Handgun's Color Leads to Lawsuit
By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A D.C. woman filed suit in U.S. District Court yesterday, claiming that the city would not let her register a pistol because of its color.
Tracey A. Hanson argued that her application to register a .45-caliber semiautomatic was denied because the gun is not on the California Safe Handgun Roster, which is the standard in the city.
Hanson tried to register a two-tone, stainless steel/black pistol, according to the suit. But the list has that model in olive drab green, dark earth or black, not in two-tone, stainless/black, the suit asserts. Hanson said rejection for that reason "seemed so arbitrary."
The lawsuit, which lists Hanson and two other people as plaintiffs, was filed by Alan Gura, who argued the Supreme Court case that overturned the city's handgun ban. Arbitrary requirements bring "nonsensical results," Gura said. The suit asks that the city be barred from enforcing gun regulations based on the California list.
Peter Nickles, the city's attorney general, said he had not seen the lawsuit and could not discuss its details.But he said he is confident that the D.C. regulations are "completely appropriate" under the Second Amendment.
Correction to This Article
This article on a handgun lawsuit misstated the name of a list of handguns certified for registration in the District. The standard is the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale, also known as the California Roster of Handguns Determined Not to Be Unsafe.
Yeah, we all know how unsafe those two-tones semiautos are. The flash of the stainless steel can be used to temporarily blind surveillance cameras, and the matte black finishes can be nearly invisible to x-ray machines, making them easy to smuggle into airports...
Tracey Ambeau Hanson, tried to register a Springfield Armory XD-45 Tactical 5" Bi-Tone stainless steel and black handgun. But because the California list only includes that model in Black, Green and Dark Earth models, her registration was bounced...
Is Peter Nickles (and the State of California for that matter) on CRACK? I thought Marion Berry took all teh crackrocks with him when he moved out of the mayors office. I guess he ust have left his Rolodex full of dealers phone numbers...
And this arbitrary list of firearms is based on what criteria exactly? I'll tell you what. It's based on the manufacturers ability and willingness to submit EVERY variant of EVERY firearm they make for testing (which they must pay for!) in order to be included. Thsi is why guns like the standard-issue Para Ordnance P-14.45 ARE on the list, but their super-custom versions like the Todd Jarrett Edition are not.
And a firearm like mine--custom-built from a "gunsmith white" frame and parts of numerous sources by one of the TOP 1911 smiths in the world--would NOT be legal to register because it's a "one-of-a-kind" and not on the California list.
The safety, reliability, and function of a firearm has NOTHING to do with inclusion on or exclusion from this list. It's all about who has enough money to pay for the testing and is willing to ship a truck full of guns to CA for testing (and pay CA to perform that testing).
I'd LOVE to see this woman win her case--it would essentially force DC to drop reliance on the CA Approved list, but because it's a DC case, it would unfortunately have no bearing on cases in CA.
However, knowing the DC courts, I think that her case may never even be heard, and if it is, the courts will