A new gun re-registration law is going into effect today, January 2, 2014.
The Washington, DC area is the first in America to establish a law requiring legal gun owners to re-register their firearms, which involves going to a police station to be photographed and fingerprinted, and paying a $48 fee. Every DC resident who had registered as a firearm owner since 1976 will have to abide by the law, according to an article in the Washington Times.
Should gun owners fail to re-register, they could face up to $1,000 in fines and a year in jail.
There are an estimated 30,000 registered gun owners in the area, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. An alert in the Washington Times will run on Monday, paid for by the department.
Instead of being satisfied with the requirements of the FBI’s National Instant Background Checks System (NICS), which is used across the country for gun sales and transfers from licensed dealers and applications for a concealed-carry permit, the District of Columbia is taking things a few steps further, with photographs and fingerprints.
While there is no charge for an NICS check, electronic fingerprint background checks will cost gun owners $35. D.C. gun owners will also have to pay an additional $13 fee to register their gun. Funds collected during the re-registration are reportedly going towards a general city fund.
The fingerprint and photograph requirements are the subject of a federal court case filed under the name “Heller II,” which is disputing the legalities of the registration.
Read about an emerging case in Massachusetts that could change hunting interference regulations.