The right to keep and bear arms only applies to certain people in the nation’s capital. One of the 17 steps that I still have in order to register a gun in Washington, D.C. is filing out a “Statement of Eligibility.” The form contains 10 yes-or-no questions intended to weed out those ineligible to legally possess a pistol.
Some of the barriers to gun ownership are expected. It’s easy to choose ‘no’ for: conviction (or indictment) of a violent crime or weapons offense; conviction in the past five years of serious drug charge, assault, threat to do bodily harm; acquitted of a criminal charge by reason of insanity or alcoholism; or committed to a mental hospital in the past five years.
The five-year limit makes me wonder. Can Marion Barry — the former D.C. mayor and current councilman — register a gun? He was charged with smoking crack cocaine. But the conviction was just a misdemeanor and 20 years ago, so he’s in the clear.
Moving on: “Do you suffer from any physical defect which makes it unsafe for you to possess and use a firearm safely and responsibly?” What about a bad knee from running? Long hair? What about being only 5’2” tall? I checked off ‘no.’
Number 7: “Have you ever been found negligent in any firearm related mishap causing death or injury to another human being?” Since I have never owned a gun, this one was easy.
But I wondered if this meant that you could shoot yourself in the foot and still get a gun?
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