View Full Version : Reporter going to try and get a handgun in DC

07-25-2008, 5:58 AM
A reporter is attempting to get through the system and see if he can buy a handgun in DC. :)

This ought to be interesting to watch. He sounds anti-gun but heck, if they deny him, I wonder if he will have an epiphany about being denied his rights. Doubt it.


Locked and Un-Loaded
July 17, 2008 - 6:20am

(Editor's Note: Follow WTOP's Mark Segraves as he attempts to register for a gun license and buy a firearm. Scroll down to read the rest of his blog.)

Despite the fact that they're now legal to own, getting a handgun in the District is going to be impossible -- at least for a while. But this reporter is going to try.

At 7 a.m. Thursday, the Metropolitan Police Department will open its doors at Headquarters and begin taking applications for permits. If you already own an illegal handgun, you're in luck. Because of the 90 day amnesty program, you can bring your gun (unloaded and wrapped up) to the police and apply for a permit. If, like most people, you don't have a gun, you can begin the permit process, but good luck getting a gun. Without a gun store, or someone to transfer the gun, it won't happen legally.

But I'm going to try.

It's important to note, I have no desire to own a gun. In fact, once I get the gun, I'll turn it over to police or sell it back to the gun store where I bought it. I simply want to walk through the entire process to see how it does - or doesn't - work.

So, join me on this journey. I'll update this blog on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis until I'm locked and un-loaded. Feel free to add your thoughts or experiences along the way.

To Buy A Gun

Friday, July 18 -- 2 p.m.:

Lt. Jon Shelton called me Thursday night to walk me through the process and clarify everything.

According to Shelton, the application has to be filled out by the licensed dealer in D.C. where the gun I bought in Maryland will be shipped. Since I had the application filled out by the dealer in Maryland, it was improper and the police were unable to process it. Since the only licensed dealer who will transfer guns in D.C. is still waiting on his permit, I can't get him to fill out the application.

Charles Sykes has been transferring handguns in D.C. since 1994, but he lost his lease and had to move his office. That meant the District had to issue him a new certificate of occupancy.

That came last week. Now Sykes has to change his address with the ATF. According to a spokesperson for the ATF, the change of address process can take at least 30 days. That means anyone who doesn't already own a handgun in D.C., can get one for a month. Although I hear the ATF may try to expedite the permit for Sykes.

Shelton says it's OK for me to take the written test and do the background check now rather than waiting until Sykes gets his permits. That should help to expedite things a bit.

I've been studying for the 20 question test. I will take the test on Monday. Dick Heller took his test Friday and passed, but has to wait about two weeks for his background check to be completed.

Thursday, July 17 -- 4:05 p.m.:

I just spoke with Chief Lanier, who says her officers were wrong and I can come back tomorrow morning and take the test. If I pass, I have my application approved. But as I write this, the officer from the registration office called and says Lanier is wrong. Arrrgh! I'm waiting on a call back from the head of the gun registration unit. Maybe he knows.

Thursday, July 17 -- 3:55 p.m.:

I just brought my application back to police headquarters and was told I could not take the test until the gun is shipped to D.C. dealer. But gun store won't ship gun until I take the test.

Thursday, July 17 -- 12:50 p.m.:

I hit my first road block. Most of the gun shops in Maryland and Virginia won't sell a handgun to out-of-state residents. Some say it's too much trouble, others say it's against the law. It's not against the law to sell the gun to an out-of-state resident, it's against the law to let them take a handgun out of the store. It must be transferred to a licensed dealer in your state, or in my case, in D.C.

Continues on for two more pages. :) Im gonna watch this one.

07-25-2008, 6:07 AM
Interesting tidbit from last page.

Vince Gray (D-At-Large), chairman of the D.C. Council, says he wants to make it as hard as possible for gun stores to open. "First of all, I don't want them anywhere," Gray says, "but if we're going to have them, we'll look at things, like keeping them away from schools and churches."

When the District first learned of the Supreme Court decision overturning the ban on handguns, Acting Attorney General, Peter Nickles, told reporters gun stores would be allowed to open in the city. "You can't very well stop someone from selling something that is legal to own," Nickles said.

That opinion seems to have changed a bit. When Mayor Adrian Fenty announced the new gun regulations this week, he said stand-alone gun stores would not be allowed to open. "That's my understanding," Fenty said.

Nickles told reporters that the law would not permit such stores, and that gun dealers would have to be part of a larger operation, such as a chain store that sells more than just guns.D.C. Councilmember Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) says District code does not allow for the "display of guns in public."

Nickles expects to be back in court over the new regulations, and he's giving lawyers plenty of options from the ban on semi-automatics, to the trigger lock requirements, and now an apparent prohibition on gun stores.

07-25-2008, 7:29 AM
Heck this reporter would have better luck buying a gun off the streets of DC than getting it legit. That's what 30 odd years of gun control has done to DC.:mad:

07-25-2008, 7:55 AM
I have a feeling this reporteer will be surprised at how much red tape exists between him and his soon to be purchased revolver.

07-25-2008, 7:59 AM
still alot of work to do in DC
Im sure regardless of the red tape that exists hes going to write a anti gun story

07-25-2008, 8:15 AM
I have a feeling this reporteer will be surprised at how much red tape exists between him and his soon (maybe sometime in the next two or three years) to be purchased revolver.

Fixed that for ya!

07-25-2008, 9:44 AM
Let's watch this..it will be fun. I sense just a little frustration starting already? And this guy seems to have the cops helping him 'cause he is in the media....so easier for him! Perhaps he will learn from this experience, and when / if he fiinally gets a gun, maybe he will keep it if nothing more than a trophy to show he went through the wringer and got what he wanted.
Please keep us updated. Thank you!