Good News in DC


With some exceptions for police officers and others, the D.C. statute bars residents from owning handguns unless they were registered before 1976, the year the law was enacted. And it requires people with registered rifles or shotguns in their homes to keep them unloaded and either disassembled or fitted with trigger locks, meaning they cannot legally be used for self-defense.

"Ridiculous," Levy said.

In a 2 to 1 decision issued March 9, the appellate panel agreed with the plaintiffs that the gun restrictions violate the Second Amendment. The statute remains in effect, at least temporarily, while attorneys for the city consider their next legal move. The case could be headed to the Supreme Court, and it could affect other strict gun laws across the country.

This next part is great:

When the D.C. Council passed the restrictions three decades ago, it was trying to curb gun violence. Supporters of the law warn that if the appellate ruling stands and the District is forced to enact a weaker statute, permitting loaded weapons in homes, more shootings are sure to result, by accident and on purpose. Meanwhile, if pistols become legal in homes, many residents probably would acquire them, giving thieves more guns to steal and sell on the streets.

Like other critics of the law, Levy cites the District's annual triple-digit homicide totals and its "ridiculously high rate of crime" in the past 30 years as evidence that the statute has not made Washington safer. Its only impact, he said, has been to disarm honest residents in their homes, leaving them vulnerable in a violent city.

The emphasis is mine. I don't think I've ever heard that argument before: more guns in homes means more guns to steal from homes, means more guns on streets, and therefore residents are less safe.

The argument seems to be trying to make guns a negative externality in a really round-about way.

I can see it now. The new savy criminal in need of a weapon (or a quick buck) will break into private homes in search of them, find them, steal them, and sell them. Homeowners will be the new suppliers of weapons to the criminal underworld. :wall:

I guess that means we must be really unsafe here in Texas where there are many guns, many homeowners, and many homeowners with guns. Curiously that particular form of weapons acquisition doesn't seem to have caught on down here. :beatnik:

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