Democrats keep trying to take guns away from the poor
From The Hill newspaper:
A prominent Chicago Democrat will propose legislation this week designed to ban the production of low-quality handguns, known informally as "Saturday night specials."
Although Washington's gun-control debate has focused largely on more imposing weapons, like military-style assault rifles, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is going after the handguns that are used much more frequently by violent criminals, particularly in urban settings like his hometown, where shootings are a daily plague. . . .
Under current federal law, foreign-made handguns that fail to meet certain safety criteria outlined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are not allowed into the United States. In determining whether a handgun is legal for import, the ATF weighs features like firing-pin locks, loaded-chamber indicators, the quality of grip and what type of metal was used in construction.
But the same standards to do not apply to handguns produced domestically. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Act explicitly exempts firearms and ammunition from its consumer-safety rules.
The gun lobby and other supporters of the current law say the smaller, lighter handguns are ideal for self-defense, and that efforts to apply tougher standards on manufacturers are misguided. . . . . .Of course, you have the few handgun permits that are given out in Chicago and DC to wealth individuals or the concealed handgun permits in NYC.
From the Washington Post, you can see a mention of the costs over and above the licensing fees:
In the District's poorest, most crime-scarred precinct, Ward 8 in far Southeast, residents have registered about 140 guns. In Ward 3 in upper Northwest, where the violent-crime rate is nearly 10 times lower and the average family income is more than five times higher, about twice as many firearms have been registered. . . .
In the District, the middleman is Charles Sykes Jr., the city's only licensed firearms dealer. He works quietly, without advertising, in a hard-to-find office in Southeast.
After Grinage picked out his Glock at a store in Maryland, he arranged for it to be shipped to Sykes's office. That allowed him to formally buy the gun in the District, for which Sykes charged a $125 fee. Skyes has said that he acts only as an intermediary and doesn't stock firearms at his office on Good Hope Road. . . . .I couldn't find the original article in the Washington Post, but this summarizes it pretty well.
When a Post reporter tested the registration process, he found that it cost $834 — dwarfing the cost of most weapons. Moreover, registration required 16 hours, four trips to the police department, two background checks, fingerprints, photos, a vision test, a five-hour class and a 20-question examination. No wonder only 1,400 firearms have been registered since June 2008 in a city of 600,000 people. . . .