Following a series of court orders, the casual observer might think that the Second Amendment was alive and well in the nation’s capital, particularly after a court ordered the city to begin issuing concealed carry applications. But as we suspected at the time, just because you are handing out applications, that doesn’t mean you’re actually going to give anyone a permit. This week we have a live, in person testimonial from Washington Free Beacon reporter Stephen Gutowski about his efforts thus far to obtain the seemingly mythical document.
I took a visit to the Firearms Registration Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department Thursday afternoon and I handed over my application, driver’s license, Virginia concealed carry license, and $110. Now I’m well on my way to wasting $110.
The D.C. concealed carry law is what’s referred to as “May Issue.” That means a bureaucrat has final say over who gets to bear arms and who doesn’t. In this case, that’s the city’s Chief of Police. According to the application guidelines she will only consider people with active and documented threats against them for approval. A simple desire to defend oneself in the most dangerous jurisdiction within a hundred miles will not even be considered as a justification.
Gutowski actually has received threats, primarily for writing things unpopular with tolerant liberals in the area, and provided documentation of such. No problem, eh? Let’s see that new permit, buddy!
Lieutenant John Shelton, the former director of the Firearms Registration Unit, is temporarily overseeing the concealed carry application process. Shelton said that so far, no one has been approved for a permit by the city nearly three weeks after it began accepting them.
“Not at this time,” he said.
I also asked Shelton about a concern raised by several reporters, including Fox 5′s Emily Miller. To obtain a permit applicants must complete 16 hours of classroom training and two hours of live fire training with an MPD certified trainer. At this point, MPD has no certified trainers.
He told me that problem has been addressed. There will be exactly one MPD certified trainer available at the same time applications begin being approved.
In case you missed it, the total number of trainers available for permit seekers to visit in order to complete the classroom and live fire education for a city with a population of well over one half million is… one. But Stephen apparently has led a virtuous life, because he happened to be at the office on the same day that the trainer (singular) was there filling out some paperwork. He was quick to get an early appointment.
Luckily for me, I was dropping off my application at the exact time that trainer was finalizing his paperwork. His name is Leon Spears, and he will be the only person legally allowed to teach those seeking DC concealed carry permits the information they need to get one.
Spears said he plans to charge $140 for the classroom portion of the training and $100 for the live fire training. I was surprised he planned to charge that little for that much training but even still, that makes the whole process a whopping $350.
So that’s $350 to attempt to get a permit. And there is still a bureaucrat standing at a desk in that office who will make the final decision as to whether or not your life is truly at risk enough to justify giving you the document. It looks like DC has, for the moment, found a way to pretty much ignore the court orders. Good luck to all you folks down there. There’s still a long, bumpy ride ahead before you truly have Second Amendment equality.