'Red flag' gun law approved by council

The D.C. Council on Tuesday approved a new law that would require police to seize weapons from people deemed a danger to themselves or to others, and to restrict gun owners from modifying weapons to fire faster or hold more bullets.

The bill has to go through congressional review and be signed by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), though the council enacted it as emergency legislation to allow the provisions to take effect immediately and last 90 days.

Bowser, along with the police chief and the U.S. attorney for the District, objected to an immunity clause for people whose illegal guns are taken under the new law.

The gun seizure provision is called an “extreme-risk protective order” and is similar to other “red flag” laws now enacted in more than a dozen states.

The new law also bans bump stocks, an accessory that can accelerate the firing of semiautomatic weapons, and heightens penalties for possession of large-capacity gun magazines.

Peter Hermann


Body shop worker dies after suffering burns

A worker at an auto body shop in Maryland has died after he suffered critical burns.

Prince George’s County Fire said Christopher Terry, 51, of Clinton, Md., was working around 3 p.m. on Dec. 5 and had just finished taking a fuel tank off a vehicle at the auto body shop in the 9100 block of Allentown Road in Fort Washington.

He walked near a barrel with an open flame that was being used to keep employees warm, and officials said the “fuel vapors ignited,” causing burns to 75 percent of his body. Bystanders put out the fire.

Terry was taken to the burn unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He died Dec. 13, according to officials.

Dana Hedgpeth


Man sentenced by jury in 1995 sex assaults

A Fairfax County jury sentenced a 50-year-old man to 357 years in prison Tuesday for a brutal 1995 sexual assault targeting four roommates in Reston, a prosecutor said.

Jude Lovchik, formerly of Springfield, Va., was convicted of 17 counts of abduction, sodomy and other charges on Monday, following a two-week trial that featured harrowing accounts of the women’s ordeal.

The crime went unsolved for over two decades, before Lovchik’s ex-wife went to authorities in 2016 and told them he had confessed to sexually assaulting women when he was younger.

A judge can accept or reduce the jury’s sentence when Lovchik appears for final sentencing on May 16 but cannot increase it.

Justin Jouvenal