Last week I wrote about the excessive requirements involved when applying for a CCL in the District of Columbia, including a 16-hour class and a pass or fail shooting qualification.
Not only are the requirements for applying incredibly strenuous, but I’m now finding that even once you’ve cleared those hurdles and received your permit, you’re not any more empowered to defend yourself than you were before.
Even with a CCL for DC, the number of places you can carry is INCREDIBLY low – so low it wouldn’t be worth the effort or price tag for most folks.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the list of MPDC’s prohibited places for concealed carrying a firearm in the District of Columbia – a “shall issue” district.
- Shall not carry a pistol while consuming alcohol or while impaired.
- A building or office occupied by the District of Columbia or its agencies.
- The building and grounds, including any adjacent parking lot of a childcare facility, preschool, elementary or secondary school, or a public or private college or university.
- A hospital or an office where medical or mental health services are the primary services provided.
- A penal institution, secure juvenile residential facility, or halfway house.
- A polling place while voting is occurring.
- A public transportation vehicle, including the Metrorail transit system and its stations.
- Any premises where alcohol is served, sold and consumed on the premises (pursuant to license issued under Title 25 of D.C. Code)
- Stadium or Arena
- Public Gathering or special event open to the public when the organizer has provided notice and posted signage prohibiting the carrying of pistols in advance of the gathering or special event.
- The public memorials on the National Mall and along the Tidal Basin, and any area where firearms are prohibited under federal law or by a federal agency, including the U.S. Capitol buildings and grounds.
- The area around the White House (between Constitution Ave. and H St. and between 15th St. and 17th St. NW)
- The U.S. Naval Observatory and its grounds (from the perimeter of its fence to the curb of Massachusetts Ave. NW from 34th St. south on Massachusetts Ave to Observatory Circle NW)
- When a dignitary or high-ranking official of the United States or a state, local, or foreign government is moving under the protection of the MPD, the U.S Secret Service, the U.S Capitol Police, or other law enforcement agency that does not include a distance greater than 1,000 feet from the moving dignitary (provided notice has been given by signs or an officer’s order).
- A Demonstration in a public place (within a perimeter of 1,000 feet designated by a law enforcement agency, and notice has been given by signs or an officer’s order)
- On private residential property unless authorized by the property owner.
- A place of religious worship unless authorized by the owner or authorized agent.
- Non-residential property that is posted with conspicuous signage prohibiting the carrying of a concealed pistol.
The one that confuses me the most is the ban on carrying within 1,000 feet of a dignitary or high-ranking official while he or she is moving under the protection of a law enforcement agency, provided that notice has been given by signs or an officer’s order.
I’ve lived in the DC area for over 11 years and not once have I seen a sign saying “Attention: Secret Service will be escorting the Ambassador of ______ here at 9:30am tomorrow morning” or something like that. After all, that wouldn’t be very strategic on their part.
Nonetheless, to be carrying a concealed weapon near a motorcade in DC would most certainly be considered illegal and grounds for arresting someone should it be learned that he or she is in possession of a firearm.
This lengthy list of restricted places really begs the question: why grant citizens the right to obtain a CCL if they’re not able to use it? However, like I said last week, at least the District is providing some kind of legal path to obtaining a CCL – unlike most “may issue” states – and that’s still a step in the right direction.