Tuesday, July 01, 2008

handgun FAQs

From: Santiago, Marco (MPD)
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 8:12 AM
To: Santiago, Marco (MPD)
Subject: [MPD-3d] Impact on the Court Ruling in DC v. Heller

In the coming days the District of Columbia will be implementing new rules
and regulations regarding the Supreme Court decision in the District of
Columbia v. Heller (handgun) case. The Supreme Court ruled that residents
will be allowed to possess handguns in their homes. It is critical that all
Metropolitan Police Department members know the immediate impact of this
ruling:

* All Firearms including handguns must be registered with the
Metropolitan Police Department's Firearms Registration Section before they
may be legally possessed.
* Automatic and semi-automatic handguns remain ineligible for
registration.
* The Supreme Court's ruling is limited to handguns in the home and
does not affect the legality of firearms carried outside of the home.
* The Metropolitan Police Department will urge residents that do
obtain licenses to carry weapons in the home to also keep that weapon either
disassembled or secured with a locking device (not a current legal
requirement).

Resources

* District <http://dc.gov/mayor/news/release.asp?id=1325&mon=200806>
Government Reacts to Heller Ruling (Press Release, 6/26/08)
* Firearms
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/frames.asp?doc=/mpdc/lib/mpdc/info/pdf/firearms
_registraton_req.pdf> Registration Requirements*
* Registering
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/frames.asp?doc=/mpdc/lib/mpdc/info/pdf/register
ing_firearm_dc.pdf> a Firearm in the District of Columbia* (Brochure)
* Data:
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/frames.asp?doc=/mpdc/lib/mpdc/info/pdf/dc_crime
swithguns_062708.pdf> Crimes with Guns* (CY 1998 - YTD through 6/26/08)
* Gun
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565456,mpdcNav_GID,1549,mpdcN
av,|.asp> Safety Information

Frequently Asked Questions about Registering a Firearm

1. What <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#1#1>
happens now?
2. Can <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#2#2>
people go out and get handguns right now? If not, when will they be able to
do it?
3. What <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#3#3>
can people do right now?
4. Will <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#4#4>
there be restrictions on who can register a handgun?
5. Are <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#5#5>
there restrictions on what kinds of handguns residents will be able to
register and possess?
6. What <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#6#6>
other restrictions will there be on handguns?
7. What <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#7#7>
will you do about residents who already own handguns despite the handgun
ban?
8. Can <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#8#8>
people register as many handguns as they like?
9. Under <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#9#9>
existing law can District residents use properly registered firearms in
lawful self-defense in their homes?
10. How <http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#10#10>
does one go about registering a firearm?

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50

What Happens Now?

The Supreme Court will formally issue its mandate within the next month,
possibly as early as July 17, 2008. The U.S. Court of Appeals will then
send the case to the U.S. District Court to enter an injunction. The
injunction is the court order that will officially prevent the District
government from enforcing the handgun ban. That process may take a few
months. Within 21 days, the Metropolitan Police Department will promulgate
regulations to accommodate the process of registering handguns for lawful
possession.

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
cid:image002.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>

Can people go out and get handguns right now?
If not, when will they be able to do it?

No. Residents may not go out and get handguns, though they will soon be
able to do so. There is further court action before the Supreme Court's
decision is implemented and the handgun ban is officially lifted, though
that should happen within the next few months. It should be emphasized that
even after the handgun ban is lifted, those who wish to possess handguns
will first be required to register them with the Metropolitan Police
Department, as they must do with all firearms, in order for the possession
to be legal. Furthermore, under the Supreme Court's decision, possession of
properly registered handguns will still be legal only in one's own home.

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
cid:image002.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>

What can people do right now?

Although people cannot yet register handguns for legal possession in the
home, they will be able to do so soon, and the District government will
fully comply with the Supreme Court's decision. Residents should wait for
the regulations that the Metropolitan Police Department will prepare within
the next 21 days for further instructions. In the meantime, if residents
have specific questions, they may contact the Firearms Registration Section
of the Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9490 or visit the
Department's website at www.mpdc.dc.gov/gunregistration.

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
cid:image002.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>

Will there be restrictions on who can register a handgun?

Yes, under District law that the Supreme Court did not disturb, someone who
seeks to register any firearm must meet certain requirements. Among these
are that the would-be registrant must be 21 years of age and cannot have
been convicted of a felony or other crime of violence or weapons crime, or
have been committed to a mental hospital within the past five years.
Registrants also must be fingerprinted and pass a test regarding knowledge
of District gun laws.

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
cid:image002.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>

Are there restrictions on what kinds of handguns residents will be able to
register and possess?

Yes, under District law that the Supreme Court did not disturb, automatic
and semi-automatic handguns generally may not be registered. Revolvers in
the home will be legal and, as before, residents remain free to register
most shotguns and rifles. Those with questions about specific firearms
should contact the Firearms Registration Section of the Metropolitan Police
Department at (202) 727-9490 or visit the Department's website at
www.mpdc.dc.gov/gunregistration.

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
cid:image002.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>

What other restrictions will there be on handguns?

The new rules will allow handgun possession in the home only, and only by
those who properly register their handguns with the Metropolitan Police
Department. The Supreme Court has not altered the legality of carrying
handguns outside the home. Given the potentially tragic consequences of
storing a firearm without a trigger lock, residents are strongly urged to
utilize such locks which may be obtained free of charge from the
Metropolitan Police Department.

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
cid:image002.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>

What will you do about residents who already own handguns despite the
handgun ban?

The District government will establish an amnesty program under which they
can register their handguns without fear of prosecution for having possessed
a handgun in violation of District law. Of course, the program will not
protect anyone who committed a separate crime under District or Federal law
with that handgun.

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
cid:image002.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>

Can people register as many handguns as they like?

The forthcoming regulations to be issued by the Metropolitan Police
Department will answer questions such as how many weapons residents can
register, and will likely limit registrants at least initially to one
handgun each.

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
cid:image002.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>

Under existing law can District residents use properly registered firearms
in lawful self-defense in their homes?

Yes.

cid:image001.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>
cid:image002.gif@01C8DA88.FAA9AB50
<http://mpdc.dev.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1237,q,565463.asp#top#top>

How does one go about registering a firearm?

For the specific details on how to register a firearm, residents should
contact the Firearms Registration Section of the Metropolitan Police
Department at (202) 727-9490 or visit the Department's website at
www.mpdc.dc.gov/gunregistration.

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