City Desk

Local Gun-Owning Democrat Visited by Police, Pledges Legal Compliance

Last week, LL brought you the story of Lenwood Johnson, the Columbia Heights resident and D.C. Democratic State Committee member who voted against a voting-rights resolution, and while in the process of explaining why he did so, explained to LL that he keeps an unregistered handgun.

"It's no big deal with me, owning a gun or not owning a gun," Johnson said last Wednesday. "I'm not going to register mine."

But Johnson's now changed his tune.

You see, on Saturday, D.C. police showed up at the door of his apartment. They explained that they were there, he says, due to a "citizen's complaint" about his illicit heat.

Johnson allowed them to search the premises, but they went away empty-handed. In the wake of the house call, he's backed off his open scofflawism: "All I can say is that if anyone ever sees me with a gun in my possession, I will certainly be in absolute compliance with all the applicable gun laws and regulations of the jurisdiction where the gun is in my possession."

Apparently Gilbert Arenas' plight—the police visit came not 24 hours after the soon-to-be-ex-Wizard pleaded guilty in Superior Court to felony gun possession, a charge carrying a five-year maximum sentence—made an impression on one gun owner. "If I have gun in the District, I will register it, I certainly don't want to get into any unnecessary crazy trouble. Looking at all that [Arenas has] gone's just not worth it."

But don't think that's led Johnson to betray his principles on gun regulation: "There are a whole lot of things I'm opposed to," he says, " but I see it's necessary to do them to stay out of trouble. It's something I will continue to fight."

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  • Anonymous

    What a douche. Since he owns a gun illegally, presumably he favors the loosening of gun restrictions? But now that he can legally register it, he shoots off his mouth about how he's not going to?

    I hope the cops visit him once a week until he registers his dick. I mean gun. If it's no big deal then why doesn't he shut his pie hole and get rid of the damn thing.

  • Former Staffer

    He doesn't own it illegally. The ownership is lawful under the 2nd Amendment. It's the lack of registration Anon that is unlawful.

  • Anonymous

    So, if I said someone is driving a car illegally, because it was not registered, or they didn't have a license, or they were speeding, then ... no? Okay. Umm.

    He owns a gun illegally. Yes, the lack of registration is what makes his ownership illegal.

    I am really not sure what the point of your comment was, except to say "I am a gun lover, and even as I don't dispute that he's breaking the law, I will make sure to remind you about the 2nd Amendment which has nothing to do with the law he's breaking."

  • Dave

    Reading between the lines here, it sounds like he's saying he does have guns but he keeps them in a location that is not Washington D.C. - Virginia perhaps? If this is the case, it would explain why the MPD cops didn't find his piece (pieces?) at his home. It would also explain why he hasn't registered them.

  • JohnD

    Don't forget Gilbert was charged with possessing an unregistered firearm "in a place other than his home or place of business." It looks like it may be a great offense if you have an unregistered firearm and you take it outside, versus having one in your house. Just a clarification.

  • Anonymous

    I am looking very hard between the lines but I'm not seeing that. No, pretty much, just "I'm not going to register mine." Nothing about "because I don't keep in in a place where it's legal to have unregistered handguns"...

    Oh, never mind, just go read the damn story that this references.

    "Johnson also informed LL that he in fact owns a gun, which he keeps in his home---"and I take it out with me, too."

  • Dave

    Yes but which home? It is possible, Anonymous, that he has two residences, one of which located in a more gun-friendly jurisdiction - Virginia perhaps? Or maybe after DeBonis' first post on this story, dude decided to move his guns from D.C. to Va. Either way, I can envision myriad circumstances under which this guy is complying with the law. However, only he knows for sure.

  • Grumpy

    Funny how Police pass dudes that they KNOW are carrying illegally but go to this guy's house. There are known dudes that hold and everyone knows it but it's easier to approach this dude then the younguns.

    Now who has the better chance of killing or maiming someone, this guy running for office or some bucknutty youngun?

    Enforce the law across the board

  • Truth Hurts

    Johnson told LL he keeps a gun in his DC home, that it's not registered in DC, and that he sometimes carries it outside his home in DC. That's illegal and MPD was right to check it out. Either: 1) he removed it before police arrived; 2) the cops did a lousy search; or 3) his statement to LL was b.s. and he was just trying to be a tough guy. No matter what's true, he comes off as a jerk.

  • nogunhereofficer

    Wait a minute. Did the cops have a warrant or not? If yes, will a D.C. judge really issue a warrant on such grounds? If not, on what basis did they demand access to a citizen's home? The guy's got a big mouth, but that doesn't mean he loses his rights.

  • downtown rez

    He said he owned and carried an unregistered gun. That statement was picked up and published by the press.
    What part of this confuses you?
    Nevermind, forget I asked. I don't really care.
    Just try this experiment: Walk into your local MPD station and say "I own and carry an unregistered handgun" and see what happens.

  • DC Resident

    Odds are that silly Lenwood does not own a gun and has never fired one. He probably is seeking a little publicity which the City Paper provided. Once again it looks like Lenwood's need for attention and his big mouth has gotten him in trouble.

  • beatbox

    I can't believe he consented to a search.

  • Latonia Giamichael

    The Shoei is very outstanding however at $1800, it is really a little high for my blood, too. I would prefer to possess the Classic Army minigun although.