“A controversial gun ban in the District has been dead for almost three years now,” nbcwashington.com reports. They are, of course, referring to the Supreme Court’s Heller decision, striking down the District’s handgun ban. [Dick Heller above.] “But once again, residents who want to carry are facing a hurdle. The only man approved to register guns in D.C. is temporarily out of business.” According to D.C. Council Member At-Large Phil Mendelson, “There’s one federal firearms licensed dealer in the District. And in order to purchase a handgun, if you live in the District, you have to [register the gun] through [a D.C.-based] federal firearms dealer. If he is out of business because his lease ended, then one cannot purchase a handgun.” And why, pray tell, is the temporarily location-less Charles Sykes The Man?
“There has not been a huge demand. It’s not the kind of demand that we thought,” Mendelson says. “Therefore there isn’t the market, which is why there is one dealer.”
And why is there no demand? Because of decades of gun control. As the old expression goes, culture eats strategy for lunch. Although the Heller decision was an enormous strategic victory for gun rights groups, the proverbial soil is barren.
The people who really need firearms—law-abiding citizens living in crime-ridden parts of the nation’s capitol—don’t know Heller from Helsinki. If the NRA or anyone else wants to protect gun rights in D.C., they must actively reach out to these potential owners. As I’ve said before, every gun owner helps protect our right to keep and bear arms.
How bad can it get? I was shooting at the American Firearms School the other day. I asked two fellow Rhode Islanders why they didn’t have carry permits. Why they didn’t even apply for permits.
“You can’t get a permit in Rhode Island,” they told me. I showed them mine and told them get thee to a gunnery.
To quote Jimmy Cliff, you can get it if you really want. But you must try. Try and try. Try and try. For all of our sakes.