The District of Columbia is the only jurisdiction in America in which gun owners have to re-register their guns with the government every three years. The mandate was enforced at the beginning of this year. Now, the Metropolitan Police Department has been sending notices to residents with registered firearms to come down to their headquarters to be fingerprinted. The only problem is, most people are resisting the demand.
Fox 5’s Emily Miller, a proud gun owner herself, led an investigation into why these law-abiding gun owners were being dragged back to the police station. They were already fingerprinted when they first registered their guns, so why do they have to do it again? The answer is infuriating:
“According to City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, the police department lost the fingerprints.”
As Miller points out, the fingerprinting is done electronically, so how can they be lost?
Because of the police department’s own incompetence, gun owners have to fork over another $35 for the fingerprinting fee, as well as $13 for the gun registration fee – per gun. Not to mention the gas they have to pay to make another trip to police headquarters – for no reason.
Responsible gun owner Lenny Hardell, who has been collecting firearms for years, says the new mandate will end up costing him hundreds of dollars every three years:
I think it's going to be turned around as a cash cow,” said Harrell. “You're getting $13 a pop and got to get fingerprinted -- and I don't know how much going to the D.C. budget."
The penalty for refusing to re-register a gun after 90 days could cost a gun owner up to $1,000 or even one year in jail.
That hasn’t seemed to rattle DC residents, however. Of the 30,000 legally registered guns in the district, only 1,356 guns have been renewed.
So, why is DC so GUNg-ho over re-registration? Well, the price tag could be a factor. The government has profited over $17,000 over gun renewals, Miller reports.
Parting question from Harrell:
“I haven’t gotten into trouble, I have guns. Why should I be coming down here?”
Watch Miller’s whole investigation here: