The Metropolitan Police Department said on Friday it would not allow any exemptions to enforcement of the city's ban on AR-15s despite gun control activists' plan to bring the firearms into the city and destroy them as a part of the March for Our Lives.
"AR-15s are banned in D.C. and we expect all who visit to adhere to our laws," Rachel Reid, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department, told the Washington Free Beacon. "There will be no exemptions to this law."
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the organizers of the March 24 gun-control rally are planning to "include a protest outside the White House in which unloaded AR-15 rifles, the weapon used by the Parkland gunman, would be destroyed." The paper said the organizers intend for the demonstration to prod President Donald Trump "to get such weapons out of the hands of civilians."
Under current law in Washington, D.C., however, AR-15s are illegal to possess anywhere in the city. Washington requires that all firearms within the city be registered but does not allow the registration of so-called assault weapons, making them illegal. The city specifically includes AR-15s by name in its definition of an "assault weapon" as well as a number of other semiautomatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns.
The March for Our Lives is a demonstration in favor of new gun-control measures that is led in part by survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were murdered. The organizers have applied for permits from the National Park Service and the Metropolitan Police Department. They have not yet finalized a plan for where exactly the march will take place within the city.
It is unclear if March for Our Lives organizers plan to carry out the AR-15 demonstration in violation of D.C. law. The March for Our Lives did not immediately return a request for comment.