Po­lice pro­pose re­quire­ments to re-reg­is­ter guns

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY MERED­ITH SOMERS

The D.C. po­lice depart­ment has re­leased in­for­ma­tion about how to re-reg­is­ter firearms in the city — two years af­ter the orig­i­nal dead­line.

Hop­ing to es­tab­lish “a sim­ple, stream­lined process” for re-reg­is­ter­ing firearms in the Dis­trict, the depart­ment has pro­posed a re­newal process “for firearms that ... were re­quired to be reg­is­tered with the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice Depart­ment be­fore Jan. 1, 2011.”

“We have worked to meet the re­quire­ments of the law while try­ing to stream­line the process as much as pos­si­ble,” po­lice spokes­woman Gwendolyn Crump said Mon­day.

About 30,000 firearm own­ers in the Dis­trict are up for per­mit re­newal, po­lice said.

De­spite the two-year de­lay in re-reg­is­tra­tion, gun own­ers in the Dis­trict have not been break­ing the law.

Last year, the city coun­cil ap­proved a bill that gave gun own­ers un­til Jan­uary 2014 to re-reg­is­ter. The Dis­trict re­quires gun own­ers to re­new their reg­is­tra­tion ev­ery three years, but was ill-equipped to han­dle up­com­ing re­newals.

The Dis­trict pro­hib­ited hand­guns for decades un­til the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban in 2008 with its land­mark opin­ion in Dis­trict of Columbia v. Heller.

The pro­posal states that the reg­is­tra­tion would take place through­out the next two years, with gun own­ers re­new­ing their firearms based on their birth­days.

The reg­is­trant would be re­quired to ap­pear in per­son at po­lice head­quar­ters to be fin­ger­printed and show proof of own­er­ship of the firearm, as well as con­firm the home ad­dress and “con­tin­ued com­pli­ance with the act’s reg­is­tra­tion re­quire­ments.”

“The pro­posed rule­mak­ing es­tab­lishes a three-month win­dow for reg­is­trants to re­new, with an ad­di­tional 30-day grace pe­riod,” po­lice said “Reg­is­trants that re­new more than 30 days but fewer than 90 days af­ter the three-month win­dow would pay twice the amount of the $13 reg­is­tra­tion fee.”

Firearms own­ers not re­new­ing their reg­is­tra­tions within the time frame would have their reg­is­tra­tion can­celed, po­lice said.

Kristo­pher Bau­mann, chair­man of Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice Depart­ment’s Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice union, said the pro­posed changes “are a re­flec­tion of the in­creas­ing bu­reau­cracy cre­ated by Phil Men­del­son and the D.C. Coun­cil.”

“What res­i­dents should be ask­ing them­selves is this: Given that homi­cides, sex­ual as­saults, and as­saults with guns are all up in the Dis­trict this year; is this re­ally what we want the po­lice spend­ing their time on — help­ing peo­ple fill out forms? If Mr. Men­del­son and his col­leagues were as wor­ried and proac­tive about crime and its vic­tims as they are about law­ful reg­is­tered firearms — the Dis­trict might ac­tu­ally be en­joy­ing a sig­nif­i­cant de­crease in vi­o­lent crime like the rest of the coun­try.”

The pub­lic has un­til Dec. 14 to com­ment on the pro­posed rules, Ms. Crump said, af­ter which the po­lice depart­ment will make any changes nec­es­sary be­fore pub­lish­ing the fi­nal ver­sion.

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