DC Still Defying Court on Guns

City rewords provisions to bog down ownership, though challenges look certain
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 2:43 PM CDT
Semi-automatic handguns and revolvers are seen on top of a glass display case at John Jovino Co. on Thursday, June 26, 2008 in New York.    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – The District of Columbia is defying the Supreme Court with efforts to preserve the handgun ban deemed unconstitutional last month, Jacob Sullum writes in Reason. A new law changes the wording of the controversial “disassemble and trigger-lock” provision, meaning owners won’t be allowed to keep guns loaded and must wait for a “reasonably perceived threat”—a complication that could prove fatal to a homeowner under attack, Sullum notes.

That wrinkle means the law is basically identical to the previous version that required guns be deactivated at all times. The new measure also adds many steps to the registration process, which may be so burdensome as to constitute a “de facto” gun ban. “How about erring,” Sullum pleads, “just this once, in the direction of respecting civil liberties?”