May 12, 2011

Heller? What Heller?

From today's Washington Times editorial:
The landmark District of Columbia v. Heller case should have settled the matters like this three years ago. In its ruling, the Supreme Court smacked down D.C. gun-control measures and reaffirmed the constitutional protection for the individual’s right to own a handgun. Since then, the District has cooked up a labyrinth of pointless restrictions and rules crafted to ensure this fundamental right would rarely be exercised. The city may have gone a step too far, as it is now impossible for any law-abiding citizen to obtain a gun in the nation’s capital.

That’s because the District manipulated its zoning laws to ensure gun brokers would not be welcome. With no gun stores, the only way to obtain a pistol lawfully is to make a purchase in another state and have the gun shipped to a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder in the District. A federal law prohibits acquisition of a firearm across state lines in any other way.

The lone FFL holder doing business in Washington recently lost his lease and can no longer perform such transfers. That left D.C. resident Michelle Lane in the lurch after she ordered Kahr K9 and Ruger LCR handguns from a dealer in Lorton last month. The Second Amendment Foundation filed the federal court challenge on her behalf, arguing that she is being denied equal protection of the laws because of where she lives.
The Washington Post previously wrote about how difficult it is to get a gun in D.C. In order to get a gun it took "$833.69, a total of 15 hours 50 minutes, four trips to the Metropolitan Police Department, two background checks, a set of fingerprints, a five-hour class and a 20-question multiple-choice exam."

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