D.C.’s New Gun Law Could Turn Thousands Of Law-Abiding Citizens Into Law-Breaking Citizens

One step at a time, they’re cracking down on gun-owners, hoping they’ll just give up trying to defend the 2nd Amendment. Instead of door-to-door confiscation, they’re trying to regulate, tax and license them out of existence. From the Washington D.C. CBS affiliate:

Big changes for gun owners in the nation’s capital will [affect] tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens, many of whom have no idea the change is coming. The new requirement for gun owners in the District goes into effect next year and failure to comply could mean jail time.

Starting Jan. 1 all registered gun owners in D.C. must re-register their firearms within 90 days. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says notices will start going out to gun owners soon. “Every three years you’ll have to confirm you still live in the District and you still have your firearm.” Lanier tells WNEW.

The re-registration requirement will [affect] anyone who registered a firearm in the District from 1976 to 2010. “There are probably between 40,000 and 50,000 people who registered a gun during that time.” Lanier says.

Not everybody is happy with the new requirement. Ilya Shapiro, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, worries the requirement could make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners…

The penalties for not re-registering a gun range from a $13 fine to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail, according to an MPD spokesperson. “A person who fails to renew their firearms registration within 90 days of the deadline (meaning, 90 day renewal period + 90 day grace period = 180 days total) will have their firearm registration cancelled, will be in possession of an unregistered firearm, and may face criminal charges punishable by a fine up to $1,000 or 1 year in jail, or both,” MPD spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump wrote in an email.

What makes the re-registration fee more cumbersome for many is that the vast majority of re-registrations have to be done in person at police headquarters.

The police chief has to send out notifications to all the D.C. gun owners about the new law. But there could be 50,000 of these people. And if most of these people have to actually show up in a police station to re-register, that’s going to pose some traffic problems. How many are actually going to go through the trouble of showing up in person to re-register their gun (that they’re “allowed” to own but not bear)?

And since these registration laws are always about “safety,” how is this new re-registration law going to keep D.C. residents safe? Are criminals going to show up to re-register their weapons?

If a “law-abiding” gun owner doesn’t know about this law and waits beyond the deadline and grace period, he can no longer call himself a “law-abiding” citizen. He’ll be stuck with a hefty fine and jail time simply for not re-registering his self-defense tools with the District of Corruption. He’d become a criminal overnight.

Meanwhile, D.C.’s murder rate has gone up in spite of these types of restrictions on gun-owners:

 For the first time since 2008, the murder rate in the nation’s capital has gone up.

Last year, the District recorded 88 homicides. As of Dec. 17 there have been 103 murders. That number includes the 12 people killed during the Navy Yard shooting in September, but even excluding those deaths, that would bring the year-to-date total to 91, three more than in all of 2012 –with two weeks to go in 2013.

I wonder how many of those murderers are going to re-register their firearms. I wonder how many of them registered them in the first place.

How many law-abiding gun owners in D.C. are going to give up and just turn in their guns because of the hassle it’s become to keep them? Or, they could move somewhere else and let the criminals have D.C. to themselves. And yes, that also includes the non-government criminals.