After a federal judge ruled that Washington, D.C.’s total ban on carrying firearms outside the home was unconstitutional, the city put together a permit process that is Byzantine to the point of a de facto ban on carry permits.
Fox 2 KTVU investigative reporter Emily Miller, author of Emily Gets Her Gun, set out to get her permit, and the video footage that resulted was shocking and eye-opening.
“I am a registered gun owner, but I feel that I’m in more danger on the streets of Washington, D.C. than inside my home,” Miller said, according to Fox 2. “So when D.C. recently passed a new law allowing for some rights to carry a gun outside the home, I decided to apply for a permit.”
Here’s the backstory as reported by KTVU:
Until July, Washington, D.C. was the only place in the country did not allow for any right to carry a gun outside the home.
A federal district court judge ruled in the Palmer case that the total ban was unconstitutional.
The D.C. attorney general said last week that the city will appeal the ruling. While the issue goes through the courts, the Metropolitan Police Department has started giving out applications, so I went to the firearms registration office to start the process.
The first obstacle Miller hit was that she had to “prove” she needed a “concealed carry as opposed to just wanting one.” She had to demonstrate a specific threat — the right to self-defense against D.C.’s rising crime rate due, no doubt in part, to an unarmed citizenry wasn’t enough.
“Prove a need for a constitutional right?” Miller asks. “That’s what D.C.’s new law says.”
In addition, D.C.’s law requires it’s own 16 hours of classroom training supplemented by two hours on the range. Most jurisdictions ask for proof of training from any instructor certified by the National Rifle Association.
Miller asked where she could sign up for the training.
“Unfortunately, I think they are still setting up the classes,” she was told.
As Miller observed in her Fox 2 report:
There’s the rub. The city isn’t actually abiding by the court decision. No one can apply for a carry permit because the police haven’t certified any trainers for the mandatory classes. That might be partly because D.C. charges trainers $400 to be certified.
In contrast, Virginia accepts any class that is certified by the NRA. And there’s no minimum time requirement for training.
The real shocker came when Miller asked about her Constitutional rights.
“The Second Amendment right to bear arms just doesn’t fully apply here?”
“I believe when the Second Amendment was written, that was more or less for when the British were coming.”
Rather than comply with the court’s ruling, the District of Columbia is obviously dragging its heels. Until it abides by the spirit of the law, the city’s crime rate will undoubtedly continue to climb.
Miller’s book chronicled the labyrinth of hoops she had to jump through in order to get a permit to keep a gun in her own home. Now watch her frustrating attempt to get a permit to carry it outside. Video via KTVU.