On Thursday, March 22, 2018, the District of Columbia City Council's Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on several bills affecting the gun rights of District citizens and visitors to the District. The hearing will take place in Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., at 10:30 am.
Arsenal Attorneys intends to be present to testify and suggests that area gun owners consider appearing and testifying as well. Each of the proposed bills is described below.
Bill 22-0193, the "Temporary Protection Order Firearm Relinquishment Amendment Act of 2017," would amend the District of Columbia Code to require an individual subject to a temporary protection order to relinquish the individual's firearms.
Bill 22-0400, the "Extreme Risk Civil Protection Order Amendment Act of 2017," would authorize a court to issue a temporary ex parte extreme risk civil protection order if there is a finding that there is a reasonable belief that the subject of the petition poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to self or others by possession or control of a firearm, and would establish an extreme risk civil protection order for the duration of one year to remove firearms when a court finds by a preponderance of evidence that the subject of the petition poses a significant threat of harm to self or others. This bill is particularly problematic because of the use of such low standards as "reasonable belief" and "preponderance of the evidence," as opposed to traditional higher legal standards such as "clear and convincing" or the criminal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Bill B22-0588, the "Possession of Firearm and Ammunition Penalties Amendment Act of 2017," is also problematic. It would prohibit a person from knowingly possessing or receiving any firearm with a tampered serial number; prohibit a person from possessing a stolen firearm or stolen ammunition; prohibit the possession of ammunition by individuals previously convicted of felonies; and increase the penalty for possession of a so-called high-capacity magazine to a felony. By contrast possession of ammunition by a felon would only be a misdemeanor.
PR22-0552, the "Sense of the Council in Opposition to Concealed Carry Reciprocity Resolution of 2017," would declare the Sense of the Council in opposition to congressional action which allow individuals who are licensed to carry a concealed firearm in any state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia. In other words, the Council intend to go on record opposing concealed carry reciprocity.
The public may testify and/or submit written testimony on these bills. Anyone wishing to testify should contact the Committee via email at email@example.com or at (202) 727-8078, and provide his or her name, telephone number, organizational affiliation, and title (if any), by close of business Monday, March 19, 2018.
Representatives of organizations will be allowed a maximum of five minutes for oral testimony; individuals will be allowed a maximum of three minutes. Witnesses are encouraged to bring twenty double-sided copies of their written testimony and, if possible, also submit a copy of their testimony electronically in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For witnesses who are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements will be made part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be submitted to the Committee at email@example.com on or before April 6, 2018.