Thirty-two years after banning most D.C. residents from possessing handguns, the Washington’s city government opened its doors yesterday to applicants seeking permission to own revolvers after the Supreme Court declared the city’s tough firearms restrictions unconstitutional. The city received just one application, says the Washington Post. Bracing for a crowd at the registration office, officials set up a reception counter in the lobby and used portable metal railings to reserve one of the building’s entrances for “gun registry applicants.”
Police gave out 58 registration packets to people stopping by for the materials. Only two people showed up to apply to register handguns, and one was turned away by police officials because he didn’t bring his weapon with him, as the registration rules require. “We didn’t think there was going to be a big rush,” Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. “We’d always rather be overprepared than underprepared.” The would-be applicant who was turned away was Capitol Hill resident Dick A. Heller, whose lawsuit prompted the Supreme Court ruling that scuttled the city’s strict firearms control laws.