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DC Gun Owners Must Re-Register And Get Fingerprinted Or Face Jail

gun registration washington dc finger printResidents of the nation’s capital now are facing one of the most severe gun control laws in the country – one that for the first time in the nation’s history requires gun owners to re-register their guns, as well as get photographed and fingerprinted.

All Washington residents now have a 90-day window to register their guns [1] with the police, The Washington Times reported. This even applies to people who previously registered their guns.

Failure to register a gun within the 90-day window has significant consequences: It is a felony punishable by a $1,000 fine and a year in jail. Also, the gun [2] itself then enters a category of un-registerable guns, “just as though it were a machine gun or a sawed-off shotgun,” The Times reported.

This means that if a gun owner somehow does not know about the law and misses the window, he becomes a felon and his gun cannot be registered.

“A person who fails to renew their firearms registration within 90 days of the deadline (meaning, 90 day renewal period + 90 day grace period = 180 days total) will have their firearm registration cancelled, will be in possession of an unregistered firearm, and may face criminal charges punishable by a fine up to $1,000 or 1 year in jail, or both,” an email from Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump stated.

Registered gun [3] owners will receive a legal notice requiring them to go down to the police station and be photographed and fingerprinted, Police Chief Cathy Lanier told the media [4].

How to hide your guns, and other off grid caches… [5]

A Tax On Gun Owners

The registration program could be the most restrictive gun law [6] in the nation, at least regarding handguns. Some details of the program include:

Already Being Challenged In Court

“Requiring registration in the first place to exercise a constitutional right is harassment enough,” Stephen Halbrook, a gun rights attorney, told the Times. “Canceling the registration every three years and charging the equivalent of a poll tax to reregister, and requiring citizens to be fingerprinted yet again, adds insult to injury. Criminals in the sex-offender registration system aren’t even subjected to that.”

Not surprisingly the gun registration program is already being challenged in court. Dick Heller [7], who successfully challenged Washington’s virtual ban on handguns in court in 2008 [8], has filed a new lawsuit against the registration dubbed Heller II on Dec. 10.

The brief filed by Heller’s attorneys made some interesting points including:

It looks like Washington D.C. is once again pioneering new restrictions on guns – and making gun owners pay for them.

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