WASHINGTON - As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear the District's gun ban case, the former chief of police has changed his position on the issue.
"Personally I never had a problem with gun registration," said Charles Ramsey, who is set to take over the job of running Philadelphia's police department. "I think there needs to be reasonable control over hand guns, registering a hand gun is a reasonable control."
Ramsey stepped down as D.C.'s top cop after Mayor Adrian Fenty took office.
Appearing on WTOP's Ask the Chief Program, Ramsey said he's taking a realistic approach.
"I realize the down sides of that with kids getting them and shooting, but I think this is a nation that is not going to ban hand guns. So I think you have to take reasonable steps on both sides, in order to ensure that we are at least doing something that is rational."
The comments are a dramatic shift in what Ramsey said when he worked and lived in the District.
Appearing before a congressional hearing in 2005, when Congress was considering overturning the gun ban, Ramsey testified, "adding more guns into the mix is not a good thing."
A year earlier, Ramsey told a congressional hearing on repealing the gun ban.
"There is just nothing good that I could possibly imagine that could come from it."
Ramsey says it's the more dangerous weapons that should be banned.
"If we're going to outlaw something then certainly your assault weapons and more dangerous weapons ought to be totally banned."
Ramsey takes over the top job in Philadelphia where citizens are able to carry concealed weapons.
A decision from the Supreme Court is expected in June of 2008.