Under DC’s new gun law, people who already had guns despite the now-overturned gun ban, can register them (maybe). But, law-abiding citizens who previously abided by the ban still cannot get a gun. Why? There are no gun shops in DC, and there won’t be, because zoning regulations prohibit them. You can, however, buy a gun outside DC and ship it to a federally licensed firearms dealer. That’s where things get interesting:
As WTOP first reported, there are only six federally licensed firearm dealers in the District, and only one of them is willing to handle the transfer of handguns. Until gun shops open in the District, residents will have to buy their handguns out of state and have them shipped to a licensed dealer in the District. Charles Sykes is that licensed dealer, and he’s told WTOP he’s willing to handle the transfer of handguns for residents, just has he has for security companies since 1994. “On a low key basis,” Sykes says. “By appointment.”
But Sykes has a problem. He lost his lease and has had to relocate, and the District has refused to issue him the necessary permit to open his new office. Sykes told the Washington CityPaper he thinks the city is withholding his Certificate of Occupancy for “political” reasons. He may be right.
A spokesperson for the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which issues the permit, could not say what the status of his application is, or why it was being withheld in time for this report.
DC does not appear to be acting in good faith.
Here’s what I find amazing, though. Violators of the old law can now have legal weapons (under the amnesty), but those who obeyed the law cannot. DC has actually managed to arrange matters so that a classic problem with gun bans (law-violators are armed, but law-abiders are not) is preserved even when the gun ban is lifted. Way to go, DC!