BELLEVUE, WA â€“ New rules instituted as part of an emergency ordinance by the District of Columbia City Council appear to â€œfly in the faceâ€ of the Supreme Courtâ€™s Heller ruling, and may also violate the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
A section of the new ordinance requires that â€œEach registrant shall keep any firearm in his or her possession unloaded and either disassembled or secured by a trigger lock, gun safe, or similar device.â€ The rule does not apply to police officers, guns kept in a place of business rather than the home, or â€œa firearm while it is being used to protect against a reasonably perceived threat of immediate harm to a person within the registrantâ€™s home.â€ There are also exemptions for guns used outside of the home for â€œlawful recreational purposesâ€ or guns being transported for â€œa lawful purpose.â€
â€œThis appears to be in direct contradiction to the Supreme Courtâ€™s majority ruling in the District of Columbia v. Heller case,â€ said CCRKBA Legislative Director Joe Waldron. â€œThe court struck down the cityâ€™s trigger lock requirement, and ruled that it is unconstitutional to require that firearms be rendered inoperable at all times in the home.â€
Another alarming requirement, Waldron said, is the rule that people registering handguns â€œNot appear to suffer from a physical defect which would make it unsafe for him to possess and use a firearm safely and responsibly.â€
â€œI am wondering,â€ Waldron observed, â€œif the persons who dreamed up these outrageous guidelines ever heard of the Americans With Disabilities Act. In their attempt to make owning handguns as difficult and discouraging as possible for residents of the District, the people responsible for this regulation have just insulted millions of disabled Americans, including disabled veterans, who are perfectly capable of owning and using firearms. These people are not subject to the discriminatory whims of some bureaucrat as to their abilities.
â€œThe city just lost a landmark ruling before the Supreme Court,â€ Waldron stated, â€œand already theyâ€™re trying to poke that court in the eye. That isnâ€™t only arrogant, itâ€™s foolhardy. Apparently the city canâ€™t wait to find itself back in court.â€