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A Washington, DC gun raid which involved more than 30 officers was not conducted at a known drug den or gang bangers’ hideout but at a respected businessman’s home – all to enforce a controversial city ammo law.
The shocking incident even included the man’s teenage son being pulled naked from the shower after the door was broken down with a battering ram.
In a nation where Americans supposedly possess the same Second Amendment rights, Mark Witaschek, a man without a criminal record, faces prison time for possession of unregistered ammo.
“Anyone who thinks the police won’t come to take your guns is naïve,” Emily Miller of The Washington Times wrote.
The DC law enforcement officers were searching for gun paraphernalia such as empty holsters, ammo, empty magazines, ammo receipts, and even gun cleaning equipment. Mark Witaschek’s entire block was locked down by Washington, DC officers. His 14-year-old daughter opened the door and was met with more than two dozen officers in full tactical gear. The men participating in the gun raid reportedly pointed their firearms at Witaschek and his girlfriend’s heads.
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Washington, DC law mandates that all residents register all firearms owned with the police department and only registered gun owners can possess ammunition – even spent casings and shells.
The officers premised their search on a claim made by Witaschek’s estranged wife. The woman was reportedly able to convince a court clerk to issue a temporary restraining order against the father of her children because he had allegedly threatened her with a gun. A judge later ruled in favor of the husband.
A list of items found in the DC gun raid after Witaschek’s house was tossed for hours, as shared by the Washington Times’ Emily Miller:
- One live round of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition — an inoperable shell that misfired during a hunt years earlier that Witaschek kept as a souvenir.
- One handgun holster — which is legal, even in Washington, DC.
- One expended round of .270 caliber ammunition — a spent brass casing.
- One box of Knight bullets for reloading, according to police notation on the warrant. Except, Miller reveals, they aren’t for reloading; they’re for antique-replica, single-shot, muzzle-loading rifles.
Witaschek, a financial advisor and avid hunter, said:
“They used a battering ram to bash down the bathroom door and pull him [his son] out of the shower, naked. The police put all the children together in a room, while we were handcuffed upstairs. I could hear them crying, not knowing what was happening.”
Witaschek’s home sustained approximately $10,000 during the DC gun raid and he now faces up to two years in prison for unregistered ammo possession. He keeps his guns at his sister’s house in Virginia. His guns are not registered in DC.
DC Criminal Code 7-2506.01 reads:
Unlawful Possession of Ammunition (UA): It is illegal to possess ammunition in the District of Columbia unless the person is: (1) a licensed dealer, (2) a federal or city law enforcement officer acting within scope of duties, or (3) holder of a valid registration certificate of same gauge and caliber as ammunition in possession. It is also illegal to possess, sell or transfer any “large capacity ammunition feeding device
The shocking gun raid was the second time DC law enforcement officers visited Witaschek’s home. Several months ago Gun Recovery
Unit members were granted access to his home without warrant because he felt he had nothing to hide. After an hour of searching, the law enforcement officers found one box of Winchester .40 caliber ammunition, a gun-cleaning kit and a Civil War antique Colt revolver. Even though the antique weapon was perfectly legal in DC, it was still seized in the raid.
The Washington, DC attorney general offered Witaschek a plea deal: one count of unlawful possession of ammo, a $500 fine, a contribution to a victim’s fund, and a year of probation. The Second Amendment supporter rejected the deal based on principle. His trial is slated to begin November 4.
Do you think that DC gun laws and the raid are a violation of our right to bear arms?