A Washington, D.C., Council committee has agreed to roll back some city rules for possessing a firearm, including eliminating a vision test, a five-hour training course, ballistics testing, and a ban on some types of ammunition, the Washington Post reports. The bill, which comes as the city is still assimilating the 2008 Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban on owning a handgun, faces an uncertain future when it comes up for debate before the full council this month.
Council member Phil Mendelson, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is trying to reform city gun laws that are widely viewed as the toughest in the nation. The new rules are designed to insulate the city from lawsuits while streamlining rules that require residents who wish to keep a handgun at home to register their weapons with the city. While the number of legal gun owners in the District remains small, the city continues to face court challenges and scrutiny over its gun laws. This year, the Washington Times detailed a cumbersome set of regulations that often meant a months-long process for a resident to legally acquire a handgun in the District.