the dc gun ban: or, why any sane person stays out of anacostia after dark...

next tuesday the supreme court will begin hearing oral arguments in the dc gun rights case. i'm hoping to get a job in dc soon, and this has been one of the things that has concerned me about moving inside the city: i like living in places where law-abiding people have guns as well as the criminals.

reason magazine senior editor jacob sullum gives an overview of one of the strictest gun bans in the nation:
D.C. requires that all firearms in the home, including rifles and shotguns, be kept "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device." That "safe storage" requirement makes it pretty hard to use any gun for self-defense, except maybe as a club. It makes D.C.'s gun laws look extreme even compared to those of other cities that ban handguns. If D.C.-style gun control does not violate the Second Amendment, it's hard to imagine what sort of gun control would.
the disctrict is apparently now using some strange legal meandering to misrepresent their own law:
Although three of the original plaintiffs in the D.C. gun ban case said they wanted to keep functional long guns in their homes, the District did not claim they already were allowed to do so. Instead it dismissed the very idea of armed self-defense as self-evidently absurd. "It cannot be seriously contended that the Second Amendment, even if applicable, guarantees private persons a right of ownership or possession of firearms on the basis of an asserted need to resort to self-help," D.C.'s lawyers told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.

But when the plaintiffs appealed Sullivan's dismissal of their complaint, the District suddenly began to suggest there might be exceptions to the "safe storage" requirement that are not mentioned in the statute. "The [D.C.] Council appears to have recognized that on rare occasions, in the event of a true emergency when necessary for self-defense, a gun could be unlocked," it said.

needless to say, i will (hopefully) be weighing in on this issues as the verdict is rendered next tuesday.

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