March 10, 2009

SAF Challenges D.C. Handgun Ban Scheme With Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Second Amendment Foundation and three Washington, D.C. residents have filed a lawsuit challenging a regulation by District of Columbia city government that arbitrarily bans handguns based on a roster of "acceptable" handguns approved by the State of California.

The District is using this list despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer that protects handguns that ordinary people traditionally use for self-defense. This scheme could eventually bar the ownership of any new handguns.

Attorney Alan Gura, representing the plaintiffs in this case, noted that District bureaucrats "told Tracy Ambeau Hanson her gun was the wrong color." Americans are not limited to a government list of approved books, or approved religions, he said. A handgun protected by the Second Amendment doesn't need to appear on any government-approved list either.

"The Springfield XD-45 is approved for sale in Washington," Gura noted, "so long as it is black, green, or brown, but her bi-tone version is supposedly 'unsafe'."

Added SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, "The Supreme Court's decision is crystal clear: Handguns that are used by people for self-defense and other lawful purposes cannot be banned, whether the city likes it or not. The city needs to accept the Second Amendment reality and stop this nonsense."

Hanson, one of the individual plaintiffs in the case, wondered, "Do we really need a gun-fashion police? I just want to be able to exercise my Second Amendment rights without interference from the District government."

Joining Hanson are Gillian and Paul St. Lawrence. Gillian St. Lawrence's handgun would once have been allowed, until its listing expired, leaving her to observe, "I didn't realize that my constitutional rights had an expiration date."

Her husband sought to own the same type of handgun that the Supreme Court had ordered District officials to allow Dick Heller to possess. However, that particular model is no longer manufactured, and its maker is no longer available to process the handgun's certification through the bureaucracy.

"The Supreme Court's decision should really be the last word on whether I can own this model handgun," said Mr. St. Lawrence.

"The so-called 'safe' gun list is just another gun-grabbing gimmick," said Gura. "This is the same old, tried and failed D.C. handgun ban by another name. The city can't get around the Second Amendment by declaring most normal guns 'unsafe,' and gradually shrinking the number of so-called 'safe' guns to zero."

Comments (14)

Their "logic" was/is, any means to an end. An end to our gun freedoms. They will peck away at it one peck at a time until they win. If we let our guard down.

Posted by: Steve823 | March 21, 2009 1:37 PM    Report this comment

I'm curious to know what logic they used to determine a Bi-Tone handgun is not as safe as a brown, black or green firearm. Personally, I'm not a fan of the Springfield XD Line because the handgun feels awkward when empty but color scheme has nothing to do with safety. I'm not seeing a legitimate argument here. I'm not concerned that you have a firearm pointed at me with a round in the chamber, but, I'm blown away by the bi-tone coloring scheme.

Posted by: JWallace | March 12, 2009 11:55 PM    Report this comment

The first and second amendment are vital for the liberals to do away with, and that is the targets they are concentrating on, those two amendments are the backbone of the Constitution, if WE allow them to get those then WE are history. The one thing to be noticed is, they don't back off on anything, they are organised and concentrating on taking from, 'we the people', everything they can get their hands on. History is a hard teacher, the reason it is repeated so often is 'no one is learning the lessons', it's time we start paying attention. It is apperent the libs aren't paying attention either, we can beat them at their own game if we start learning from the past and applying the lessons taught. If we lose our freedom, it will be our own fault.

Posted by: Vernon R | March 12, 2009 9:14 PM    Report this comment

Can you believe how that RINO Schwartzenegger has the chutzpah to request a $47 BILLION bailout to cover over 20 years of state mismanagement, but offered absolutely NO guarantees of future fiscal restraint? Holy Tapdancing Moses!

I know that it's a violation of the user agreement to advocate illegal activities here, so I'm not going to do any advocating. I'm just pointing out that, like DC, Californica has a number of illegal, unconstitutional, restrictive gun laws on the books. The CA State DoJ estimates that the compliance rate with the Sport-Utility Rifle aka 'assault weapon' restrictions is approximately 15%.

That leaves 85% of SUR owners available to provide their own protection during the next riot/earthquake/flood/fire/whatever. Another dimension to think about when asked "Why do you need a ..."

Posted by: Gaviota | March 12, 2009 9:09 PM    Report this comment

If you reside in California, you have my sympathy. I don't rightly know how the libs continue to keep tight control out there, since we hear a fairly constant stream of grievances about the state government. One of my six sons was a California resident for several years, but I was able, finally, to convince him to leave and come to Texas. What a change it has been for him! Now, back to my original thought.....maybe, if we just leave California alone and just try to keep the Californian ideology from spreading, much as we did with Soviet the Soviet Union, maybe California will just collapse of its own dead weight. It seems to be heading in that direction anyway.

Posted by: canovack | March 12, 2009 8:07 PM    Report this comment

I just wish those of us in Calif. could get enough help to get rid of all the stupid gun laws the libs keep putting on us ie. the safe gun law that is the stupidest i have ever seen but we just can't seem to get rid of the libs in this state because the people that keep crossing the border have got them giving them everything and yelling they got rights and they don't but the libs will NOT inforce the laws about being here illegally.

Posted by: bear1 | March 12, 2009 5:24 PM    Report this comment

Don't put all your eggs in the NRA or SAF basket. Both are great organizations and we need to support them to our fullest measure, but writing your Representatives, both State and National, House and Senate, weekly to state your opinion and what you expect of them is probably the most effective strategy for all of us. These folks listen because you represent votes and access to power for them. Be respectful, but firm and demand they protect your freedom from this administration. We've got to make our voices heard above the liberal media, who are too arrogant to realize they are engineering their own demise by distorting the truth and publishing outright lies as the truth. We must help ourselves or we are doomed.

Posted by: TBILL | March 12, 2009 4:21 PM    Report this comment

Robert J,you are right, the German people woke up one morning and found that Adolf Hitler did that very thing to them, the liberals in this country want to repeat history and do the same thing here, is it to late?

Posted by: Vernon R | March 12, 2009 4:12 PM    Report this comment

I believe that I read, somewhere, that in the case being discussed, there was some support and coordination between the SAF and the NRA.
Be that as it may, however, all of us gunners, and I do mean ALL, must contact our elected representatives to make sure that they know we are watching what they do, and to make sure they know we strongly support the Second Amendment. is important to belong to a gun-rights organization, and Yes.....the NRA is the Big Dog in the fight, but without communicating with our representatives at the federal, state, and local levels, we aren't doing all we can to help in the fight to preserve our Second Amendment rights.

Posted by: canovack | March 12, 2009 11:44 AM    Report this comment

The Judges on the Supreme Court are appointed for life, they do not care as the previous post stated what the people want. They will make decisions based on their beliefs which generally are the same as the president who selected them. The latest second amendment ruling proved that. There is no leverage to use against the Supreme Court. You have a very good and noble concept of unity that would help in the fight for our gun rights. We do need to get all gun owners to be members of the NRA or SAF. That will be the only way to make these organizations stronger, by numbers. Most gun owners are not paying attention to gun legislation. We have been living in a free country for so long that people take it for granted. They are not keeping their eye on the ball and the liberals know that and are going to use that to there advantage. Once laws are passed it will be hard to undo them, and only then will the masses wake up and wonder how the heck this could happen.

Posted by: Robert J | March 12, 2009 11:33 AM    Report this comment

If these "bureaucrats" feel the need to regulate our rights maybe we should regulate some part of their life? How about their clothes, cars, and where they are allowed to reside. Maybe their families? After all if they have a family they don't have the time to really do their jobs properly.

Posted by: gunjunkie01 | March 12, 2009 8:33 AM    Report this comment

I would guess that there is some co-ordination of efforts between the NRA and the SAF. If there isn't, there should be. The next four years (next eight, if we're really unlucky) are going to be rough, and lawsuits are expensive. I
think we need to conserve every dime we can, and pick our battles carefully.

Posted by: pbs_goat | March 12, 2009 8:16 AM    Report this comment

Liberals are famous for finding their ways around laws. Just goes to show you how much respect they have for our laws, our constitution, and our country.

Posted by: Robert J | March 12, 2009 8:00 AM    Report this comment

Why didn't the NRA file this lawsuit? Or at least support it, publicly and financially?

Believe me, I've asked. Haven't got an answer yet, and I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Gaviota | March 10, 2009 8:25 PM    Report this comment

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