Emily Miller gives us a nicely detailed guide on what it takes to exercise a Constitutionally guaranteed right in our nations capital. Here’s a nice excerpt, I would highly suggest reading the whole thing.
I’ve been writing this guide bit by bit from the day in Oct. 2011 when I first went to the District’s firearm registration office and said, “I want a gun.” Back then, I expected it to take a few weeks and cost $60 to have a firearm at home. I was off by a few months and $375. Also, I believed that documenting the process for the newspaper would mean a few stories about long lines and frustrating bureaucrats. I was far off the mark.
When I started, there were 17 steps to getting a legal gun in Washington. However, as my series exposed the particularly burdensome requirements to gun ownership, the city council moved to remove some of those barriers. Now there are 12 steps that take much less time and the cost has decreased by $262.
Even with the improvements I still say its way too much. Especially considering one should be allowed to vote without showing ID, but look at the barriers to gun ownership.
These barriers are numerous and the biggest is a financial hurdle that many may not be able to overcome. Imagine adding a $125 transfer fee plus an extra $48 dollars in asking the police department for permission to own a firearm.
Not to mention the additional 10 day waiting period which does nothing but make sure that someone who may legally own a firearm isn’t able to purchase one when they really need it.
Name one single other right that has these types of bars against their exercise. There is no waiting period on free speech. If someone says something bad about you, you are not prohibited from writing about them for 10 days while your blog registration application comes through. You are not required to pay a fee to the state for the permission to create a blog or computer, or network connection to run your blog. You are allowed to write freely in defense of your character.
Contrast that to firearms where an abusive-ex can threaten you, and you are now stuck waiting for 10 days. You have a pile of fees to pay both to a monopolistic FFL and the police department for the permission to have an effective tool of self-defense. A right guaranteed by the US Constitution and stated as applying to the individual in the McDonald decision is subject to fees and limitations of its exercise. The consequences in this latter case though can be lethal for the person whose rights are being violated.
Instead of allowing free exercise, they create a maze of bureaucracy to be followed, which does nothing but ease the government in their efforts to infringe a right while appearing to allow for free exercise.
If your laws need a guide in order explain to people how to exercise a right, there is something grossly wrong with the design of the system. It is obviously designed and engineered with the intent of stopping people from exercising that right. The politicians and people responsible should be run up on 18.242.
I applaud Emily Miller for her efforts in correcting this wrong. While she has made considerable advancement as can be seen, there is still a long way to go. I doubly appreciate that she created that wonderful guide to aid others through the bureaucratic nightmare that are D.C.’s gun laws.