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Heller Shows Up for Gun Registration With Petitions

Gun registration started at police headquarters at 7 a.m. this morning, but it was not the brisk turnout that authorities had anticipated, Post staff writer Paul Duggan reports. Duggan said there were a few people who trickled in to make inquiries, but the only person to show with immediate intent about registering a gun was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, security guard Dick Anthony Heller, who was accompanied by his lawyer.

Heller, Duggan reports, was at the doors at 6:30 this morning. He did not bring his weapon with him as D.C. regulations require, however. He did raise his frustrations with the District's continued ban on semiautomatic weapons. It's that issue that city officials and gun rights advocates both say is likely to land the city back in court at some point.

But we're burying the real news here. It seems that Heller may not have brought his gun with him to register, but he was armed with a load of candidate petitions, Duggan said.

Seems that Heller is planning to run for the House seat currently held by Eleanor Holmes Norton. Heller is seeking signatures to be on the ballot as a libertarian candidate.

A man identifiying himself as J. Bradley Jansen, who said he was Heller's campaign manager, said Heller must get 3,000 signatures and has until the end of August to collect them.

By Marcia Davis  |  July 17, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Gun Ban Case  
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Interesting. I guess this is a test to see if Heller is truely of the majority opinion or minority among District residents.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Heller to run against Norton? Sounds like Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Posted by: Jonathan Rees | July 17, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. I guess this is a test to see if Heller is truely [sic] of the majority opinion or minority among District residents.

Perhaps. But the Bill of Rights (including the Second Amendment) is designed to protect the rights of individuals against depredations of the government, including the will of the majority as effected by the government. Whether a voting majority of DC residents agrees with Heller or the Supreme Court has no bearing on the constitutionality of either of their opinions.

Posted by: Former DC resident | July 17, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Anyone would be better than Holmes Norton! Every time a murder or shooting occurred in my neck of the woods, I would write to her requesting that she work to repeal the DC gun ban so we could fight back. She never answered any of my messages.

Posted by: johng1 | July 17, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

1 month to get 3000 sigs....

IMO He better canvass Metro stops to get that kind of volume in such a short amount of time.

If I see someone near a metro, I will sign his petition... ;) But I will not go out of my way to track him down to sign it...

Rest assured though, I have been carrying a gun in VA, MD and DC for 30+ years and no law will make me stop after having used it to defend myself in a mugging and a car jacking during that time.

To state that legal gun ownership will increase violence just shows that whoever believes that, has never bothered to look at the facts of every single county, state, and nation on earth!

When you DO look at the hard numbers, you can see a stark difference between those of us who have liberal gun laws and those of us who don't.... The favor being placed on liberal ownership to keep violence down...

As a simple comparison between the USA and UK violence numbers (since most like to point to them to make their anti-gun case) shows that % of violent crime in the USA is TINY compared to the UK to the tune of 0.06% (USA) and 4.6% (UK). The only difference is they end up with more knife crime which is typically more brutal and is rampant even for High Schoolers to stab each other daily.

That is OVER A 7566% INCREASE over the USA for violent crime statistics!!!!!

Don't believe me? Look it all up yourself and crunch the numbers yourself.... Trust me, you will thank me for educating you and anyone else you will no longer misinform on gun violence.

Posted by: short timer | July 17, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Yay. 1.3% of the vote here we come!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like D.C. gun owners aren't going to blindly trust the DCPD with their firearms. Let the first few brave (or, perhaps, foolhardy) ones register and see if anything bad happens (like, "oops, we forgot where we put your gun", or "You're under arrest for having a gun outside your home") before they register.

Or maybe they're just going to file suit against D.C. for dragging their feet as much as possible in their "compliance" with the court order.

Posted by: Gun Owner | July 17, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'd help the guy get signatures in a heartbeat! Just like Edmund Burke once said that 'Evil prevails only when good men do nothing'. Don't feel bad, there was a 2nd amendment rally in Chicago July 11th right in Daaley Plaza in front of city Hall with about 600 people there. Not one iota of news coverage. That weekend there was an anti-gun rally with about 75 people, made the front page. That tells me a lot about the current state of the media, and it is disgusting as well as quite disheartenting.

Help the guy out, people! Heck Jesse Ventura became a governor with as much prior skills. At least the thing Heller has going for him is the threw the city to the mat, time to play tag-team with him!

Posted by: Mark in Spokane | July 17, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

If you are a DC resident and can collect signatures, please fill out a form at we need as much help as we can get!

Posted by: Volunteer in DC for the LP! | July 17, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to run against that political waste of space, Eleanor H. Norton.

She had her run & time.

The 60s are over.

Posted by: a_DC_Denizen | July 17, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's be clear. Only 6 people showed up to license their guns because the VAST majority of DC residents did not suppport the Supreme Court Ruling. Legal gun ownership will not make a difference in the drug trade violence that's at the core of DC's gun violence. And no matter how much the gun supporters on this page congratulate Heller he will be lucky to get 1% of the vote against Norton.

Posted by: Clarke | July 17, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

this proves that mr. heller was not just a citizen looking to get access to his second amendment rights, he was using (or being used) it as a way to pursue his own political agenda. he will soon realize that there are bigger issues in the minds of dc residents than owning guns. like crumbling schools, etc.

this may have been a big win for gun advocates, but as a dc resident its a big yawner. he'll continue to sue for his precious guns and waste city taxpayer dollars so he can see his name in the paper and be fetted by the NRA. way to go.

Posted by: figures | July 17, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse


Let's be clear. Only 6 people showed up to license their guns because the VAST majority of DC residents did not suppport the Supreme Court Ruling.

I think you'd probably find that the "VAST majority" of DC residents have no trust in the local cop shop not confiscating their weapons for varying spurious reasons

Posted by: Whisky_35_alpha | July 17, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Or they were afraid of how said weapons would be treated, oops we dropped it and beat up the finish on your pistol. Lots of new things being tested. I would be leerly of someone handing my gun who has no stake in its care.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the spelling correction. I tend to get carried away at the keyboard.

I believe that the plea should be to Holmes Norton to lead the charge in requesting that Congress intervene to re-write this ban posturing as regulation.

If she refuses. Heller has my vote.

Posted by: Concernedaboutdc | July 17, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Short timer - care to provide a cite to back that up? From the British Home Office, appr. 2 million violent crimes were estimated for 2007 for a population of ~60 million (CIA). So, 1/30 or about 3%. Your 4.6% number is a bit high, though you may be using outdated stats (crime fell substantially from 1997 to 2007). According to the Bureau of Justice, the total violent crime rate in 2006 for the U.S. is roughly 950 crimes per 100,000, a rate of roughly 1%. So, the numbers are 3:1, not 76:1. I suspect you took the murder rate for the U.S. and compared it to the crime rate for the U.K.

Speaking of which, how does that differ? In the U.K., it's 0.0140633 per 1,000 people. In the U.S., it's 0.042802 per 1,000 people. The U.S. murder rate is 3 TIMES that of the U.K., even though the overall violent crime rate is 3 times as high! What's the explanation? Easy. Guns.

I have been mugged both in the U.S. (Minneapolis) and the U.K. (Sheffield). I ran away from the mugger in Sheffield. I wouldn't have dared to do so in the U.S. It's a lot easier to run away from a knife than a gun (though in both cases, the weapon was threatened, but not presented.)

Brought to you by the Bureau to avoid silly statistics.


Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 17, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

There are numerous things you need to take into account... This site should get you started in terms of considering stats and how they are collected

So again, you will have to do your own homework like I did... Take the UK stats for 2007 and discount robbery and any other non-violent offense based on OUR definitions and you will see some of your inconsistencies align...(Though I must admit you are one of the first to actually TRY and understand where I was coming from) Kudos to you!

My percentage calculations was made by taking each states data from the FBI site and boiling them down in their downloadable spreadsheet

My stats from the UK were done using several sources that listed out crimes and actual violent crimes.... As well as stats to include for things they don't typically account for like violent crime against persons younger than 16.... And my stats for both the FBI and UK only pertained to numbers that hit in 2007, which is why I needed to use multiple sources (UK doesn't track year to year... but rather over a period of several years sp I had to dig around for numbers just for 2007)

Posted by: Short Timer | July 17, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Short Timer - I have a preference for primary sources for stats. Hence, I went to the Home Office and the Bureau of Justice. I will grant that violent crime rates are higher in the U.K. than in the U.S. In truth, this came as a bit of a surprise to me. I'd once heard that violent crime rates are comparable--clearly I was wrong. The reference you cited does look to be quite well done. The author estimated that the violent crime rate is appr. 5 times higher in the U.K. Given that mine was a quick look, I'm willing to grant this figure (though I think your original post distorted the ratio).

The ultimate question is the source of this disparity. I think it's fair to say that you think that widespread gun ownership in the U.S. explains a large part of the disparity. I'll grant that there may be a correlation, though also think that there is a strong correlation between the higher murder rate and availability of guns. Yes, many obtained illegally, but that's a lot harder to do in the U.K.

With regards to violent crime rates, one must also consider that the U.K. is far more densely populated than the U.S. Much of the population lives in urban settings where crime rates tend to be higher. I'd be curious as to how Sheffield, for example, compares to Pittsburgh. The two cities have remarkably parallel histories. Both are steel towns in which the dominant industry vanished and have had significant urban renewal. Perhaps a city by city comparison (though it'd be hard to find a comparison for either London or NYC).


Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 17, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

How do you get the firearm before you register???
I am sure they have some sort of law against owning one without registration.

Posted by: Havok | July 17, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I am sure at the time it was issued the vast majority of Americans opposed the Court's landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education. I guess that means that decision was wrong too, right?

Posted by: Aaron Burr | July 17, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Mark my words: The current DC law is unconstitutional in view of Heller and will be struck down (again)! The elected morons in DC would rather spend taxpayer dollars on litigation, instead of actually improving the quality of life for its citizens.

Posted by: Robert Marley | July 17, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Fairlington Blade:

You make fair assessments since there are several factors to try an align. Your point of more dense populations could account for the increased city violence as I did not do a direct comparison due to the obvious differences in how the data is collected and even how it is represented.

I will concede that my 7000% figure may be high if compared to ACTUAL RAW DATA, but the way I arrived at it was by taking total violent offences from the UK that were adjusted to the the USA's classification of them. Also, keep in mind that there are more than 60m people in the UK now as well according to the 2007 report I found on one of their sites. The raw figures were 0.06% (USA) and 4.6% (UK). Calculated on overall population for the crimes reported. Meaning that I totaled up the population numbers being reported by the FBI per state and used that along with the violent crime numbers to get a simple percentage of crime to population for the USA... The UK reports were more clear but needed numbers added for violent crimes for those under 16 as well as removed the robberies that didn't result in a violent offence (thus the major digging I had to do) and what I came up with is :

4.6 - 0.06 = 4.54

4.54 / 0.06 = 75.666666

75.666666 x 100 = 7566.66%

So... taking into account that my base figures are probably not exact, it still wouldn't account for the % difference between your numbers and mine.....

Figure that one out... But as you can clearly see how I arrived at the number, I am not pulling things out of my butt ;)

Thank you for engaging me on this,... hopefully we can figure it out for good and educate others reading this at the same time ;)

Posted by: Short Timer | July 17, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Paperwork, fees, and background checks to allow people to keep and carry a side-arm? What kind of nonsense is this?

The right of self-defense is a corollary to the right to life; to deny one is to deny the other. The purpose of government is to insure our rights, not to infringe on them.

The fact is that governments should not be involved in permitting the possession or carriage of weapons by anyone.

Our constitution states that the right of the people to keep (possess) and bear (carry) arms shall not be infringed. Marbury v. Madison (1803) decided that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and that any law that contradicts the Constitution is null and void. "The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and the name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void and ineffective for any purpose since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it; an unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed ... An unconstitutional law is void." (16 American Jurisprudence 2d, Sec. 178)

In Murdock v. Pennsylvania (1943) the Supreme Court stated that a constitutionally-protected right may not be licensed, nor a fee charged. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of those protected natural rights.

In Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, Alabama (1962) the Supreme Court decided that "If the state does convert a liberty into a privilege, the citizen can engage in the right with impunity." (That means they can't punish you, folks!)

To paraphrase an oft-quoted movie line, "Permits? We don' need no steenking permits!"

Neil Evangelista
NRA Pistol & Personal Protection Instructor

Posted by: Neil Evangelista | July 17, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

figures wronge: [this may have been a big win for gun advocates, but as a dc resident its a big yawner. he'll continue to sue for his precious guns and waste city taxpayer dollars so he can see his name in the paper and be fetted by the NRA. way to go.]

Figures; you have misplaced the blame for wasting tax dollars. Sorry you and the DC government do not see Constitutional rights as "precious".

Posted by: DG | July 17, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

This guy is really milking his 15 minutes of fame.

Posted by: Big Jim | July 17, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Neil Evangelista, I didn't know about these rulings. Boy are we being shafted by our own government. I'll have to look up these rulings. Having grown up in a communist country, my thinking process about individual rights has always been veered toward government special power to regulate things. Freedom is not an easy thing to understand and to practice. One thing I learn from the communist government was never to trust government looking out for your rights. I have never seen a government that does not oppress its people. The US is better than many but that doesn't mean it doesn't oppress.

Posted by: James | July 17, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I think Heller has done better than most people by doing something about he sees as wrong. Most people complain about things but don't do anything. Why shouldn't Heller run for office? People in DC should think harder. What has Eleanor Holmes Norton done for people in Washington DC? How long has she been in office and what has she done during that time to improve the everyday lives of the people in DC, not in theory but in practical daily things? What has Norton done in office that another person in the same position cannot do? I think Heller beats Norton hands down. People in DC will soon be able to protect themselves at least in their homes. Has Norton done any better for you in all her time in office?

Posted by: Jimmy Vu | July 17, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Heller buddy, you got my vote! ...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed...

Posted by: -Jeff | July 17, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I concur with Jimmy Vu.

You know what they say in DC.... If you try something 100 times the same way and you fail, it's not your fault.

But I say its time to try something different for once.... Get that white guy in there and see how fast he quits after seeing how much work it will take to "fix" ;)

Then re-elect Marion Barry! He likes how things are...... Cracked, Smoked and Ruined for years to come for anyone else to enjoy....

Posted by: Ditto | July 17, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to arrest and imprison the mayor of DC for contempt, and violation of civil rights.

He's disrespecting the ruling of the SCOTUS decision on Heller.

Posted by: Citizen | July 17, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Instead of these stupid lawsuits trying take away a persons right to own, and carry a firearm, why doesn't the city use this money and hire more cops?

"When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."
Tom Gresham

Posted by: A. T Barr | July 17, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Short timer - I still can't figure out where you got the 0.06% figure. I went to the Bureau of Justice home page and found a rather nice plot of crime rate vs. year (URL posted below). For 2005, the rate is 21 crimes per 1000 persons, which is 2.1%. When I looked at my earlier source, I got about half that, though perhaps not all violent crime was recognized. Now, the U.K. rate that I calculated would adjust upwards since the US survey is ages 12+. So, I accept the 4.6% figure from your original post. Perhaps it's not that surprising I was mugged in my 4 years in N. England. According to the odds, I faced a 1 in 5 chance.

So, I concede a U.K. rate close to 5%, but the U.S. rate is somewhere between 1% and 2%. I think you make a good point, but are doing it a disservice by overstating the case. How on earth did we find an outbreak of civility on the boards? Anyway, I look forward to future posts. Although I don't disagree with the decision, I don't keep a gun at home owing to worries about the odds of an accident.


Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 17, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Will you guys please stop comparing the UK with the US. It is not relevant. We have individual ownership rights regarding guns in this country. We are supposed to have the right to bear them too. It is a major part of what we are. It's the antithesis of old English tyrannical rule. Modern European countries like the UK are similarly controlled by their governments, rather than the people controlling their government.

Get used to these ideas Mayor Fenty, and re-read your childhood history books. I understand that DC public schools didn't have the best, if any history books, but it's never too late to learn. LOL

Posted by: johng1 | July 17, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Ok, because I was interested... I was able to track down my original data for 2007.

If you notice, they use the following classifications:

1. Violent Crime (Total of #'s 2, 3, 4 and 5)
2. Murder
3. Forcible Rape
4. Robbery
5. Aggravated Assault

6. Property Crime
7. Burglary
8. Larceny-Theft
9. Motor Vehicle Theft
10. Arson

(So it seems before I didn't notice that #1 was made up of 2, 3, 4 and 5 so I discounted Robbery in slightly different calculations per location which is why my number was off)

Added up 2007 numbers and here is what I get... This time ;) :

Population total for 2007 = 81, 653,337
Total Violent Crime for 2007 = 618,607

618,607 / 81,653,337 = 0.007576

0.007576 x 100 = 0.76% violent crime rate in the US

So... The new math would be:

4.6 - 0.76 = 3.84

3.84 x 0.76 = 2.9184

2.9184 x 100 = 291.84% higher violent crime rate for 2007.

Sorry all for my miscalculations earlier.... But still.... Damn. 292% difference....

Thanks for calling me out on the 7000% figure. It seemed high to me but as you can see, , it was entirely my fault for not doing all my research into where they were getting all the numbers being reported ;)

Thanks for indulging me :)

Posted by: Short Timer | July 17, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

OMG I must be totally retarded today...
it SHOULD be: divided by.....

3.84 / 0.76 = 5.0526

5.0526 x 100 = 505.26% higher violent crime rate for 2007.

And here I said WOW over the 300%.... its actually an over 500% increase!

Posted by: Short Timer | July 17, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I can live with somewhere between 3:1 and 5:1. I also would agree with you that widespread gun ownership will have a deterrance effect. Between me being a bit of a space case and having twin toddlers at home, I won't chance keeping a gun in my home. Then again, you know the old saying. A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged. I suppose I'm the exception that proves the rule, given that I've been mugged twice. Packing heat wouldn't have made a difference in the first case (Mpls), though would've in the second (Sheffield).

Well, I've got a little cooking to do, but it's been a real pleasure. Reminds me of sparring with a close friend of mine in grad school.

Cheers Short Timer!


P.S. Johngsomething-go away. I went to school in Nebraska, hardly a blue state, and I don't remember handgun ownership coming up in grade school.

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 18, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

It was nice to see a discussion on the actual numbers. I was aware that England crime numbers did not include what the DOJ numbers did. For instance I heard that in England they count as one occurrence for crime when the actual crime may be numerous. Example a person mugs 3 people in one day. That counts as one occurrence.

I may be wrong but that makes it difficult to compare crime numbers.

The real discrepancy comes when you compare murders/ 100,000. England fares much better than the US.

The robberies and home invasions are much higher in England. The reasons are not the tools used but the social differences and tolerance for vandalism and crime. England seems to have a higher tolerance for vandalism, home invasion and muggings. I heard that the rural areas have higher incidences of home invasion and vandalism. That is opposite what the US experiences.

Another poster said it did not matter, since we do have affirmation the Second Amendment was for the individual not the state. It was so obvious; that to think the Bill of Rights gave the Right to keep to Bear Arms to the state was ludicrous.

DC residents are reluctant to register any revolver they have in their homes. Most likely is the hassle factor. But cost and the fear the gun will be taken from them are very real. Plus if the gun has been unregistered for 30 years what is a few more months? The DC new regulations will be changed or overturned. That probability is high.

I actually predicted very few would bother to register. Now if the Federal gov't gave an exemption for DC residents to buy guns in MD or VA without the requirement to be transferred to an FFL in DC, then I think the first day we would have over 100 people buy guns.

No gun dealer wants to sell to a DC resident in case they get the paperwork wrong. It is very new and even DC can't figure it out. No FFL wants to lose his license and it is better for them to wait.

Posted by: Tasha | July 19, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

That's too bad for you too Fairlington B., we did study the U.S. Constitution in seventh grade American History (in a DC parochial school about 40 years ago).

Posted by: johng1 | July 20, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

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