DC Changes Law, Threatens Jail to Registered Gun Owners

The District of Columbia has changed their registration law, and they estimate as many as 40-50,000 gun owners may face up to a year in jail if they don’t make an effort to learn about the change in the law.

On Jan. 1, DC gun owners will have 90 days to jump through the entire gun registration process all over again. This means in person stops at the police department and all sorts of bureaucratic headaches. However, not jumping through these hoops (all over again) will mean that in 180 days, they are illegally possessing firearms and will face jail for it.

The media is highlighting that there are concerns that not all gun owners will learn about this change in the law, and that could cause unintentional non-compliance with extreme consequences.

31 Responses to “DC Changes Law, Threatens Jail to Registered Gun Owners”

  1. Bill says:

    “unintentional non-compliance with extreme consequences” is a feature not a bug.

    • Chiefjaybob says:

      Pretty much exactly what I was going to say…..

      • Archer says:


        • Bill Twist says:

          Agreed, but it’s a poor strategy for DC, because it could backfire on them badly.

          Now that Heller is the law of the land (thanks to DC intransigence), they are going to have a hard time standing up in court and claiming that throwing a person into jail for an unintentional violation of their strict gun laws isn’t unconstitutional.

          If they press the case on someone relatively sympathetic, it’s likely to cause the whole house of cards to come tumbling down.

          Which would be a very good thing.

    • Herb says:

      Every single gun owner needs to NOT comply. DC has no right to require registration in the first place.

  2. Bubblehead Les says:

    Well, since Harry Reid killed the Filibuster and allowed Obama to pack the Court with Judges who are in charge of DC (2nd. Circuit?), it looks like they feel safe in ignoring the Heller Ruling.

    Someone tell me again while Elections don’t matter?

  3. MrPickle says:

    As it is, I rarely bother to carry a firearm anymore, only because I’m more afraid of being sent to prison for defending myself than I am of getting killed by criminals. I wouldn’t even bother with guns if I lived in DC, but we all know that this is by design. They want to intimidate us, and to be quite honest in my case, it’s working.

    • beatbox says:

      DC has actually moved from worst in the country to merely 4th worst (behind NYC, Boston, and Newark).

      • Archer says:

        But is that because D.C. moved to be better, or because NYC, Boston, and Newark moved to be worse.

        I contend that D.C. hasn’t changed; it is merely “better” by comparison.

        • Beatbox says:

          You used to not be able to get a handgun at all in in dc. Now you can. It still socks but it is easier than its ever been in nyc.

      • Jeff says:

        I legally carry in Boston all the time, as do many other people.

        • Roberta X says:

          And if I set foot in MA with a single spent .22 casing stuck in my shoe sole and get caught, I’m a felon facing mandatory jail time.

          Yes, Boston is just *ducky.*

    • Lindsey says:

      I would rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6… No way will they ever intimidate me to the point of not carrying. Im too afraid the one time I dont will be the one time I need it.

  4. Cargosquid says:

    And IF the owners could comply…the law would be changed AGAIN. rinse, repeat……

    • Defens says:

      Yep – it’s a pretty good strategy, really. And once you’ve registered, they know where you are so they can sweep for compliance violators on a regular basis.

  5. Andy B. says:

    Forgive me, my mind is working in strange historical analogies today, but:

    I’m reminded that when Winston Churchill heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he wrote that he “went to bed, and slept the sleep of the saved.” He knew that the major loss to England’s only surviving major ally would eventually mean victory, even if England was due to lose a lot more battles and territory before it was achieved.

    Every practical example of registration leading to confiscation or punishment for possession is a loss and a misfortune for the victims, who are our allies, but a huge propaganda coup for the gun rights movement overall. Without them, we’ve had nothing but theory, which our enemies refer to as “paranoia,” that registration, background checks, etc., will result in confiscation or punishment. With concrete examples to point to, we can reach even our Fudds and squishes, who are all too willing to believe their Browning O/Us are forever safe, and that that if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear. We should thank microcosms like DC for doing these things, and proving they will be done, before the day comes they are done as one fell swoop on a national scale.

    • Archer says:

      I think I understand where you’re coming from. Once the sleeping giant was woken and enraged, victory was inevitable. There’d be setbacks – there always are – but as soon as America committed its full military might to the cause of freedom, to put it bluntly, $#!+ got done.

      Gun owners are one such sleeping giant. We’re a political force to be reckoned with … if/when we can get all our parts moving together.

      That, I think, is the biggest victory the anti-rights folks have against us: they succeeded in fracturing our population into pieces – Fudds, plinkers, collectors, militia-minded, self-defense-minded, traditionalists, modernists, etc. (and I consider LEOs, current and retired, their own sub-group) – that they can play against each other. We have to spend considerable energy keeping everyone on our own side working together. As a result, it takes an extreme situation and a lot of work to unite all of us, when it shouldn’t require either.

      “We should thank microcosms like DC for doing these things, and proving they will be done….”
      I agree, but I still believe that if all our “factions” were working together as they should – by default and not as a situational exception – it would never progress to this. If the giant were never asleep, none of these infringements would ever be allowed to pass unheeded and unpunished.

      • Andy B. says:

        I think we are in complete agreement, and yes, you get where I was coming from.

        A case-in-point that just occurred to me is I have a good friend who is an avid hunter and who considers himself a solid conservative — as I would judge by the emails he forwards to me. Yet sometime back he was complaining to me about the frequent recruiting calls he gets from the NRA, and his complaint was “they expect me to support assault rifles of all things! Imagine! I am not as patient as I once was, so it is very hard for me to diagram why a threat to his buddy’s “assault rifle” is an immediate threat to his pump gun. But when we have concrete examples at our fingertips, the job becomes a little easier.

        • Brad says:

          Well, you could always point your friend to the Australian case, where banning so-called “assault weapons” was used as an excuse to also confiscate all the pump-action shotguns. And if your friend says ‘but that was Australia, not here’, you can point to the American anti-gunners who keep bringing up Australian gun-control as a fine example of the kind of gun-control they want here. Joe Scarborouh is one such anti-gunner.

        • Alpheus says:

          I think we all could also do well to remember that all the weapons used for modern hunting–bows and arrows, muskets and black powder, Kentucky rifles, bolt-action rifles, lever-action rifles, heck, even AR-15s and their variants–have been “assault rifles” at one point or another, and have been /crucial/ in winning important battles.

          And because of this (and their general willful ignorance), anti-gun types have a difficult time distinguishing an “assault rifle” from a “standard hunting weapon”. Heck, sometimes they have a difficult time distinguishing “rifle” from “pistol”!

  6. mikee says:

    So DC has a gun registry, but apparently no way to contact gun owners to tell them about the new registration requirements?

    Got it, right, ok, I think I have this now.

    How about DC send out emails, tweets, letters (certified, of course), news articles and phone calls to the registered gun owners to TELL THEM about the legal changes?

    Or would that be misuse of the registry? Does the DC gun registry exist only to make some future confiscation easier, or does it have any current uses?

    • Andy B. says:

      Assuming you are a licensed driver, when was the last time you got an emails, tweet, or letter from the DMV advising you of a traffic law change?

      Next thing you know you’ll be expecting The State to operate for the convenience of the people and for the general welfare. :-)

    • Zermoid says:

      The sheriff’s dept (at least Clearfield County) sends out notices that your CCW license needs renewed, DMV sends you notices that your DL and Registration for your car needs renewed, why can’t DCs govt send out notices to all registered gun owners that their registrations need renewed as well?

  7. Scott says:

    Someone has to man the registration desk and hand out and receive forms. Identify (publicly) the individual(s) and FOIA their career. Then keep searching into their past. I mean, that’s what they do to us, right?

  8. Thomas says:

    The evil part of me wonders what would happen if all of a sudden everyone wanted to carry in DC and tried to go through the registration process about the same time.

  9. Kirk Parker says:

    Looking at the penalties for failure to register, I think we need a new constitutional amendment.


    Many criminal penalties date from much earlier in the nation’s history, and far too many of them have not had the monetary fines and imprisonment terms kept current with inflationary trends.

    Therefore, neither the federal government, nor any state, nor any political subunit of any state or territory, shall:

    (1) sentence any person or incarcerate any person for a given crime, for any time period longer than the number of days equal to the amount that could be earned at the average daily wages or salary that in the county in which the crime sentenced for occurs, for the largest monetary penalty currently in force for that same crime.

    (2) For purposes of calculating the sentence in section (1) of this amendment, the latest census or labor department figures for the county in question shall be used.

    (3) WHen calculating the time period for section (2) of this amendment, fractional days shall be discarded.’

    (4) Notwithstanding any other provision of federal or state law, any sentence whose actual duration under this amendment may not be considered a felony for any federal or state purposes.

    So, for example, the cited situation in DC, 1 year or $1,000, assuming (swag) that the average annual earnings in DC were $40,000, would be changed to $1,000 or 9 days“.

    And yeah, #3 is a bit gratuitous, and #4 quite so–but damming I want to stick it to The Man and his Five Felonies A Day!

  10. Colt 45 says:

    Exactly where would DC be able to jail 40 to 50 thousand gun owners for non compliance?

    • terraformer says:

      They don’t need to jail them. Just turn them into former law abiding citizens and destroy their lives. Then they can offer them welfare in turn for their complete obedience.

  11. Parker Orfield says:

    The gun Nazis at work in D.C. and soon coming to a state near you. Fight back join the NRA and stand up for your gun rights.


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