If you’re a shooter and are planning a trip to our nation’s capitol, be careful — leave your weapons at home and thoroughly clean out your vehicle. D.C. police have been ordered to look for empty shotgun shells and brass when pulling people over because the penalty for their possession is severe, the Washington Examiner recently noted.
In the city where men and women gather to ostensibly protect our rights, possession of an empty cartridge casing or shotgun shell carries the same penalty as that for unlawful possession of a firearm, according to the Examiner.
“Empty shell casings are considered ammunition in Washington, D.C., so they are illegal to possess unless you are a resident and have a gun registration certificate,” writes Washington Times Senior Opinion Editor Emily Miller in her investigative book, “Emily Gets Her Gun: … But Obama Wants to Take Yours.”
The Examiner reported:
Under the law, live or empty brass and plastic casings must be carried in a special container and unavailable to drivers. Having one, for example, in a cup holder or ash tray is illegal.
Miller told the Examiner that local police are “under orders to arrest tourists or other legal gun owners from out of state who wouldn’t think to empty brass and plastic from their cars or pockets.”
She notes that the nation’s capitol has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
Miller called the D.C. law idiotic. “A brass candlestick can do more harm than an empty brass casing. I often have empty casings in my bags and clothes from when they fly off at the range, or as souvenirs,” she wrote.
The law limiting the transportation of guns, ammunition and empty casings was enacted in 2009 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city’s outright ban on guns the year before.
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