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Sure, the Heller decision meant that DC residents can now legally own a handgun. Technically. Practically, though, the city has erected as many hurdles to gun ownership as the town’s overseers’ furtive, bureaucratic minds could concoct. And as a result, they’ve had to defend themselves in court. Now, evidently tiring of the hassle – and maybe embarrassed into doing something about it – one DC councilman has introduced a bill that would ease some of the idiocy…

Courtesy of, here’s what Phil Mendelson’s bill would do. Swallow your coffee first, okay?

The District would still require would-be gun owners to take a firearms safety course, but under the Mendelson bill they would be allowed to possess a gun temporarily while taking the course. Gun owners would no longer have to take a vision test and would only have to pass a test on the District’s gun laws once, upon initial registration.

Also, residents would still be required to register their weapons with police, but they would no longer have to submit their guns to police for ballistic identification before taking them home.

Safety course, written test, eye exam, registration and test firing. What, no DNA sample? If the gun owner fails the course, will the DC PD knock on their door at some point and confiscate the “temporarily-owned” gun?

Whatever. It may be a step in the right direction, but I wouldn’t bet the rent money on this passing the DC city council any time soon. The best bet for a DC resident who wants to own a firearm is still moving to Virginia and that doesn’t look to change any time soon.

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    • “Senior Editor Emily Miller goes through the whole exhaustive process of acquiring a handgun for herself in DC.”

      Like watching a slow motion battering ram knocking in a castle door I have endured sympathetic pain reading this torturous process.

      Approx month and a half, still no legal gun.

      • And Emily’s costs for the process easily exceeding the cost of a decent Glock. Travel, permit fees, gun broker fees, and a few hundred for the class are adding up quick. Those of us with our own guns are still on the hook for most of it including a gun class we may or may not need if we already went to one elsewhere.

        At least there is a legal path for it, although the restrictions are constitutionally suspect.

  1. Crap like this why we hear rumblings about a coming civil war in this country. Every time the citizens attempt to make changes within the boundaries of the system some hypocritical bureaucrats figure out a way to thwart them and continue to deny their rights. The People are just getting extremely fed up with the bs. The govt should remove their privileged class blinders and take a look at what’s really happening in this country and the rest of the world these days. But I guess they actually perceive more than I give them credit for since they are surrounded by heavily armed security forces wherever they go.

    • The only people mumbling about civil war are the OWS and preppers. One of the beauties of the American federal system is that you can move to someplace more compatible with you life style. If a DC resident wants to join the rest the nation he can move to Virginia and arm up. Heck, he could move to Maryland and arm up a little slower. Just the act of moving from DC to Arlington reduces your chances of being a victim of a violent crime falls by about 80%.

  2. Safety course, written test, and registration with the cops. It says they will no longer have an eye exam or ballistic identification of the weapon. I am curious about what happens if you do fail the safety course or written exam? Maybe the D.C. SWAT team gets to take a battering ram to your front door?

  3. Given the disregard for the Constitution shown by the DC ‘crats, I would suggest that the name of the enclave be changed to “KarlMarx, D.C.”

    It should no longer be named after George Washington, at any rate.

  4. I’ve been meaning to thank you, Dan, (and everyone at TTAG) for keeping us 2a-informed. Your posts are well written with just the right touch of humor, and I very much look forward to reading them.

    At this point in life, I view guns as 50% political awareness and 50% guns.

    When I go to a site like Bud’s Gun Shop and view a simple product like this, I’m reminded that there’s a reason for the prominently displayed text: NOT LEGAL IN THE FOLLOWING STATES: CA, HI, IL, MA, MD, MN, OR SC. Someone dropped the 2a ball – that kind of text should serve as a warning to the rest of us.

    Without knowing what’s going on in the world of 2a, supporting 2a, supporting those who also support it, and keeping 2a alive and well – all the other really cool TTAG articles about guns, gadgets, and shooting would just be fiction.

  5. Looked into buying brown Smith and Wesson M&P in 45 acp only black was tested and approved for sale in California.
    No difference mechanically just the color

  6. So they can keep a gun behind a closed door. Progress. Carrying them is another thing entirely, though. Given how many hoops you hop through to own one what’s left for a Concealed Handgun Licence other than mandating professional gun handling skills?

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