of owning a hand gun. similar to tax on cars there should be taxes on guns, after all gun wounds, extra policing are all needed so that some people can shoot around. have them pay for it.

  • I mean, seriously. The guy lives in Mount Pleasant and gets his car broken into one time, and thinks he needs a gun? Are you kidding me?

  • Buy a shotgun. It’s much easier to defend your home with a shotgun than a pistol.

    You don’t even have to aim very well.

    I’m a decent shot and I wouldn’t want to face someone in my home with a pistol. I’ll likely be groggy, might not have my glasses on, and I don’t want to be concerned about aim. I point a shotgun in the general direction of the foe and pull the trigger.

  • If a gallon of milk cost $100 in DC and $3.50 in MD/VA would anyone buy milk in DC?

    There you just answered this question…

  • oh man. wow. WOW. what a tool bag this guy is. If I was breaking into his car on the mean streets of mount pleasant and he pulled his gun on me I would take it from him in about 2 seconds and shoot him in the knee. What an ass.

  • You don’t belong in the city if you can’t handle getting your car broken into one time without wanting to resort to violence. Move to Anne Arundel County with the cows.

  • We saw this level of violence during prohibition. Guess what happened when they ended prohibition? The violence decreased dramatically.

    We should legalize drug use, at least marijuana.

    Responsible people would avoid drugs whether they are legal or not.

    I’d rather have a stop to the violence.

  • What type of lame thinks Mount Pleasant is dangerous? ….if they feel that way, they definitely shouldn’t be able to own a gun. Really? You’re going to brandish one on someone who is breaking into your car? It’s worth that? I hope that said person was unsuccessful in gaining a gun.

  • How much does “Mr. Sykes” make off each of these transfers? that’s the most ridiculous part of this whole equation.

  • anon …. well yes, people might go to another state to buy their guns there, what kind of logic is it to say because others allow it, or because others don’t charge a lot for it, we have to do the same?
    DC can create a set of rules that makes it cost $100 and part of that is an ownership license that is required to own a gun in DC if you don’t have it you would illegally own a gun, although you can take your VA purchased gun (for $3.50) and the get the $100 license here.
    with your logic Mexico should not have a gun law since you get guns easily in the US. but hey they still have a gun law and use it to prosecute those that have guns bought in the US.

  • Over $550 worth of extra fees and administrative costs to buy a $275 revolver? At this point the city is basically saying only wealthier folks can own handguns. This will almost certainly be challenged in court, and just like every other impediment that the DC Gov’t has tried to place on restricting handgun ownership, it will be overturned by the courts. In the end it’s just a waste of taxpayer money to keep fighting this ridiculous fight. Why doesn’t the DC Gov’t just look at what other cities do and cut’n’paste whatever restrictive laws have held up to court challenge elsewhere? This is just typical of the combined arrogance/stupidity of the Mayor, elected officials and of course AG Nickles.

  • BTW– I’ll give you $15 for the gun in the photo.

  • This sounds pretty reasonable to me.

    do you think it should be this complicated to legally purchase and register a handgun in DC? Should you need a good reason to purchase one?

    Well, what do you think? We don’t read this blog just for the opportunity to sound off. Do you have anything to say on the matter?

  • voiceofreason: Could you even tell the difference between a ‘hunting rifle’ and an ‘assault rifle’? This isn’t a rhetorical question – there are 5 ‘features’ that make an ‘assault rifle’ and all of them are cosmetic and in no way effect the lethality of the weapon.

  • “do you think it should be this complicated to legally purchase and register a handgun in DC?”

    Yes. Yes, I do. And I don’t think the mean streets of Mount Pleasant (nice one, 3:36 above) are a good enough reason. Do we really want a tool like this guy shooting at some kid breaking his car window?

  • Does anyone know off hand the difference between NYC and DC gun laws?

  • @12th and W

    why should willingness to be a victim of crime be a precondition to living in the district?

    If you want to compare handgun ownership and violence, maybe you should compare state to state within the country we live.

    I don’t get the hostility towards these people who want to own a handgun, the people that are taking classes and having background checks are not the gun owners we all need to be worried about.

  • just look at the guys picture. He is like five feet tall and looks like he is scared of his shadow.

  • @College Park

    You don’t need a reason, everyone of us has a consitutional right to own firearms, and the Supreme Court has ruled that right includes handguns.

  • The only gun nuts out there are the people who misuse them; or worse, don’t take the time to understand them, their proper use, or the gun culture at large. The simple answer is no, it should not be so damn hard to get a hand gun in DC.

    That said, yes I’m OK w/ background checks, and a 3 day waiting period, and if I had it my way every damn person would have to go through mandatory firearm use and safety training… however those are all things that can be taken care of the day of purchase at the store.

    As for Michaels magical correlation to murder rates and gun ownership (forget the fact that you can quite effectively murder the hell outta someone with many more instruments than a firearm, and even if you do you’d havta be an idiot to buy it legally and register it first); the United States is 48th on that list behind quite a few war torn 3rd world countries where gun ownership is completely forbidden… much like DC up until recently. AND just for shits’n’giggles that data is quite interesting that Switzerland, a country on the bottom on the list, require ALL able bodied males to be trained in the use of firearms.


  • The multiple choice exam should have 21 questions. The last one being: “Do you believe Mt. Pleasant is dangerous?”

    Anyone who thinks Mt. Pleasant is dangerous (other than stepping in an odd pile of dog poo) should never get a license for a gun. Clearly they are not capable of properly assessing risk and we all run a good chance of getting shot.

  • If he lives on the Monroe–Money-roe–block with the open-air drug market, where teenagers don’t need a reason to shoot each other, where they deal on the grounds of the elementary school… then it’s a different story. I don’t think he’d actually shoot them, but when those guys are crawling around your neighborhood, you get all kinds of violence from them and their friends and buyers. That block is a world apart from others in the neighborhood.

  • it should be HARDER to get a gun. In fact, it should be IMPOSSIBLE to get a handgun.

  • “why should willingness to be a victim of crime be a precondition to living in the district?”

    Good question. I guess I think small crimes like the occasional car window break in are part and parcel of living in the city. If you can’t handle it, you should move somewhere where it doesn’t happen. It’s kind of like driving – if you want to live somewhere where you can drive and park with ease, DC ain’t it. Lots of other places are.

    And I don’t think arming ourselves is going to improve the situation. I think Mayor Fenty’s incredible commitment to improving the city’s recreational facilities, for example, is a step in the right direction towards getting these kids some healthier outlets.

  • @12th,

    I agree, I don’t think handgun ownership will have any statistically signficant effect on crime rates… but we have a constitution and it says individuals can own guns, thats all.

  • I think it should be harder.

  • and the constitution makes mention of owning assault rifles and glocks? you people are such morons. how bout we limit gun ownership to the kinds of guns they actually had back then. that would be hilarious.

  • i love statistics about the UK or Ghana or Singapore. whatever. how are the jurisdictional laws covered, and how do they compare rural and desolate areas to urban areas? should cities have different laws than the rural areas?

    people can bark all day about a gun ban in dc, but until there is a national ban, or at the VERY LEAST a ban in virginia and maryland, a gun ban does absolutely no good.

    and those bans just arent going to happen. all the people advocating to get rid of guns need to understand that. access to guns is common in dc. the ban is not working.

    we need other solutions.

  • I am a gun owner. I have a shotgun and it was pretty easy. No training course two trips to the police department, one for the fingerprints the other to pick up the registration.I don’t mind training courses and the like in order to register a handgun; however, I do object to this guy’s monopoly on getting a gun into the district. I did not have to do that. I bought the gun in Maryland and then, after the district approved my license, I was allowed to pick it up. I don’t know why the same rule does not apply to handguns.

  • I prefer my handguns to have a plastic bag carrying case and smeared with dog poop.

  • I would like it to be easier, but I’m just happy that it’s at least possible (if expensive and difficult) now. I live in a safe neighborhood and don’t have any fears for my safety, but I grew up with guns and just think it’s strange not to have one in the house. I’ve lived in DC for a long time and DC is home for me now, but to me having guns in the house is just normal. I still haven’t decided which of the guns my father has offered me to bring back and register (he won’t let me bring back a shotgun; he’s seen me shoot them and I’m just not as comfortable with it, but I don’t have as much practice with it either), but at some point I will.

    Of course, I was 8 before I realized everyone’s father didn’t take a gun to work.

  • Blah, even if the ban isn’t working 100%, why lift it? That’s a legit question. It at least makes it a little bit harder to get a gun, right? And lifting it would make it a little bit easier?

  • @Anonymous

    so… should free speech only apply to pamphlets and people on boxes in city squares?

  • So now that it is legal, do you think it should be this complicated to legally purchase and register a handgun in DC?


    Should you need a good reason to purchase one?

    No. I don’t think guns should be legal, but if you are going to make it legal, then it shouldn’t matter whether people feel you’ve got a good reason or not.

  • This argument is kind of pointless when you realize, yes, it’s pretty dang easy to get a handgun in DC. Illegally, yes, but those bullets will kill you too.

  • Humans by nature since the dawn of time have developed tools. The technology of these tools advances and never goes back. it’s just what we do – it’s part of what differentiates us from the other monkeys. The handgun has advanced over the past few hundred years to become the single most effective handheld tool for killing someone [either defensively or offensively]. The human knowledge of the handgun is now worldwide, universal, and will never go away. I’ve been to villages in Pakistan and Southern Africa where people melt down tin cans and scrap metal to fabricate their own firearms. The cat’s out of the bag folks – the handgun will exist until someone comes up with something more ‘effective’ – we can’t change that.

    What we can change is our behavior. We can work toward creating a more civil society where people feel the need to harm each other less, and where laws are respected to a greater extent. We need to work on the ‘software’ before taking up issues with the ‘hardware’.

  • The 2nd Amendment says people can own guns – it says nothing about being able to walk into a store and 15 min. later walk out with a gun. It should be harder to get a gun than to be licensed to drive.

  • this thread is a joke.

  • I take that back; thanks ontarioroader.

  • In the late 80s, living at 14th & Columbia Rd. A DC police officer (on duty, in uniform) toldl me to buy a gun for protection because there was really not much they could do against the drug dealers. He even told me how – go to most any bar in West Virginia and chat up most any guy and offer him $50 to buy a gun for me. He also told me what kind of file to get to file off the serial numbers, the best kind of bullets and what to say if I ever got caught with the gun.

    And ontarioroader – I know the definition of “effective” is subject to interpretation, but I would argue, based most recently on Rawanda, that “the single most effective handheld tool for killing someone” is not the handgun but the machete.

  • UGH Here we go. I dont even have to read to know I am in minority opinion again. Im going to skip the fact that this guys lives in MtP altogether.

    first your gov: if you cant make guns, tobacco and transfat illegal. then make it expensive. because your right to do stupid things is beyond your feable brains abaility to make decisions.
    that said. guns.
    here in lies the problem. I think everyone in dc should own a gun. we already know that every criminal or potential crinimal has one. Its the Texas effect. Your less likely to rob a store when eveyone in the store can potentially shoot you. its not a crime deterrent, but it does make for a polite society.

    A gun is a tool. nothing more. I am not saying legal gun ownership decreases crime, im just saying that the no gun experiment in dc hasnt worked and never will. its time to move on. If you are a law abiding citizen, theres no reason you shouldnt have access to a firearm if you so desire. Unfortunately all we know is that the opposite is true.

    Lets all agree at least that the delusion that a gun free dc has curatailed crime is in fact BS.

    btw before someone chimes in. Yes many people are killed by guns in their home. the majority of these people are killed by angry drunken spouses, or are children. So if you dont know how to handle a weapon, and secure it properly. you shouldnt buy one.
    It isnt up to you to tell me WHAT I CAN and cannot buy either.
    I dont know where the NANNY State generation came from, but i dont need you telling me what i can and cannot do. Thankfully there is a constitution in place to stop you.

    I dont go around telling people that we should ban bicycles because someone got hit by a car. and occasionally bike riders do stupid things and get hit by cars. E

    xtend those of us that can think for ourseleves the curtious of being left uninfringed by those of you who cant.

  • I guess another good question would be:
    So now that it is legal, do you think it should be easy to legally purchase and register a handgun in DC?

    I guess I have to answer no to both questions. It should neither be easy nor complicated to purchase and register a handgun. I think there should be a straightforward, but thoughtful process to purchasing and registering a handgun. It should have the publics safety and right to own a firearm in mind. If that means going through a training course and registering at the police department, then so be it. But I don’t agree with making people jump through hoops for the sake of “maybe this will discourage people to buy guns.”
    I’d rather have those resources go towards policing illegal gun trade.

  • My mother was taken away from me by a guy who was drunk and firing randomly. One of his bullets made it all the way to our bedroom and hit her. I was 3 years old and was sleeping with her at that time. I was awaken covered with blood. So, yeah, 30 years later I still hate guns and if it was for me no individual would be allowed to own handgun.

  • When repeal of Prohibition occurred in 1933, organized crime lost nearly all of its black market alcohol profits in most states (states still had the right to enforce their own laws concerning alcohol consumption) because of competition with low-priced alcohol sales at legal liquor stores.

    I’m just saying. What would happen to all the crews, gangs, and other such groups if their stream of cash went away?

  • Also…

    when are people going to learn that you cannot legislate morality.

  • “the people that are taking classes and having background checks are not the gun owners we all need to be worried about.”

    As the Fonz would say, “Exactamundo.” I have no immediate plans to go out and buy a gun but I am happy that DC requires prosepctive gun owners to learn something about gun use and safety, and to prove proficiency with a gun before letting them buy a gun. In most jurisdictions all you need to do is show a drivers license and pass the federal background check.
    I’m not sure that having more guns on the street will reduce crime but for years DC was the murder capital of the country while also having the toughest gun laws in the country. New York had extremely tough penalties for gun possession but lots of gun violence. It was different policing tactics, not tougher gun laws, that turned the tide there.
    Much of the hysteria on both sides of the gun control issue is overblown. States with liberal gun laws are no more or less safe than states with strict gun laws. By and large and across the board, rural areas are safer than cities. Crime rates are highest in urban areas, whether the particular state has tough or lax gun laws.

  • damn, i need to slow down the typing speed and spell a bit more.

  • I skimmed most of these comments randomly, but most people failed to address the safety issue of guns at home. People are much more likely to get shot by someone they know, as a suicide, or by accident especially in the case of children. Everyone knows criminals can find guns, but that doesn’t mean we would all be safer with one under every pillow.

  • I’ll say it. gun owners are a bunch of pussys. exhibit A would be the gent who wrote the article. And like sports cars i’d wager a strong correlations between penis size and gun ownership as well.

  • The gun issue is just a sideshow. In places where civil society is still robust, gun ownership rates are completely uncorrelated with crime rates (e.g. Canada, Switzerland).

    Let’s get the slightest bit real here. When we worry about “gun crime”, we’re not picturing a college-educated female gunning us down for talking too loud at the library. We’re worried about young males in the underclass killing fellow underclass males (the non-newsworthy usual case) or others (the newsworthy exception).

    We don’t fix the problem by putting further legal restrictions on the rights of the underclass (which is exactly what the DC registration law is: an economically imposed de facto ban on legal gun ownership for the poor, but a mere inconvenience for the non-poor).

    We fix the problem by directly addressing and eliminating the factors that have created a permanent underclass in our cities.

    Until we do that, America will continue its rapid devolution into the world’s richest Third World country.

  • To me, this sounds about as easy as owning a car in DC. Who in this city hasnt spent at least 20 hours dealing with the DMV, including multiple trips back and forth to it, and spent more than 800 dollars on fees, registration and the inevitable parking tickets?

    As for the question about needing a reason, my answer would be no. Unless one’s answer to the question of why they want a gun is “to use criminally,” in which case I would be relieved that we asked and hope we could deny them the right…or at least make them get back in line again.

  • dc 4:06,

    i didnt say lift it. i said it wasnt working. its not remotely working and its a joke. i said we need other solutions.
    still, sometimes a gun charge is the only thing the courts can make stick, when they know they did something else.

  • Can I be the first on this thread to point out again how STOOOOOOPID our DC political leaders were to piss away our chance for a vote in Congress based on preserving our useless gun laws?


  • @Flipflopirate: Switzerland is hardly a good counterexample to the strong correlation between strong gun control laws and low murder rates. Switzerland has an extremely high standard of living, a well-education population, and very low income inequality – all factors that are all also very strongly negatively correlated with crime and gun violence. And yes, there probably is a correlation between a country being wartorn and having a high murder rate. Not exactly surprising stuff. Of course, neither is the trend that having fewer guns is very strongly correlated with having fewer murders. Can you honestly look at that list and not notice that trend, aside from from the two very weak counterexamples you provided above?

  • The gun ban and silly and obstructionist rules for getting a handgun do nothing to quell handgun violence when you live in a city where local politicians consistently block any reasonable measures to punish criminals. They literally let them back out on the street the same day. We live in a city where everybody wants to meet a crime with a social program. You see where 40 years of that has got us. You can’t reform a criminal with happy thoughts and a place to play basketball. When the armed criminal knows he faces no time for carrying a weapon where is the disincentive to carry one? When the street corner thug knows that the city establishment downtown is more worried about what giveaway summer job they can set up to throw free money at him rather than hiring more police officers to patrol the streets with that wasted money, do you think he’s concerned? When the dead-eyed teen sociopath is loading his gun to use on you do you think he ever wonders “I bet if I just had a talk with Jim Graham he could show me a better way?” Nope. The Grahamstander only gets the call after his sweet prize ward has already shot up the Metro station while tardy to his government-hand-out summer job. Gun use and abuse in DC will continue unabated until the Grahamstander, Phil Mendelson, and every other criminal-coddling member of the city council are thrown out and we enact tough penalties for these crimes.

    Repeat after me: “Plaxico Burress”. There is a reason NYC is safer than DC. They got serious.

    The people in DC and the clowns they continue to elect are not serious.

  • anon 4:57… some might argue that commenters hiding behind anonymous handles are pussies. just saying.

    kudos to flipflop, rg, you are not serious. its nice to see reason occasionally!

  • Continually amazed by people who say we need “tougher enforcement” rather than “more social programs.”

    The USA has the weakest social safety-net programs of any Western industrialized country, and BY FAR the highest incarceration rate (seven times higher than Canada and Western Europe).

    In a country where more than 1% of males are sitting in jail on any given day (a figure unmatched by *any* country in the world), saying we need to put MORE people in jail is craziness.

  • Handguns should be this hard to purchase and register in DC. Especially in this case, as this reporter has no real experience with guns, and should be made to understand the responsibilities that come with ownership.

    Personally, I would never own a gun under any circumstances.

  • If you want to guarantee that more innocent bystanders get shot in this city, then give everyone guns and encourage them to use them for self defense whenever they are presented with a conflict.

    The mere presence of guns in a conflict instantly raises the potential consequences to lethal levels, not just for those involved, but for the neighbor in the adjacent building, for the child on the corner, for the friend you are tyring to protect. A mugging that might have ended with a sucker punch and a stolen ipod might instead end up with people dead. I’m tired of the ‘self defense’ argument. It is a fundamentally flawed position to think that less people in this city will be killed if more guns were used in conflicts.

    I have taken a handgun class, even though I don’t plan on ever owning one. If someone wants to own an handgun, then YES, FOR GODS SAKE REQUIRE THEM TO PASS A SAFETY COURSE. Gun safety is not an instinct, and proper control and awareness must be taught. (And they do it all wrong on TV, so don’t think you know a thing about it unless you’ve taken a class.)

  • We also have more unwanted pregnancies than any other western nations and we have more hang-ups with abortion. If we could just prevent people who ARE NOT QUALIFIED to raise children from having them in the first place then we wouldn’t have so many degenerates.

  • buck,
    do some more digging. tougher enforcement of existing laws can result in fewer incarcerations over all.
    and no one has said this rather than that. but we have been severely lacking on the enforcement side.

    yeah, it takes both. but its not balanced here in dc.

  • Pfth! Like all those gun shots I kept hearing every night when I first moved here were from legally registered guns. DC has been the best proof that when you outlaw the guns only the outlaws have guns.
    Like cars guns are dangerous things and should require training. Maybe cars should be banned in DC, ’cause that would significantly reduce the crime rate. Broken into and stolen vehicles? What vehicles?

  • # Anonymous Says:
    September 3rd, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    My mother was taken away from me by a guy who was drunk and firing randomly. One of his bullets made it all the way to our bedroom and hit her. I was 3 years old and was sleeping with her at that time. I was awaken covered with blood. So, yeah, 30 years later I still hate guns and if it was for me no individual would be allowed to own handgun.
    Your anger is displaced. You should hate the man that was drunk and killed your mother. Interestingly enough, you don’t hate alcohol.

    A few years ago my Uncle was killed by his nephew. The guy beat him with a baseball bat after throwing acid in his face. I harbor no ill feelings toward acid or baseball bats. Similarly, my closest cousin was killed about 15 years ago. He was stabbed over an argument over a bball game. I don’t hate basketball or knives. People do messed up things. And they sometimes use inanimate objects to do so. Blaming the object only lets the person off the hook for his behavior.

    Interestingly enough, making the fees prohibitively expensive won’t keep the drug dealers from being able to buy guns. They are already paying dear prices for them now on the street. In effect, only the law abiding in poor neighborhoods will be prohibited from buying guns to protect themselves in their violent neighborhoods. Lot of good that does.

  • It should be harder. Much, much harder. Your car gets busted into, you feel like someone insulted your manhood, and you can “extend it” in 15 hours with a shiny new gun. That’s way too little time. Fuck that guy. I hope his car gets broken into many, many more times so he sees how little his new toy really keeps him safe.

  • I believe this whole article was a TROLL by the Washington Post to drum up controversy and I’m not biting.

  • this guy wants to buy a gun after having his car broken into ONCE?! OMG, you should totally only be allowed to buy a gun after your car has been broken into a minimum of three times or if you have been mugged five times or punched in the face three times. getting robbed and roughed-up is part of city living. if you don’t like it, move out to Chantilly, loser!

  • The reporter lives in one of those zillion-dollar rowhouses on Park between Mt.P and 18th. The “alley behind his house” is that wide brick-paved cut-through that gives access to the garages and the other off-street parking.

  • There are a couple of problems here. First, people seem to conflate having a gun in your home for self-protection with “guns on the streets.” I think in this strange society of ours, a free man should be able to make the decision to protect his home with a gun.

    But carrying weapons on the street — anywhere and everywhere — should be illegal, illegal, illegal.

    Also, people jumping through these hoops to buy guns aren’t using them in crimes. The genie is out of the bottle in this nation, and purchasing a gun illegally is far easier and more cost-effective than the DC registration process. The process is set up for responsible citizens who make the choice to own a handgun.

    You can hate guns all you want, but whether DC allows for this registration process simply won’t affect the violent crime rate in DC. Arguing that it will just ignores basic realities. Thugs aren’t registering guns, and until a DC_registered gun is used in a crime, the hysteria from the ban-all-guns crowd is unwarranted.

  • We really don’t have a choice to ban all the guns anymore. The Supreme Court has spoken, and that law was and would be unconstitutional. The real question, therefore, is the extent of the regulations we’re going to erect between the putative lawful gun owner and gun ownership. It’s nearly certain that someone is going to challenge any gun regulation legally, but that’s for the courts. The political question is really how much regulation we’re willing to bear. From the article, it’s hard to disagree with some minimal training, signing off on sanity and non-criminality, and giving MPD a ballistic fingerprint. The real question seems to be the money and the time burden, but as anybody who has dealt with registering a car in DC can tell you, it’s neither cheap nor easy to get your car into DC. I can live with what’s in place now, and I often have thought of getting a handgun for peace of mind in my own home.

    But I agree with all the pragmatists on this thread. It’s not the legal handguns we should worry about. According to the article, there are only about 550 of those in the District now, including the one the author has, and he doesn’t scare me in the least. It’s the 1000s of handguns on the streets that aren’t lawfully owned. Time to Plaxico-up this town, says I.

  • This is totally awesome. Next week we’ll debate abortion and which God is the one true god!!!

    Hippies are hilarious when they get riled up! More! More! More!!!!!

  • What would constitute as “a good reason” to register for a handgun?

    Reason: You want to murder someone because they broke into your car?

    Nope, not a good reason. Better keep trying to think of one.

  • Ya really, if I lived in a State where military occupation of street corners was necessary because people where afraid to call the police on the gangsters or the drug addicts because they could not protect their children, homes, or business. I guess I would probable feel scared to answer how I really feel; US, Declaration, Constitution Freedom Thinkers world wide, the right to bear arms is inherent in freedom. You have a gang on your street and watch someone get beat up or drugs being sold where the money ends up being used to sell women and children for sex and tell me you would call the police. (Asia

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