A loaded issue: Newspaper editor gets her gun
February 8th, 2012
05:33 PM ET
10 years ago

A loaded issue: Newspaper editor gets her gun

(CNN) – It has been her target for four months: legally own a gun in DC.

And today, Emily Miller, an opinion editor for the Washington Times who has chronicled her journey through what she sees as the Washington, DC's maze of firearms regulations, brought home her Sig Sauer P229 9mm handgun.

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In the wake of a 2008 US Supreme Court decision striking down the district's three-decade old handgun ban, the city scrambled to create a system for firearm registration and tracking. In a series of posts to The Washington Times website, Miller makes a case for simplifying the process which is in place now nearly four years later – a process which she portrays as a labyrinth of sometimes redundant and consistently complex regulations and procedures.

Restrictive regulations and the associated costs keep otherwise law-abiding individuals from registering their guns in DC, she told CNN. "All these laws are doing is keeping people who want to abide by the law from getting one," Miller said.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city's long-standing ban in a high profile 2008 case - District of Columbia v. Heller - but left room for some restrictions, such as a registration procedure. Individuals are allowed to own and store handguns, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. The city will not register machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and some semi-automatic weapons, and individuals are not allowed to carry a gun.

Miller said her journey to handgun ownership began as frightening and personal before it became an endeavor of opinion journalism.

"I was home during a home invasion and I had to spend the night in that house," Miller told CNN in telephone interview. "If I had a gun by the bed I would feel so much safer."

She has testified in a city review of gun regulations, as has an attorney representing The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a spokeswoman for the organization told CNN.

"One of the reasons we strongly support the District of Columbia's gun laws, is we think that anybody who wants to exercise the responsibility that is gun ownership should be primarily concerned with protecting the lives of innocent people," Caroline Brewer said. "There are obviously a number of different steps and the processes are there because they are trying to take the greatest care to make sure that the people who receive these guns are responsible."

A Wednesday afternoon call to the Metropolitan Police Department was not returned.

Miller brought her Sig Sauer home Wednesday aboard the city's mass transportation, the Metro, and posted photos of her experience to Twitter and her blog. Now that she has her gun, what next?

"Now that I've gotten it home I'm going to take a couple of days off," from navigating the world of firearms regulations, she said.

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Filed under: Gun rights
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Maik Myday

    America's theme song: Happiness is a Warm Gun.

    February 8, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Mr. Moderate

    It is sad to see someone live their life in such fear and paranoia of their fellow man that they feel the need to be armed at all times. Fact is if she is not in a gang or involved in drug dealing, the chances of something happening to her are quite remote.

    February 8, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Richard Porterhouse

    "All these laws are doing is keeping people who want to abide by the law from getting one," Miller said.

    That more or less sounds like 'I've love to obey the law if I didn't dislike how it worked'. Laws keeping law abiding citizens from obeying the law. Lovely.

    February 8, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Hobbitea Baggins

    Isn't it funny how crooks can carry, threaten, and kill with one, but a law abiding citizen has to go through a blizzard of rules and regulations just to protect one self from the crooks? In my state as of last year they changed the CC law to say: can issue, to will issue, (for those who are eligible). And.......are you ready for this.......I am a liberal Democrat!

    February 8, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. David Reston, VA

    I've been following Emily's story for some time. DC's gun laws are so unbelievable bureaucratic! Good for Emily for sticking it out.

    February 8, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. Larry L

    Some thug will take it away from her and beat her with it!

    February 8, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. Rob in MO

    The idea of this person packing heat is pretty scary to law-abiding folks.

    February 8, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. MWM

    What good is concealed carry when people don't know when or how to use a gun? Arizona has very relaxed laws. I find it hard to believe that there were no guns in the crowd that could have stopped the shooting. Before you second amendment freaks get your knickers in a knot you need to know I am retired military with pistol sharpshooter qualification.

    February 8, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. sittingduck

    The Sig 229 is a great choice although a little large to carry concealed. Congratulations to Ms. Miller for exercising her right to self protection. I certainly hope she gets extensive training as part of being a responsible gun owner. I pray she never has to use the gun.

    February 8, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. Aaron

    Looks like the girl could have done some investigative work to actually help someone out...like long it takes to get food stamps for children without nothing to eat, medical care for people that are sick and don't have insurance. But, making sure that every American household is armed to the teeth surely has its merits in her ever so tiny brain.

    February 8, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  11. Corwin7

    Stay tuned for tomorrows headline..."Reporter shoots neighbor over loud music"...

    February 8, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Did she buy the Pink Sig 9mm ?

    February 8, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  13. Ramesh Shrestha

    How about making America totally gun free?

    February 8, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |