DC’s sole FFL holder to start accepting transfers “within the next couple of weeks.” (See Updates.)
In my last update on DC’s attempts to maintain their unconstitutional firearms ban to the greatest degree possible, I noted WTOP’s Mark Segraves’ report that the 1 and only federal firearms license holder that’s expressed an interest in handling transfers was waiting for his approval to begin. The issue for Charles Sykes, the FFL holder in question, was getting all of the approvals to start doing business at his new office location. First, it was DC issuing an occupancy permit then it was the ATF issuing their permit for him to do business there. At last report, the ATF approval was in process.
According to Mark Segraves’ blog, the Malcontent Minute, DC Police Chief Lanier has been advised that ATF’s approval for Sykes will be coming soon.
D.C. Police Chief, Cathy Lanier was on WTOP’s Ask the Chief program and said she’s been told federal authorities will issue final approval to a firearms dealer in the District soon.
“That’s coming within the next couple of weeks,” Lanier said.
She’s referring to the fact that ATF inspected Sykes’ new digs and gave it the thumbs-up. Once they’ve communicated this to DC’s police they’ll issue the business license approval and Sykes will be up and running. Anyone under the mistaken impression that Sykes is doing this kind of work out of good will or patriotic expression will be surprised, no doubt, at his fee for a transfer. He’s charging $125 per firearm. Now that I’m actually sitting here writing about it, I find that I’ve got no idea how much the local gun stores here in Loudoun charge for this service so I’ll have to withhold final judgement on whether that’s in line with the industry or “highway robbery”, as it were. (I’ll make a few calls when these places open and see what I can find.) Whether it’s high or not, Sykes can pretty much charge whatever he wants since he’s the only FFL holder in DC doing transfers. That’s free enterprise in action, folks. His service is in extremely short supply and there’s a stronger demand than he can satisfy. Market forces will tell you quickly that this will yield a high price for the service.
That situation will continue until the supply of that service increases, be it from other FFL holders deciding to get some of that business, other people deciding to go into that line of work and getting an FFL of their own, or when DC finally decides to actually follow the spirit of the Court’s decision and allow gun stores in DC.
Lanier makes a comment in this story that I’d like to see some independent confirmation for. She says that DC law allows for gun owners to take their guns to shooting ranges so long as they’re “safely stored.” By which, I presume she means locked up and unreachable until it gets to the range. I’ll see if I can find the law, as passed, and confirm that.
Update: Well, that didn’t take long. From the official Government of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department document on registering a gun in DC (originial PDF version here) we have this Q&A:
Q: Can I carry my firearm outside my home?
That answer is “N”, “O”, period. Not “No, unless you’re transporting it to a licensed firing range.” Not “No, unless you’re transporting it to a class for the purpose of learning to use your firearm safely.” That answer is No, as in “You may not legally carry your firearm outside of your home.” Period, end of discussion. So to what DC law is Chief Lanier referring when she says DC gun owners can carry their weapons “safely stored” to firing ranges or classes? If this information is what her department is issuing to the citizens of DC, why is it worded in such a way as to make it clearly illegal to do any such thing?
DC is obviously incapable of producing a set of regulations that both adhere to the laws of the nation and that make sense. The more I think about it, the more I think Congress should step in and handle this one. DC obviously doesn’t have adherence to the Constitution in their hearts and DC citizens deserve laws that do.