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D.C. approves new gun laws

Wed., July 16, 2008

WASHINGTON – The District of Columbia Council approved new firearms legislation Tuesday that will allow residents to begin applying for handgun permits this week.

The council’s unanimous vote comes as officials try to comply with last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the city’s 32-year-old ban on handguns.

The emergency legislation will allow handguns to be kept in the home if they are used only for self-defense and carry fewer than 12 rounds of ammunition.

Handguns, as well as other legal firearms such as rifles and shotguns, also must be kept unloaded and disassembled, or equipped with trigger locks – unless there is a “reasonably perceived threat of immediate harm” in the home.

Gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, said at least some of the new regulations will likely be challenged.

The emergency legislation will remain in effect for 90 days, and the council expects to begin work in September on permanent legislation.


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