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The Continuing War on Gun Owners

According to the Washington Times, the DC police have a policy to arrest individuals with empty shell casings:

Under the law, live or empty brass and plastic casings must be carried in a special container and unavailable to drivers. Having one, for example, in a cup holder or ash tray is illegal.

She told Secrets that the police are “under orders to arrest tourists or other legal gun owners from out of state who wouldn’t think to empty brass and plastic from their cars or pockets.”

I haven’t been doing much shooting these days, but at one of my past jobs our usually hapless facilities guy found an empty 9mm casing in the parking lot and proceeded to overreact to impress our management about how on top of things he really was. They proceeded to overreact and call police, who told them it was no big deal and not to worry about it. Convinced someone was shooting at the geese outside, or plotting to shoot the place up (because whack jobs always put an empty shell casing in the parking lot as a warning) they got the landlord to agree to e-mailing other tenants to look for suspicious activity.

I just kept my mouth shut and let them comically overreact to this, despite the fact I was fairly certain it came from me, because I had been shooting the day before. My guess is the brass ended up in my pocket, and came out when I took out my keys to open the car. Had it been the later management team, I would have just told them as much and it all would have ended there. People who aren’t shooters don’t realize the weird places shell casings end up when you’re shooting. Most of them knew I was a shooter, and there were at least four other people in the company who were too, but it never occurred to anyone involved in that sad affair that maybe it was just a loose shell casing that fell out of someone’s car or pocket.

It shows how politicians and anti-gunners can use the ignorance of others to slip something like this by without a lot of people realizing how deep into police state territory policy like this really goes.

28 Responses to “The Continuing War on Gun Owners”

  1. HappyWarrior6 says:

    Do we really need another court ruling to tell us that an unloaded cartridge is, in fact, unloaded?

  2. rd says:

    Does the police memo include an exception for David Gregory and all the other oh-so-special people like him?

  3. Tricia says:

    When I do my family’s laundry or clean out vehicles or clean off the entry way table or the microwave or our dressers or the bathrooms or even my purse, I find live and empty shells! Seems they proliferate easier than unmated socks. Yep, we are shooters and we will not be visiting our nation’s capital.

  4. Robb Allen says:

    At a previous job, I offered to drive a group to lunch. As we got to the restaurant, one of the guys in the back got out and pulls a 12g shell out of his backside. His comment was “No wonder that was an uncomfortable ride” and tossed it to me.

    When I quit the job, one manager told me that the “upper management were worried” because I was the “gun guy”. I laughed. Some people overvalue themselves, as if some faceless VP in an office on another floor is worth giving up my life for because I wasn’t happy where I worked.

    If there’s not an empty brass case somewhere, I think something’s wrong, and I don’t shoot that much either.

  5. mike says:

    If only that gun had microstamping, they would have been able to look up the serial number from the firing pin mark and know who to arrest. Or blame. Whichever.

  6. I’ve had antigun people swear to me up and down that such laws don’t exist, and even if they did, they wouldn’t be enforced.

    They live in an alternate reality.

  7. So what’s the fine for having a fired 20mm shell? Capital punishment?

  8. Earl Harding says:

    Every time I go the range I have to do the “find the shell” kabuki theater of ensuring all my brass is secure because of similar stupid laws in the state where I work.

    I live just across the border where I have no such issues.

    It helps being a reloader since you tend to get a little anal about not loosing any brass….

  9. Ron says:

    When I was a kid in school our school district actually closed for the first three days of deer hunting season. They knew nobody would be in the classroms, teachers included. Every kid I knew brought an empty brass rifle case or empty shotgun hull to school with him to show his friends “this is the one that got him”.

    Laws such as this are silly & have no real implications other than to torment & belittle firearms owners. Although I may regret saying this later,,,, DC has always been the a**hole end of the earth as far as I am concerned. YMMV.

  10. Todd G says:

    Hmmmm. My wife makes jewelry from cases. I can just see these maroons throwing down some lady that sports a nice pair of 9mm case earrings. Goodness knows what they’d do when I wear a 7.62x64R on a chain around my neck! (Need a gift idea? Visit her Etsy shop)

  11. Rob says:

    That seems like it would be very easily challenged. Since empty brass is harmless, there is no reasonable government interest being protected here.

    If I won the lottery, I’d be tempted to take a road trip and do a little speeding on the beltway with a wind chime made of cartridge cases hanging off my rear-view mirror…

    • I’m pretty sure the federal appeals court for DC is hostile to the 2A. I suspect they would justify such measures under intermediate scrutiny.

      It seems pretty clear to me that the 2A would protect components — weren’t the British trying to seize powder and ball on 19 April, 1775? — but they will talk about how we can’t have gang bangers with their Lee Loaders hand loading assault jewelry or some such nonsense as a compelling government interest. And the court will buy it.

  12. CarlosT says:

    I found a live 9mm round in my car a while back. I was just glad to have found some ammo.

  13. Sebastian says:

    None of this garbage should by any right be constitutional, but that doesn’t mean federal judges will agree.

  14. Rob Crawford says:

    I’ve had brass caught in the treads of my shoes. Not for very long, but…

  15. Dannytheman says:

    Wonder what would happen if he kept finding brass of different calibers every week. Maybe start with 22shorts and work on up the poster board. How many times would he call the cops?

    My mind wonders to the games I could play!!

  16. ProdigalSon says:

    Well crap. I brought some 10mm cases home for my case collection. They were in my cupholder. Looks like I need to avoid DC if I keep doing that.

    Come to think of it, they’re still there. I should go fix that.

  17. Brite Side says:

    This is actually a good reason to get a firearms ownership credential in D.C. – you won’t get arrested/charged/convicted/fined for cleaning debris off your front lawn. All homeowners, janitors, and lawn guys should take note.

  18. KM says:

    arrest tourists or other legal gun owners from out of state who wouldn’t think to empty brass and plastic from their cars or pockets

    Perfect example of a Police State.
    An inert, harmless item is cause for arrest and imprisonment.

    This is how they treat people in 3rd world shitholes run by power hungry assholes.

  19. Brite Side says:

    Now that I think of it, it is also a good way to entrap people (political opponents, maybe?) and place them at risk of jail time. Not that I wold ever throw a handful of empty cartridges onto the lawn of somebody I didn’t like – that would be wrong.

    Unless the cases were tumbled clean, and I wore gloves, and no one was looking. Especially if the brass was old and worn out, at the end of its serviceable life. Or aluminum or steel cases, that couldn’t be reloaded anyway. Or .22 rim-fire, that I had picked up from the local range on a day that I hadn’t been shooting .22, and was wearing latex gloves.

    Hmmm – I think maybe I spend too much time watching CSI.

  20. Jeff says:

    We used my car in Southnarc’s vehicle class in 2011 and I’m still finding brass.

  21. Ronnie says:

    I have a coffee cans full of spent .22 brass and spent berdan-primed .223 casings. None of that can be reloaded. I am saving them up to take to the scrap metal dealer, but it’s not like I could get lots of money for this. If I lived closer to DC, I would take a drive through there at night, dump those coffee cans all over the city streets as I drove along, so that the spent casings would scatter all over the place. Hopefully, this would piss off some of these anti-gun twerps in DC by the very next day.

  22. David says:

    My dear wife has a bowl that sits on the shelf next to the washer dryer. She used to toss any loose change (mostly pennys, sometimes a nickle or dime) that she would occasionally find in the machines when the laundry was finished. There was always a small collection screws, washers, paperclips, etc. also in the bowl.

    Now that there are three shooters in the house (me and two of the kids) her bowl fills up faster, but she only ever seems to find brass now. Last week she walked into the living room, poured the contents of the bowl onto the floor in front of my son, and said “If you’re going to leave stuff in your pockets, at least leave stuff I can spend.”

    My smarta$$ kid, scooped up a handful of the brass and said “Wow, this is pretty clean, maybe I should dump a coffee can of 38s in with my next whites load…”

    I don’t think we will be going to DC anytime soon. The cleanup and collection of brass would take too long…

    BTW, the kids do their own laundry, but they aren’t very good at picking up loose items that are left in the machine when they move/remove their clothes.

  23. Geodkyt says:

    Hmmph. Back when I was younger and stupider, I used to keep a short belt of 7.62x51mm blanks around my gear shift. . .

  24. Rob Morse says:

    What will happen when a hand full of obscure handgun cartridge cases are found on Vincent Gray’s lawn… for the 10th time? I doubt the law will be enforced after that.

  25. I traveled to Cozumel for a diving trip and my carry on had an empty .40 in some dark recess that had escaped notice on the previous 5 or 6 flights, any way the baggage guy asked if he could search my bag, and i said sure! He brought the case out and held it up above his head like some kind of trophy. The long and short of it was that the military, police, and swat team showed up to participate in the event. They took my passport, boarding pass and ticketing information. They set the case on a stool and took pictures of it from four sides…. really… its round and they took pictures from four separate positions around the case. IT LOOKS THE SAME FROM EACH ANGLE! Idiots! So none spoke English so after an hour the ticket agent that gave me my boarding pass was brought to ask me how this came to be in my bag. I took out a business card and told them that I was a firearms instructor and it just happened to fall into my bag. The translation was made and the cops got all animated and interested in my profession. They patted me on the shoulders and back, shook my hand, and sent me on my way. All the while my wife who walked away saying “I don’t know him” sat and laughed at the antics I was being subjected to. Next trip I will make some earrings for my wife out of empty .380’s to I can smuggle empties in and out of Mexico without all the drama.

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  1. SayUncle » In DC, otherwise law-abiding people who unknowingly have a shell casing on them will be arrested - [...] It’s kinda like the PD there is still butthurt over Heller. Meanwhile, gun criminal David Gregory got off scott…
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