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."