The rules in the DMV vs. Arizona and Montana

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The District

-- All firearms must be registered with police. To obtain a registration certificate:

-- Applicant must be at least 21 (applicants 18 to 21 may qualify if parents or guardians give a notarized statement assuming civil liabilities).

-- Applicants cannot have been convicted of or be under indictment for a crime of violence or a weapons offense; they must not appear "to suffer from a physical defect that would make it unsafe" to possess a firearm.

-- Within five years, applicants must not have had any conviction for a "narcotics offense," a "dangerous drug offense," "assault," making "threats to do bodily harm," a domestic violence offense or having two or more DUIs.

-- Within the previous five years, applicants must not have been the subject of a restraining order or have "a history of violent behavior."

-- Within the previous five years, applicants must not have been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, acquitted of a criminal charge by reason of insanity or adjudicated a chronic alcoholic.

-- Carrying a handgun in public, openly or concealed, is prohibited for all private citizens except former law enforcement officers licensed by the District.

-- D.C. law requires a 10-day waiting period before a buyer can pick up a firearm; applicants must obtain a registration certificate before picking up new rifles or shotguns; handgun applicants must take new handguns to police directly from the dealer so that officers can conduct a "ballistics test" in which they fire and keep a bullet for potential matching in later investigations.

-- Possession of ammunition for an unregistered firearm is illegal.

-- Possession of a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition is illegal.

-- The Second Amendment, which applies directly to the District as federal enclave, says: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, struck down a handgun ban and recognized individual firearms ownership as a fundamental right.


-- Any law-abiding Arizonan older than 18 is permitted to buy or possess a firearm; as per federal law, a person must be 21 to buy a handgun.

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