Emily Gets Her Gun Part 10
In all my struggles so far with the red tape the District requires before I can get my hands on a legal gun, the safety class requirement was the most time-consuming, expensive and difficult to fulfill. I finally took a class and have the signed form. But the more I dig into this regulation, the more I wonder: How can it be constitutional for D.C. residents to be forced to go to another state to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms?
In order to register a gun for self defense in the home, the city requires residents to take four hours of classroom instruction and one hour on the shooting range with one of the firearms instructors they have certified.
But, here’s the kicker: the instructors aren’t allowed to teach any part of it — even the classroom — within the city limits.
Therefore, residents must go to another state - at their own expense - in order to fulfill the requirements of D.C.’s gun laws. Also, D.C. citizens have to take a day off work to do it since the whole trip and class time takes at least seven hours to complete.
The District also makes finding an instructor as difficult as possible. At the gun registry office, the police give out a two-page sheet listing the 47 firearm instructors approved to teach this class. I called them all.
Over half — 27 — went straight to voice mail. Most were individual cell phones and not a company that could set up the appointment. For the voice mails that were corporate sounding, none gave an option to get in touch with the instructor listed on the D.C. forms.
On the bottom of the police phone list, it says “Revised on September 9, 2009.” This two-year lag was apparent when 7 of the 47 numbers I called were out of service. Two instructors, Michael Morgan and John Cutler, told me that they no longer teach the course and shouldn’t still be listed on the form. Going through the list, three said they don’t have a class scheduled for the next few months.
Two instructors, Michael Morgan and John Cutler, told me that they no longer teach the course and shouldn’t still be listed on the form. Going through the list, three said they don’t have a class scheduled for the next few months.
The most absurd conversation I had was with instructor Stuart Asay, whose cell phone number begins with a Colorado area code. He said that his company taught the class in the Rocky Mountain State and Atlanta, but he had no plans to teach the class in D.C. any time soon.
I was utterly confused and asked why he would teach a class for D.C. residents to register a gun only in those far away states. He told me that the classes were “in demand” in those places.
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