It will be increasingly harder for law-abiding gun owners to possess certain gun accessories in the District of Columbia.
The newly-enacted Firearms Safety Omnibus Amendment Act, largely supported by Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen, is calling for “stronger gun laws” to be witnessed—including increased penalties for those in possession extended magazine clips, for those in possession of bump stocks, and the implementation of the controversial and dangerous red flag law—which recently resulted in the tragic death of an Anne Arundel, Maryland, man.
When enacted, this red flag law in D.C. will allow “family members, physicians, officers and others” to file a petition to have firearms removed from individuals, largely family members, they believe are a danger to themselves or others. Moreover, red flag laws give more authority to judges to certify the petition for removal of firearms within hours of a request being filed. This law has been rightfully criticized for incurring Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment right violations.
Here’s more on their justification for this provision, which will certainly alarm civil rights advocates:
“It gives a process through the courts where that gun can be removed temporarily to prevent them from doing harm to themselves or to others,” explained Allen.
He also said the red flag law could exempt someone from criminal punishment through an immunity provision if they are found to possess a gun illegally.
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham was critical of the immunity provision in a letter sent to the council recently, saying it will create an environment more accepting of illegal guns.
Newsham said in the letter, “by expanding the immunity provision to include felons, fugitives from justice, or anyone with a domestic violence conviction, the legislation will undermine efforts to protect the community and other potential victims of violence.”
“If that gun was used in a crime, immunity is gone,” said Allen responding to the chief’s concerns. “If they aren’t allowed to have a gun because they are under court supervision, they are prohibited – no immunity.”
“This is a very narrow, narrow piece that is the barrier between someone making a phone call because they’re trying to weigh, do I think they are going to do harm or do I want to have them get a criminal consequence? And we want to get the gun out of their hands,” said Allen.
Like other examples of gun control measures, this will absolutely do nothing to deter violent crime in the nation’s capital—which rated as the _ most dangerous city in the country. This will only penalize law-abiding gun owners, who already have a difficult time in the district.
Washington, D.C. recently became a shall-issue territory—meaning the city council couldn’t legally restrict concealed carry applicants from applying and exercising their rights. As of November 2018, there was a 1,440% percent increase in carry permit holders since last year’s landmark ruling in the District’s Circuit Courts of Appeals, where now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh previously sat on. Daily Caller also reports that prior to the ruling, only 123 D.C. residents had carry permits. That number, as confirmed by Metropolitan Police Department, has increased to 1,896 total concealed carry permits issued by them this year.
Guns and Ammo magazine ranked Washington, D.C. as the 47th worst place for gun owners of all 50 states and the District of Columbia—just behind California. Their report assessed each state using the following criteria: Right to Carry (RTC), access to “Black Rifles”, the states’ use-of-force laws (i.e., Castle Doctrine or CD), the prohibition of items regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) and a catch-all Miscellaneous (MISC) column.
Per the recently launched FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, Washington, D.C. was rated the 44th most violent city in the U.S. It last held the 27th spot. Hate crimes are reportedly up 62 percent. D.C.’s 2017 violent crime rate was 6, 584 per its population of 693,972—with 116 homicides.
This D.C. bill will likely be challenged by gun groups for its numerous violations of individual rights.
The author of this story consulted Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen’s Republican challenger, Michael Bekesha, during the 2018 election cycle.