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D.C. Gun Legislation Passes; Gray Recounts a Close Call From His Youth

The D.C. Council passed the Fire Arms Registration Amendment Act of 2008 earlier this afternoon with the provision that all District gun owners be required to undergo five hours of gun safety training.

The 10-to-3 vote came after a spirited discussion by council members, including a personal story from Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D). Growing up, Gray said, he was almost shot by his older brother who was cleaning his gun in their family's home.

Gray recounted that he was in his living room as his brother was cleaning the gun. He said he left the room to go to the bathroom but "I heard this loud noise. When I came back there was a bullet hole in the couch near where I had been standing."

"My brother did not realize that there was a bullet in the chamber," Gray said. "I think that the Lord decided that this wasn't my day to go."

Hamil R. Harris

By Marcia Davis  |  December 16, 2008; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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so because Gray's brother is a moron, we have to live with this. I would like the council to tell me exactly how I am to carry my 3 legally registered shotguns to the DCPD to register them all.

Posted by: bug45 | December 16, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

so because Gray's brother is a moron, we have to live with this. I would like the council to tell me exactly how I am to carry my 3 legally registered shotguns to the DCPD to register them all.

Posted by: bug45 | December 16, 2008 6:29 PM

Yep, pretty much. Unfortunately, their proposal is discriminatory, because following Gray's logic, everyone in the District should have to undergo five hours of mandatory driver's education/training every year because of automobile related fatalities. Of course, if you drink alcohol at all, then you should receive another 150 hours of training because of all the DUI and drunk driving deaths that occur....

Posted by: WildBill1 | December 16, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I like the part about a background check every three years. Too bad that they didn't pass a law requiring elected officials to have to do the same thing. Might help here and in Chicago.....

Posted by: Spitfires | December 16, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

As long as the citizens of the District keep reelecting these morons they deserve exactly what they've got. No sympathy here!

Posted by: curious606 | December 16, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Inadvertently firing a weapon while "cleaning" it is a huge urban legend. If you know enough about a weapon to clean it, you're not going to accidentally fire it in the process.

If, on the other hand, you're a moron who is just goofing off with a gun that you know nothing about, "I was just cleaning it" may be the best excuse you can come up with in the seconds after you negligently fire off a round.

To those who know guns, "it just went off while I was cleaning it" is about as credible as having a car "just roll away and crash" while you're washing it. It *might* happen, but it's probably a lie.

Posted by: DupontJay | December 16, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know all of the provisions in the new law? I was sent a copy of the proposed regulations several weeks ago, and I would like to know if they were amended before the vote. If they were not amended then we're looking at a host of new "Heller" lawsuits, and DC is going to get slapped around by SCOTUS again.

Posted by: gieriscm1 | December 17, 2008 5:52 AM | Report abuse

To be honest, I don't NEED a firearm, but the Council's obvious intent to make owning one as difficult and painful as possible has made me all the more determined to do so.

Posted by: samfsuox | December 17, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Good question geiris. I got a draft a few days before the vote. The one that really got me is that gun owners need to send a letter to the police every year certifying that they still have thier guns (even tho it is already part of the code they need to notify the PD if they transfer them.

This is the equivalent of having to write the police every year to inform them "I did not rob a bank over the past 12 months."

By setting up 1 year, 3 year, and 6 year requirements, they are opening the door for people to miss one of the deadlines and give them an excuse to take the guns away.

Posted by: DCGuy4 | December 17, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Also, I agree with the comment on "I was cleaning my gun and it went off." Gimme a break. That is up there with "I was just asking the hooker for directions."

Posted by: DCGuy4 | December 17, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

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