D.C. Is Sued Again Over Handgun Rules
Under the D.C. [law], a robber has to make an appointment with you so you can get your gun ready for him," Halbrook said in an interview.
The man who successfully challenged the D.C. handgun ban before the U.S. Supreme Court filed a second federal lawsuit yesterday, alleging that the District's new gun-registration system is burdensome and continues to unlawfully outlaw most semiautomatic pistols.
Dick A. Heller, a 66-year-old security guard who lives on Capitol Hill, and two other plaintiffs allege in the lawsuit that the D.C. government violated the letter and the spirit of the landmark Supreme Court decision, issued June 26, that struck down the District's decades-old handgun ban.
The 5 to 4 ruling concluded that the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to possess...snip
The District's handgun registration is limited almost entirely to revolvers; a previous D.C. law bans machine guns and includes a broad definition of such weapons, encompassing most semiautomatic pistols. Such magazine-loaded semiautomatic pistols -- the kind of weapons commonly carried by police officers -- are the most popular handguns on the market.
Register a semiautomatic .45-caliber Colt handgun
The D.C. law on machine guns was not a focus of the Supreme Court case. The suit contends that defining a semiautomatic pistol as a machine gun "is contrary to the ordinary usage of those terms in the English language and in the laws of the United States."
Heller registered a revolver with the District on July 18. He also sought to register a semiautomatic .45-caliber Colt handgun, but that application was denied because police considered it a machine gun, the suit alleges. The suit says Heller could have been arrested had he taken his semiautomatic, which he stores in Virginia, to be registered at D.C. police headquarter.
The plaintiffs, including District residents Absalom F. Jordan Jr. and Amy McVey, allege that the new regulations are a burden. McVey must visit D.C. police headquarters at least two more times to register a pistol, the suit says. Jordan's application to register a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol was denied, the suit says.
The city requires that legally registered revolvers be kept unloaded and either disassembled or secured with trigger locks, unless the owner reasonably fears immediate harm by an intruder in the home.
That rule flouts the Supreme Court decision, making it virtually impossible for a gun owner to legally use a weapon in self-defense, said Heller's attorney, Stephen P. Halbrook.