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Old January 18th, 2012, 09:13 AM   #1
bcr229
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Testify on 1/30/2012

Even if folks don't wish to testify before the committee, Heller & Co are asking people to turn out to support their efforts when they testify at the hearing.

The main issues will be:
- repeal of the ballistics test for handguns,
- allow temporary possession while participating in instruction,
- repeal of the requirement that an instructor be a state or military certfied instructor (so any instructor approved by the MPD will be qualified),
- exempt from the training requirement persons with military training that is at least what D.C. requires, and
- change the vision requirement to prohibit only blind people from registering.

* * * * *

Gun Offender Pretrial Detention and Firearms Amendment Acts

Date: January 30, 11:00 AM

Address: Council Chamber, John A. Wilson Building 1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20004

Bill 19-485, Gun Offender Pretrial Detention and Supervision Act of 2011
and
Bill 19-614, Firearms Amendment Act of 2011

Councilmember Phil Mendelson, Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary, announces a public hearing on:

Bill 19-485, the Gun Offender Pretrial Detention and Supervision Act of 2011, and
Bill 19-614, the Firearms Amendment Act of 2011.

The public hearing will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 30, 2012 in the Council Chamber, Room 500, of the John A. Wilson Building.

The stated purpose of Bill 19-485 is
to amend Chapter 13 of Title 23 of the District of Columbia Official Code to require that a person charged with any firearm related offense shall wear a detection device pending trial, and to require pretrial detention for any individual who commits a firearm related offense while on release pending trial, imposition or execution of a sentence or an appeal, or while on probation, parole, or supervised release.

The stated purpose of Bill 19-614 is
to amend the firearms laws of the District of Columbia
to define “firearm instructor;”
to allow a person to temporarily possess a firearm while participating in a firearms training and safety course;
to clarify that the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of the District’s firearms laws is a one-time requirement per applicant;
to repeal the requirement for a vision test;
to repeal the requirement that each pistol be submitted for ballistic identification as part of the registration process;
to harmonize various provisions in the laws pertaining to firearms; and
to make other technical corrections and clarifications.
The Committee invites testimony regarding each of these bills, and
also general testimony regarding the gun control laws of the District.

Those who wish to testify should contact
Ms. Jessica Jacobs, Legislative Counsel, at (202) 724-8038,
by fax at (202) 724-6664, or
via e-mail at jjacobs@dccouncil.us, and
provide their name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business Thursday, January 26, 2012.
Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If submitted by the close of business on Thursday, January 26, 2012 the testimony will be distributed to Councilmembers before the hearing. Witnesses should limit their testimony to five minutes; less time will be allowed if there are a large number of witnesses.

If you are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record.
Copies of written statements should be submitted either to Ms. Jacobs, or to Ms. Nyasha Smith, Secretary to the Council, Room 5 of the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004. The record will close at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2012.

Public hearing on Bill 19-485: Gun Offender Pretrial Detention and
Supervision Act of 2011 and Bill 19-614: Firearms Amendment Act of 2011

Committees: Committee on the Judiciary

Committee Chairs: Phil Mendelson

Councilmembers: Jack Evans, Mary M. Cheh, Muriel Bowser, Marion Barry, Phil Mendelson
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Old January 18th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #2
hvymax
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We should turn out for this. The more of this we are seen doing will increase our significance. Hopefully we could do better than Monday.
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Old January 18th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #3
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I will be there, but it is a trap.

This revised legislation sounds good on paper, but it is smoke and mirrors. Firstly it was written by Mendelson who is possibly the biggest opponent to law abiding ownership in DC. He prides himself for having written the original legislation. He also wrote the secondary legislation to include a training requirement and waiting period, because the toughest gun laws in the country were not tough enough. He is DC’s Bloomberg. Secondly these absolutely trivial changes are a response to the recent heat DC has been under for ignoring the Supreme Court. DC is trying to do as little as possible and still say they did something.

The points Mendo is proposing to revise ARE NOT the bottlenecks in the system. They are not excessively expensive to the applicant. They are not time consuming. They are not the parts that discourage law abiding people from applying. Every other step in the process that they want to keep in place is expensive, time consuming, and/or difficult requirements. This hearing is not proposing to change ANYTHING that would make it easier for people to follow the law.

Here are a few REAL changes that should be made that would actually improve the process:
Allow MD and VA FFL dealers to transfer to DC residents
Removing the low cap mag requirement
Remove the ‘assault rifle’ ban – a .5.56 is the same from an AR or Mini-14
Remove the 10 day waiting period on firearms or at least long guns
If training is necessary, DC should sponsor an official class. Handgun range time and training should not be required for rifle and shotgun registration
Update the handgun roster from when it was written in 2009
Remove re-registration requirements

Quote:
harmonize various provisions in the laws pertaining to firearms; and
to make other technical corrections and clarifications
This part scares me. Granted there are a lot of typos and inconsistencies in the current written legislation, but I would not trust these guys to not try and back door new regulations as a “clarification”. I am jaded, but I would bet the “clarifications” will be new restrictions they did not think of the first time around.

Edit: After some soul searching, I will be there with a statement. DC (gun registration especially) has a habit of punishing people that do not respect their authority. My statement may ultimately be a futile effort, but there is a civic duty to expose injustice. I hate to take unpaid time at work to dive on a sword that will cause problems later on for me at registration, but you do what you have to do.

Last edited by BlueHeeler; January 18th, 2012 at 08:32 PM. Reason: I will be there
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 08:38 PM   #4
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I have sent in my testimony to all the committee members.

Basically, I am just asking for a few definitions to be added so the law clearly allows Cal compliant ARs.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #5
BlueHeeler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalobob View Post
I have sent in my testimony to all the committee members.

Basically, I am just asking for a few definitions to be added so the law clearly allows Cal compliant ARs.
Fair enough. Although you know that would require the repeal of the 'assault weapons' ban that precludes AR-15s. Heller II lost that case.

Meh, this place sucks sometimes.

Last edited by BlueHeeler; January 30th, 2012 at 07:06 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old January 27th, 2012, 07:08 AM   #6
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As I read DC law and Cal law, both have the exact same wording for AWs. What Cal did was add a definition for "detachable magazine" and "flash suppressors". This then allowed ARs with fixed magazines that require a tool (not fingers) to remove for reloading. It also differentiates between muzzle brakes and flash suppressors.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 05:47 PM   #7
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Any News?
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Old January 30th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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I got back from the hearing. It was about 4 hours of testimony by ~15 people including buffalobob (I think), Heller, Brady Bunch, Violence Policy Center, Emily, Police Chief Lanier, a few other citizens, and me. There were a few topics that kept popping up:

1. Training is too expensive, long, and not entirely relevant to safe ownership. The training is 5 hours and $200-250 to learn a few laws and 3 or 4 safety rules. Training and exam includes things like the application of the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the legal definition of antique firearms.
2. Training should be available in DC.
3. Pistol grips and platform do not make a rifle more dangerous to the public
4. There was a lot of talk about CCW
5. Long guns should/or should not have to be registered. Currently every firearm except antique must be registered.
6. Firearms should not have to be registered every 3 years
7. Why have more people not registered firearms
8. The restrictive process is causing otherwise honest people to own illegally

Violence Policy Center
:
1. Brady said all of DC is a sensitive area because of terrorists and dignitaries. They must ban CCW. Some dude (not me) made the great point dignitaries have armed guards and police protection. He just wants to be able take the responsibility to protect himself while walking his dog because the police do not have that obligation as they would if he was dignitary. The SCOTUS Heller I said DC law can be restrictive of the right to bear arms (carry) in sensitive places specifically schools and government buildings.
2. Long guns should be registered because someone tried to assassinate the President.
3. Pistol ballistics is a great policy until microstamping can be introduced.

Brady :
1. Gun ownership is at an all time low
2. Guns should be registered every year
3. If DC does not have a 30 day waiting period, people will get guns from DC and smuggle them to other places. Note: DC has no stocking dealers so it is impossible to buy legal firearms
4. An endless list of bold lies and statistics
I actually heard someone from Brady use the term, “Assault Clips”

Police Chief Lanier:
1. The law is pretty good as it stands
2. Safety training could be addressed at MPD with a video. I for one was shocked she wants to make it easier to register. Good for her, that was very bold.

Heller:
1. He outlined the evolution of firearms to build a foundation and dovetailed that into the AR platform. Basically there is nothing inherently evil with an AR, it is a product of development. It is a suitable weapon for home defense because it offers, less penetration than some handguns, easier to control, and hence MORE safe than counterparts without a pistol grip.
2. He also went into the data of ownership and the trend of reduced crime. This was protested by the council.
3. Females are a fast growing demographic of ownership

Emily:
1. She outlined in detail her experience and noted a few glaring flaws with the training requirement. It was a good fresh perspective from a new owner.

Me:
1. Having overly strict restrictions are a fruitless proposition because criminals do not follow laws. This was demonstrated today by every single citation made today for strong regulations. Every citation had to use a example of a firearm and owner that was not legally registered and committing a crime making legal registration moot.
2. The guy that shot at the White house had an unregistered rifle, not a DC resident, and AKs cannot be registered so again regulations are irrelevant in that instance.
3. If firearms safety and training were a true concern, DC would use an easily accessible low cost to the user training program like MD. This also gives content control to DC.
4. Per the Supreme Court, DC can impose reasonable restrictions. I would like to see the justifiable reason for the restrictions banning thumbhole stocks, pistol grips, flash hiders, etc. If all registrants have to provide almost endless personal info and justification, DC should be able to justify their rules with facts that bans on ergonomics and aesthetics make people more safe.

My Dad:
He was just there to see the carnage and could not stand the disingenuous statements by Brady and Violence Policy. I have seen him angry before obviously, but this was Top 10. The council let him testify.
He went into full authoritative parent mode and told off the council about microstamping. ‘If you are even considering microstamping, you better think long and hard before making that policy. Microstamping is a patent protected proprietary process. The cost is inflated to cover the patent rights perhaps to an additional cost of $100 per gun. I am also an armorer and can change a firing pin on a Glock in under a minute. Microstamping is not a definitive identifier of a firearm.’

All in all I said my piece, I do not know if it will make a difference. It was great to see every citizen that showed up was in favor of reducing the restrictions. The only opposition was from VPC and Brady lobbyists. Ironically they made countless strikes against the ‘gun lobby’. The ‘gun lobby’ was not represented, the Brady opposition was only from regular DC residents. These are the same regular people that have personal stake and have to follow the regulations speaking their mind.

edit: Apologies to buffalobob, I could not hear entirely what you were saying even though I was sitting right behind you. They turned on the loudspeakers after your testimony. You did cause some confusion by using M16 to describe as an AR predecessor. Sure it is, but after you left Mendelson got confused between a full auto M16, an AR-15, and an AK47. As it was not an open forum he could not be clarified. He made several comments regarding ARs that M16s are not legal.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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The way I saw the situation unfold is that the only reason Mendelson called the hearing was to offer a few amendments that did nothing for the 2nd Amendments rights but the hearing would get him a lot of publicity so he could claim to be tough on gun violence. It was all just a publicity stunt for him.

My testimony is attached although I only spoke to the detachable magazine issue as that was what interested me.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Dear Councilmember.pdf (172.7 KB, 8 views)
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Old January 30th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #10
BlueHeeler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalobob View Post
The way I saw the situation unfold is that the only reason Mendelson called the hearing was to offer a few amendments that did nothing for the 2nd Amendments rights but the hearing would get him a lot of publicity so he could claim to be tough on gun violence. It was all just a publicity stunt for him.

My testimony is attached although I only spoke to the detachable magazine issue as that was what interested me.
You probably are right. It may have been an effort to collect public comment before new regulations. However the testimony was fascinating that personal testimony ignored the proposed legislation and launched focused attacks at the root of the problem that is the current registration process.
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