When the Supreme Court of the United States makes a ruling, it sticks. When they say jump, you say 'how high?'
I can believe how incredibly happy DC has been to take the bait laid out for them.
Heller walked in to register his Colt 1911A1 semi-automatic handgun (which requires you to pull the trigger once for every round fired...just like, say, a revolver) capable of holding 7 rounds in a magazine, plus one in the chamber for a total of 8. It is a handgun, and that specific model, the 1911, is the MOST common model of handgun in the USA.
It was the very common nature of the handgun's use in being kept for self defense that was a key part of the court's ruling. But it didn't need to be, simply because this is their finding
“We hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.”
It is a handgun. In the most narrow view, they could possibly deny someone other than Heller. It would be struck down, but they'd at least have a leg to stand on. SCOTUS specifically ordered that Heller be allowed to register a handgun. Not a rifle, not a shotgun, but a handgun. Maybe they could possibly deny him if he was trying to register TWO handguns, but again, that isn't the case here.
DC says they will only allow revolvers to be registered. DC goes further. DC says because it has a bottom loading clip, it is a machine gun. Are they actually co-operating with the NRA? SCOTUS revokes laws, it does not write them. Hand DC 'stuck to their guns' and said 'revolvers only, that is a semi-auto' they'd have only a little bit to loose, but by redefining a semi-auto handgun as a machine gun (a class allowed to be highly restricted) they run the real risk opening up the entire machine gun can of worms. Do they really want SCOTUS to say 'Fine, you play word games and declare a semi-auto handgun as a machine gun, we'll simply rule he can register a machine gun'
The first page of the Washington Post article makes it sound like that all he needed to do was show up with his gun, but later they reveal
"Newsham said if anyone shows up to register a semi-automatic pistol that fits the city's definition of a machine gun, police will confiscate the illegal gun but will not immediately arrest the owner. He said police reserve the right to investigate and eventually charge such an owner with violating the machine-gun ban."
The amnesty period and the official 'okay' to proceed directly to the police station with your revolver is only going to be for revolvers that end up getting registered. While they don't come out and say it is any reason they can come up with for denying registration, that amnesty is now defunct. "What's that? Your vision test came back as 20/19 not 20/20? Handcuff time!"
Again, SCOTUS said 'Let Heller register his handgun' NOT 'let Heller carry guns about the city as he pleases.' This seems to me to be a ploy to throw a guy in jail for 48 hours minimum, maybe longer. (6 years as this next case winds it's way through the courts?) Room him with a real abusive inmate, as a way to retaliate against a 'troublemaker'. But then SCOTUS never said Heller had to bring his gun in for inspection, DC simply has to register it.
Besides, Heller is strategically choosing his colt 1911, a gun that holds 1 more round than standard revolvers, a gun that holds exactly 1 round less than the revolver he tried to register in 2002. No way he was going to walk in with it on his person and allow the headlines to read "Heller arrested for possession of illegal machine gun!"
I think this is called 'setting up the check-mate'.
Washington Post Article
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