Applicable Washington DC Law


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Kentucky Kid
June 12, 2009, 11:00 PM
After Heller v. United States, Washington D.C. passed a very strict new set of laws that required its residents disassemble or lock their weapons...even if they are in the comfort of their own home and have a permit. These laws remain undoubtably amongst the tightest in the US.

Is the new statute unique in asking an owner to either disassemble or lock their firearm? I am inquiring because I'm charged with having a firearm that was disassembled, but not locked during interstate transport (therefore ineligible for "Safe Passage". If Disassembled = Locked, I may be on to something...

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stevemis
June 13, 2009, 10:02 AM
I am inquiring because I'm charged with having a firearm that was disassembled, but not locked during interstate transport (therefore ineligible for "Safe Passage".


Sorry to hear this... You need an attorney. A good one. Inquire on local boards, contact pro-RKBA groups and see if they can recommend one.

Old Fuff
June 13, 2009, 10:44 AM
I don't know that Heller will help you much. First, it hasn't been incorporated (made to apply to the states) except in a few western states by the 9th Circuit Appeals Court. Second, it only applied to keeping firearms in the home, and established that "reasonable" controls restricting the use and possession outside of the home were permissible. Later cases may define what is or isn't reasonable, but those cases are still in the works.

Your best chance remains getting the case thrown out because of insufficient evidence to justify the search. Also the fact that the guns were individually locked may be in your favor.

Kentucky Kid
June 13, 2009, 07:09 PM
i'm looking for the statute (D.C.'s) or another that views disassembly & locks as the same. if i find a few, i'll be on solid ground as far as the lock goes (because my ruger was dismantled)...

thanks.

-kid

GRIZ22
June 13, 2009, 07:21 PM
i'm looking for the statute (D.C.'s) or another that views disassembly & locks as the same. if i find a few, i'll be on solid ground as far as the lock goes (because my ruger was dismantled)...


This all depends on the state law where you were charged. If that state law says locked it means locked. It doesn't make a difference what DC or any other law says.

What state were you charged in?

GRIZ22
June 13, 2009, 07:27 PM
Looking at FOPA, inaccessible to the passenger compartment equals locked. Locked is only mentioned if the firearm is accessible to the passenger compartment. No "dissassembled" or other functional equivalent given so you need to look at what state law says.

Animal Mother
June 13, 2009, 07:31 PM
What state were you charged in?

Kentucky Kid was charged in New Jersey.

Kentucky Kid
June 13, 2009, 09:03 PM
Kentucky Kid was charged in New Jersey.

Negative, ghost rider... It was Massachusetts.

Kentucky Kid
June 13, 2009, 09:08 PM
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Kentucky Kid
June 13, 2009, 09:10 PM
While the statute in DC will obviously not exonerate me in MA, it will give my attorney & I grounds to say I was making a valid attempt to follow written law (no matter where it is)...

I can't find the DC statute. or any other that plainly states that disassembly & locks are equivilent. Anybody know where to look?

MAKster
June 13, 2009, 11:51 PM
D.C. law does not require residents to keep their guns unloaded or disassembled. That was required pre-Heller and also the temporary rules after the Heller verdict included those requirements, but D.C. dropped them when the permanent law was adopted.

GRIZ22
June 14, 2009, 03:32 PM
Chapter 140: Section 131C. Carrying of firearms in a vehicle


Section 131C. (a) No person carrying a loaded firearm under a Class A license issued under section 131 or 131F shall carry the same in a vehicle unless such firearm while carried therein is under the direct control of such person. Whoever violates the provisions of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of $500.

(b) No person carrying a firearm under a Class B license issued under section 131 or 131F shall possess the same in a vehicle unless such weapon is unloaded and contained within the locked trunk of such vehicle or in a locked case or other secure container. Whoever violates the provisions of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of $500.


It looks like you didn't meet the locked conatiner provision and unless the search or method of discovery comes into question you're screwed.

While the statute in DC will obviously not exonerate me in MA, it will give my attorney & I grounds to say I was making a valid attempt to follow written law (no matter where it is)...


This is no defense. You can't export laws from one state to another and expect them to "show an attempt" to comply with their law.

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