America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 47

unless the person or organization
holds a valid registration certificate
for the firearm." Possession of an
unregistered firearm is punishable
by imprisonment for one year and a
$1,000 fine, and a second offense can
get offenders five years in jail and a
$5,000 fine.
To find a legal precedent for
having a registry for long guns, d.c.'s
attorneys had to get very creative.
They actually cited an 1896 law from
the Republic of Hawaii that required
a license to possess a firearm: In 1896
Hawaii was, of course, an independent
and undemocratic country. (Hawaii
became a state in 1959.)
d.c. attorneys also argued that "laws
requiring the registration of certain
types of long guns at the federal level
has [sic] proven 'highly successful' in
reducing the use of such long-guns in
crime." They naturally don't cite any
data or study to back up this claim.
Attorneys for the District also cite an
1893 Florida statute that empowered
officials to grant a license to carry
a pistol or repeating rifle. This law,
however, didn't require a license to
possess a firearm and was only passed,
according to one of the justices at the
time, "for the purpose of disarming
the negro laborers."
This should, of course, lead
any reasonable person to next
ask why, after the Supreme Court
decided Heller in 2008, did the
d.c. government decide to create
a re-registration scheme for guns?
Halbrook notes that d.c.'s "own
witnesses cite no studies showing
that periodic registration renewal or
reporting requirements reduce crime
or protect police officers."
Actually, d.c. Police Chief Lanier
and the officers who oversee the
Firearms Registration Section are
quoted in Halbrook's brief admitting
that there were only two handgun
applications denied by d.c. in 2011
and 2012. During that period, not a
single rifle or shotgun application was
refused. To sensible people, this isn't
surprising. Criminals aren't having
themselves voluntarily fingerprinted
and photographed, they're carrying
guns when and where they see fit.
Other figures fill out the picture.

According to d.c. records, from 2007
to 2013 the police seized 12,000
unregistered firearms. Meanwhile, law
enforcement only seized 36 registered
guns during this same period. Of
those 36 guns, only 17 were involved
in charges against a registered firearm
owner. Of those 17 cases, only two
resulted in convictions for a violent
crime. So statistically and rationally
speaking, the good guys with the
guns-the ones being burdened by the
gun control regulations-are clearly
not the problem.
Incredibly, this lawsuit has even
made it clear that officers responding
to calls are not being informed if there
is a registered firearm at the location.
Police cars aren't equipped with a

computer that can access the firearm
registry, and dispatchers can't check the
registration database.
However you add it up, the entire
system is obviously a gauntlet designed
to prevent law-abiding citizens from
exercising their gun rights.
If this case makes it to the u.s.
Supreme Court, it will surely be used
as a precedent in other cases where
citizens are challenging burdensome
restrictions to their right to keep and
bear arms. But there are likely years
of litigation to come before Dick
Heller and the rest of d.c.'s law-abiding
residents might get the chance to carry
guns for self-defense and, thereby, use
their constitutional freedom to help
create a safer society.

D.C. CONVICTS RESIDENT FOR
MUZZLELOADER BULLETS
MARK WITASCHEK, A FINANCIAL ADVISOR, was in his D.C. home with his children
one evening in 2012 when police showed up with a search warrant. They
put him in handcuffs and searched his home, where they found a single
shotgun shell.
The shell was a dud that had failed to go off when Witaschek had been on
a pheasant hunt. At the time, he kept his guns and ammunition at his sister's
house in Virginia. But he'd kept the shotgun shell as a memento of the hunt.
The police also found some muzzleloader bullets. They didn't find any
gunpowder or primers-basic requirements for propelling such bullets-just
the copper-and-lead bullets. For these supposed infractions, officers arrested
Witaschek, and he spent the night behind bars.
Though Witaschek had no prior criminal record, D.C. Attorney General
Irvin Nathan decided to prosecute him for possessing the "ammunition."
You'll remember Nathan as the attorney general who opted not to
prosecute NBC News anchor David Gregory in January 2013 for possessing
a banned "high-capacity" magazine in Washington, D.C., for television
propaganda supporting a magazine ban. Yet he prosecuted a resident with
no criminal record for having a dud shotgun shell and some muzzleloader
bullets.
In March, Robert E. Morin, an associate judge for the Superior Court of the
District of Columbia, found Witaschek guilty of "attempted possession of
unlawful ammunition" for the muzzleloader bullets. The judge wasn't able to
decide whether the shotgun shell with its primer pushed in was illegal.
In fact, the judge shook the shell and remarked he couldn't hear powder
in it. He wanted it cut open, but was told that wasn't safe to do outside a
laboratory. The prosecuting attorney tried to find a lab, but couldn't locate
one in D.C. that could open the shell in time. So the judge sentenced
Witaschek to time served, a $50 fine and required him to enroll with
the Metropolitan Police Department's firearm offenders' registry within
48 hours for the muzzleloader bullets charge.
Witaschek is appealing the decision. Meanwhile, he's no longer willing to
live in our nation's capital. Witaschek has moved just outside D.C. to Virginia.
America's

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America's First Freedom - June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - June 2014

America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 1
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 2
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 3
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 4
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 5
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 6
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 7
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 8
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 9
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America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 11
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 12
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 13
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 14
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America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 16
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 17
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 18
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 19
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 20
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 21
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America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 25
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 26
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 27
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 28
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 29
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 30
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 31
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 32
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 33
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 34
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 35
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 36
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 37
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 38
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 39
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 40
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 41
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 42
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 43
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 44
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 45
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 46
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 47
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 48
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 49
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