Most of you know that Washington DC and Illinois are the two places in the country where you cannot conceal carry a firearm. The last two years
there have been two disturbing stories about military personnel being put in jail and their weapons being taken from them.
The first episode involves Lt. Augustine Kim which we will discuss in this post and I will put up another post for the second story involving the Washington DC Police department and firearms.
Lt. Kim was a M1A1 tank platoon leader in Afghanistan and was severely injured in a vehicle crash breaking his arm and shattering several bones in his face. He was flown back to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington to have treatment on his facial injuries. Lt. Kim collects and works on firearms and before he deployed had left his gun collection at his parents home in New Jersey for safe keeping. The collection consisted of one Colt Carbine AR15 rifle, a Beretta 92S 9mm, and a custom Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 caliber. He also had some spare parts.
Here is what happened as written by The Washington Times journalist Emily Miller: Click Here For The Whole Story
Arrested Driving Through D.C.
Returning to South Carolina on June 30, 2010, Mr. Kim stopped at Walter Reed for a doctor’s appointment. Afterwards, he got lost while driving his two-door Honda Civic in downtown D.C. in the evening. He was pulled over by police.
The officer said that his driver’s license had been suspended. He was unaware of this. He found out the next morning that it was wrongly suspended due to a clerical error in which North Carolina incorrectly reported to South Carolina that he didn’t pay a speeding ticket. Mr. Kim called and had this cleared up the next morning.
However, because of the suspended license, the D.C. police officer called for backup, and told Mr. Kim he would have to go to the police station. Then the cops asked Mr. Kim if they could search his vehicle. The lieutenant agreed because his guns were properly locked in a case in the trunk, in compliance with federal firearm transport laws. Mr. Kim was handcuffed and told to sit on the curb during the search.
He recalled that the officers inspected the collection and “were upset about the fact that I had the AR-15, which D.C. considers to be an ‘assault weapon.’” The model of rifle is illegal in the District, but not in his home state. The officers then told Mr. Kim he was in violation for the carrying firearms outside the home (in his vehicle) in the District. The nation’s capital does not acknowledge the right to bear arms, so there are no carry rights.
“I told them I had been under the impression that as long as the guns were locked in the back, with the ammunition separate, that I was allowed to transport them,” Mr. Kim told me in an interview. “They said, ‘That may be true, however, since you stopped at Walter Reed, that make you in violation of the registration laws.” It is illegal to possess a firearm anywhere in D.C. other than the home.
Mr. Kim’s attorney, Richard Gardiner, said his client was lawfully transporting the firearms, and that would have been his defense if the matter went to trial. “The mistake he made was agreeing to a search of his vehicle,” the attorney explained in an interview. “If the police ask for consent to search, the answer is ‘no.’ If they ask, ‘why not?’ The answer is, ‘no.’”
After loading the gun cases into the squad car to be used as evidence, the police took Mr. Kim to police headquarters. He was booked on four felony counts of carrying outside the home. The maximum penalty for all these charges would be a $20,000 fine and 20 years imprisonment.
The veteran spent a “few hours in the drunk tank,” then was moved to the central jail. It was cold on the steel slab, so he asked the police guard for a blanket. “He was surly with me and sarcastic. He said, ‘Oh you want blankets? Well they’re back ordered,’” Mr. Kim recalled. “I remember thinking, we treated detainees in Afghanistan better than this.” He didn’t get much sleep that night.
This is an amazing story of how the governmental powers that ‘control us’ pheasants is out of control. It should make every freedom loving American stand up and take notice. It should also scare you into trying to do something about it. The story goes on that after months of legal proceedings and attempts by the city to get Lt. Kim to agree to lesser charges all charges were dismissed in May 2011.
Of course, they kept his guns though. In fact, it was not until just three days ago finally the Washington DC Police Department agreed to return his weapons to Lt. Kim by Memorial Day. How fitting!
Here is how Emily Miller reported it in the Times:
The active duty soldier who had his guns confiscated by the District of Columbia two years ago will have his property returned by Memorial Day. It took the help of a high-powered lawyer, two U.S. Senators, a member of Congress and national publicity to force the obstinate District to show some respect for the Constitution. It should never happen again.
On Friday, D.C. property clerk Derek Gray (photo, at left) determined the city would finally return 1st Lt. Augustine Kim’s “dangerous articles”
because the Army national guardsman fulfilled the plea agreement arranged with the U.S. attorney’s office a year earlier. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrested Lt. Kim on four felony charges of carrying firearms in the District after he was pulled over with the items securely stored in his trunk, as is allowed under federal law.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, spoke with Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on Thursday. Fellow Palmetto State Republican Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Tim Scott have also been engaged. “When you get two senior U.S. senators and a member of Congress calling the chief of police, it makes a difference,” Mr. Gardiner (Kim’s Lawyer) explained. MPD would transfer the guns to a police department near Lt. Kim’s home in Charleston, S.C. next week.
There is ANOTHER even more outrageous story involving Washington DC Police and a veteran that I will post next. Stay tuned! Tweet and send this article to all your friends!
Here an interview with Lt. Kim Below