Did/has the Heller Supreme Court ruling made any difference in DC?

Are firearm retailers in the District of Columbia allowed to sell handguns?

To the best of my knowledge there are no retailers permitted to sell handguns in DC.

However, there is a single person that DC has deigned to give transfer rights to, at $125 a pop. So, you can go outside the state and find a handgun that DC will allow you to register, have a FFL holder ship it to Mr. Sykes (for a nominal fee, of course), and he will transfer the weapon to the purchaser.

Then said purchaser has to have it registered, which is an extraordinary process all by itself. But hey, it’s legal now, it’s just burdened with so much paperwork and lost time that few people can afford to do it.

The $125 a pop is what Sykes is charging, not what the DC government is charging.

I know, I phrased that poorly. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

$125? Holy crap! And I thought my local gun shop was ripping me off when they wanted $40 for a transfer.

Good for SCOTUS to uphold this constitutional right and put no teeth behind it…

$125 for a transfer? When I was an FFL five years ago, I charged $10 for it.

Here is what I posted in the other thread.

To the best of my knowledge there are no firearms retailers in DC. Even if someone wanted to open one, I suspect that the local ANCs and the DCRA would make it almost impossible to set up shop in the District. Opening any business here in DC can be a difficult and frustrating process, and that is when the city is indifferent. If it is something that the city leaders and voters disapprove of, and I guarantee that the road of anyone opening up a firearms shop will be rocky.

I think the best bet for would be gun owners would be to be able to buy a gun in either Maryland or as is more likely in Virginia.

(Sorry for the duplicate thread)

From Airmans link –

And be charged $125 for the privilege. Holy cow. I had NO idea. That is so beyond screwed up.

Do you have to register guns in DC? What if I wanted to move to DC? I have a few guns (including handguns) what hoops would I have to jump through to make it legal? Would I have to ship them to this Sykes person? And then get charged $125 each?

Sorry, buts what is the local ‘ANC’ and ‘DCRA’?

Starting with the first question:

  1. Yes.
  2. You have to register all of your weapons in DC if you intend to keep them there. You can leave some with someone else, but you can only register one handgun that DC approves of (for now). Those do not include semi-automatic handguns, only revolvers.
  3. No, you owned them prior to your move, going through a FFL is only necessary for transfer of ownership. Mr. Sykes makes no money from you.

A better idea is to stay where you are unless it’s worse there, in which case I would recommend that you leave Chicago as quickly as possible.

You are correct in your analysis, but if he brought his own guns into D.C., he would be in the “cart before the horse” problem.

If he brought the guns into D.C. to register them, then he would be in possession of them without a D.C. registration (on day one) and be committing a felony.

But if he didn’t have them, the D.C. can’t start the paperwork. I think he would have to use the FFL’s services.


a person does have an affirmative defense in that to register a handgun you have to produce it for the police. The police require a test firing and an inspection, among other things, prior to registration. That means that you have to have it beforehand.

Quite a mess, eh?

Thanks Airman

I looked at your links. Semi auto handguns (pistols) are not allowed. Only revolvers.

SCOTUS ruled that handguns fall under the protection of the 2nd.

It’s funny. I was never a big 2nd amendment supporter or thought twice about gun ownership until I saw some of the end around stuff that the anti-gun folks want to do.

The “One more law won’t make a difference to gun owners” anti-gun folks have an agenda. It’s quite clear.

Re: Chicago. I was born there but I now live in Colorado. My understanding is that handguns are legal in Chicago if they are registered.

And Chicago won’t register them. Another end around.

It would be nice if the anti-gun folks showed some honesty.

It is exactly this sort of doubletalk that Heller found unconstitutional. Chicago’s laws are on shaky legal ground.

Yep. Joesph Heller (not the Heller in the SCOTUS case) the author of ‘Catch 22’ would be stunned.

DC resident here.

The city council changed the rules a couple months ago when Congress threatened to legislate in DC. We may now register semi-automatic handguns (in addition to revolvers and long guns). We can register one gun every 30 days. Once physically brought into the District, a gun must immediately be taken to the main police station to begin the registration process.



Thanks for the updates.

Quasi-governmental neighborhood organizations. They often have the ear of the local city council member.

I believe I recall the DC Government contemplating the use of zoning regulations essentially to prevent any gun dealers from opening.

ANCs are a strange beast. It is an elected position but they don’t have a lot of direct authority. They can issue challenges and petitions to the zoning board. Here is the ANC’s website.

I remember the big to do that a local ANC had challenging whether a certificate of occupancy had been properly issued to two restaurants which were fast food places. It can’t have been cheap for them.

The The District's Newest Agencies is the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. They are responsible for issuing business licenses and any sort of permit you may need to do anything in the city. They can make or break any project. It takes forever to get approval to get something done in DC. I can’t imagine the headache that someone trying to open a gun store and range would have in DC.