Help keep gunstores off our streets

By:
01/15/2009

The gun show is coming to D.C. A few weeks ago, the D.C. Zoning Commission ruled that gun stores will be allowed along major commercial corridors throughout the city, a ruling that follows on the heels of the Supreme Court’s June 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, which abolished the District’s 32-year ban on handguns. The Zoning Commission needs to strengthen regulations to prevent gun shops from opening up in the District in order to effectively neutralize this misguided ruling and keep our city safe.
Firearms do not pose a great threat to citizens in rural areas of the country, where owners use them primarily for hunting. However, in major urban areas such as Washington, D.C., firearms—especially handguns—have little practical value aside from preventing crime and committing crime. Repealing the ban only makes the District more dangerous and poses a direct threat to citizens and police. While most gun owners manage their weapons responsibly, problems arise when gun stores are broken into and unregistered weapons fall into the hands of criminals.
In response, the City Council has constructed a speed bump of temporary ordinances to prevent gun stores from opening up immediately. Most of these ordinances expire in March, however, leaving little time before gun stores will begin popping up around the District.
The current regulations regarding the zoning of gun stores are rather stringent. Shops cannot be within 300 feet of any school, library, home, playground, or church. This greatly limits the number of places available for development in the Georgetown neighborhood, but there is a small piece of M Street, near Wisconsin, where a gun store may lawfully be established under current regulations. If the council believes that a radius is needed to protect these sensitive areas, it must realize that the only way to truly protect them would be to prevent gun shops from being established in the first place.
The current make-up of the Supreme Court makes it clear that it will not be possible for the District to re-enact its handgun ban in the foreseeable future. But preventing the opening of gun shops will go a long way towards tempering the potentially harmful effects of the ruling. The Council should adopt a permanent radius large enough to prevent any and all gun shops from opening in the District. This is only a second-best option, since the ban on firearms has been lifted, but it would go a long way to making Georgetown—and all of Washington, D.C.—safer for everyone.

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3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Help keep gunstores off our streets”

  1. Avatar JP says:

    “KEEP our city safe?” puh-leeeze! When has DC EVER been “safe?” How can adding gun stores for law abiding citizens POSSIBLY increase violence in what was, until recently, the murder capitol of the country? You just don’t want black people to be able to defend themselves from criminals without resorting to criminality themselves. How can you possible think the status quo of ridiculously high gun violence represents a city that is “safe?” Trying to “keep” DC safe is like trying to “keep” Rosie O’Donnell thin: you’ve already lost the battle! It’s not safe and she’s not thin! Stop trying to defend the status quo and start implementing something that might actually change it! Like a diet, or firearms for law-abiding citizens.

  2. Avatar anon says:

    GUN LAWS:

    Because you have all these rules and you think they’ll save you.

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