D.C. police arresting visitors with spent shell casings

Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by Mike, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Washington Examiner: Warning: D.C. cops under orders to arrest tourists with empty bullet casings (Sept 5 2013)

    Washington police are operating under orders to arrest tourists and other non-residents traveling with spent bullet or shotgun casings, a crime that carries a $1,000 fine, a year in jail and a criminal record, according to a new book about the city's confusing gun laws.

    ...

    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.

    ...

    In her newly debuted book about the difficulty getting a gun in Washington, known for tough anti-gun laws, D.C. Police provided [Emily] Miller with a copy of a recent "roll call" advisory that tells cops to overlook spent casings in the cars and trucks of city residents who have their gun registration certificate with them when detained, despite the law.

    The advisory gives the example of a used .45 cartridge in a SUV's cup holder easily seen by a cop who had pulled a District resident over for an unrelated traffic issue. "In order to comply with the law," said the July 2012 police advisory, "the cartridge case should be stored so it is not accessible from the from the passenger compartment and the driver is, in fact violating the law and could be placed under arrest for this action."

    Because the driver had a copy of his District gun license, arrest was not recommended.

    Tourists without that city license, however, don't get the same treatment, said Miller.
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Also courtesy the Washington Examiner is this material apparently from a D.C. police briefing (font & formatting as is, sorry):

    July 1, 6, 11, 16, 21,26, 31,2012
    Firearms Transportation Laws

    You have stopped an SUV With District plates for a traffic violation. While you are
    obtaining the driver's information, you notice a fired .45 ACP cartridge case in the
    cup holder. You immediately ask the person if they have any Weapons in the car
    and the driver tells you that they have a pistol in the rear space of the SUV and the
    driver gives you permission to retrieve it. In the rear cargo area of the SUV, you
    locate a bag. The bag contains a box of 9 mm ammunition and a hard plastic
    box, which is secured with a lock. The box contains a 9 mm pistol and two empty
    magazines for the pistol. The driver provides you an exact copy of the District of
    Columbia registration certificate for the pistol.

    How should you address the issues related to the firearms'?

    Under District and federal law, if someone is transporting a firearm in a vehicle
    that does not have a compartment separate from the driver's compartment, the
    unloaded firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than
    the glove compartment or console. If the vehicle does have a separate compartment,
    like a trunk, then, the firearm shall be unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any
    ammunition being transported shall be readily accessible or directly accessible from
    the passenger compartment of the transporting vehicle. When transporting a
    firearm, District residents are required to carry either the actual District of
    Columbia registration certificate (PD Form 219) or an exact photocopy at all times.

    In this particular circumstance, the driver has an exact photocopy of the District of
    Columbia registration certificate, and he also has the pistol and the box of
    ammunition stored properly inside his vehicle. The only issue is the single .45 ACP
    cartridge case in the cup holder. While the driver is lawfully in possession of the
    cartridge case, he is not transporting in accordance With the law. In order to comply
    with the law, the cartridge case should be stored so it is not accessible from the
    passenger compartment and the driver is, in fact violating the law and could be
    placed under arrest for this action.

    Members of the department should generally exercise discretion in making arrests
    under this scenario or other similar occurrences. In this particular set of
    circumstances, you should not make an arrest. Rather, you should explain to the
    driver that the cartridge casing is considered ammunition under DC law and should
    be transported so it is not accessible from the passenger compartment, and have the
    driver move it to the rear cargo area. Be sure you also address the traffic violation
    which was the basis of your stop in accordance with departmental policy.

    DRCT July 2012
    Firearms Transportation Laws

    References:

    DC Code ?7-2501.01.

    DC Code 7~2506.01.

    DC Code 224504.02.

    Bill 19-748," Firearms Emergency Amendment Act of 2012, May 11, 2012.
    Traffic Enforcement, April 80, 1992.

    Notice of Infraction Procedures, December 29, 1979.

    TT 05-071-12; Legislation Signed by Mayor Vincent Gray on May 11, 2012, May 11
    2012.
     

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