Benjamin Srigley saw several pit bulls attacking an 11-year-old boy, so he ran into his home, retrieved his handgun, ran back, and shot one of the dogs. A bicycle policeman arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and shot the other two dogs.
Here comes the twist: This incident happened in Washington, D.C., and even though the Supreme Court declared the city’s gun control regulations unconstitutional in 2008, the city government is still quite hostile to gun ownership. How hostile? Well, prosecutors offered Srigley a “deal”: pay a $1,000 fine and they would drop criminal charges against him. Turns out Srigley had lawfully purchased firearms when he lived outside D.C., but he had not registered them when he moved into D.C.
What kind of government would demand money from a guy who just saved a child’s life? The boy’s family can’t believe what is happening to their knight in shining armor. Srigley is now planning to move out of the city. One wonders if District officials can see any connection between their fine and the move.
On June 4, Cato will be hosting an event about the landmark Heller ruling. Registration information can be found here.