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D.C. Council May Waive Waiting Period For Gun Owners

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The D.C. Council is considering making the District itself a licensed gun dealer, after the city's only licensed gun dealer temporarily closed up shop earlier this year.
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The D.C. Council is considering making the District itself a licensed gun dealer, after the city's only licensed gun dealer temporarily closed up shop earlier this year.

Last week, Charles Sykes, the city's only federally-licensed gun dealer, announced he was shutting down his shop while he looks for a new place to open his business.

That means despite the landmark 2008 Supreme Court decision overturning the city's historic ban on handguns, right now there is effectively no way for residents to legally bring a gun home.

Sykes didn't sell guns, but he was the only dealer licensed to register handguns purchased outside of the District. There are no gun stores in D.C. and federal law prohibits guns purchased in one state to be taken into another jurisdiction without a federally licensed dealer serving as the middleman.

Council member Phil Mendelson introduced a measure Tuesday that temporarily waives the 10-day waiting period for new gun owners in the District. It doesn't change the fact there is no licensed gun dealer at the moment, but it would reduce the delay for gun owners when Sykes or another dealer opens up shop.

"This doesn't solve the problem but this ameliorates the problem to some extent and sends a message that we are sensitive to the burden to potential gun owners," says Mendelson.

Mendelson says he expects the city to have a licensed gun dealer operating again within a month.

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