D.C.’s Sole Gun Dealer Expects Work to Pick Up

Posted September 10, 2008 at 6:41pm

After the June Supreme Court decision that overturned D.C.’s gun ban, many expected Washingtonians to immediately begin stocking up on weapons.

But a quick chat with the city’s only gun dealer, Charles Sykes, shows that is not the case.

Sykes, in fact, does not sell guns. But he is the only person in the District licensed to transfer out-of-state gun registrations to D.C. gun owners. And he says he has only processed about a dozen registrations since the June 26 ruling.

“I’m sure eventually they will [register more guns] once people warm up to it and once the District finishes refining the rules and regulations,” Sykes said. “Everybody just thought there was going to be a rush on people buying guns.”

Sykes operates out of an unmarked and unadvertised shop in Southeast D.C. called CS Exchange Limited. He specializes only in registration and does not sell guns, he says, because he is interested in public safety. Washingtonians who are interested in registering an out-of-state weapon can find Sykes by calling the Metropolitan Police Department.

“I don’t want everyone to know the location so they won’t be knowing that people are coming in and out with firearms. It’s safer for the residents.”

Those who wish to purchase guns must go to a shop in Maryland or Virginia. Once they pay for the weapon, it is shipped to Sykes, who is federally licensed to run the appropriate security checks on the individual and ultimately file the paperwork with the police.

“I want to be safe doing this,” Sykes said. “And I want the public to feel halfway safe when they come to see me.”