Thursday, July 31, 2008

HR 6691 Would Repeal DC Gun Ban

This is only a wild guess, but I'm thinking that the House Democrat leadership saw the writing on the wall & decided to compromise. Better for them to allow the vote because they are willing to let the voice of the people be heard rather than because they were forced to by a petition process. Just a guess.

From the NRA-ILA:

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fairfax, VA -- Today, in a bi-partisan effort, Congressman Travis Childers, Congressmen John Dingell, John Tanner, Mike Ross and Mark Souder, along with 47 of their colleagues, introduced the Second Amendment Enforcement Act (H.R. 6691). This critical legislation overturns D.C.'s recently enacted emergency laws that continue to defy the recent Supreme Court ruling by continuing to restrict District of Columbia residents' right to self-defense. This National Rifle Association-backed bill is needed to enforce the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.

On June 26, the U. S. Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller that "the District's ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense." The Supreme Court clearly stated that handguns are constitutionally-protected arms because they are commonly used, are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, are considered by the American people to be the quintessential self-defense weapon, are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home and are the most preferred firearm in the nation to keep and use for protection of home and family.

The Second Amendment Enforcement Act will:

* Repeal the District's ban on semi-automatic handguns. Semi-automatic pistols have been the most commonly purchased handguns in the United States over the last 20 years, and therefore a ban on those firearms is unconstitutional as decided by Heller;

* Restore the right of self-defense by repealing the requirement that firearms be disassembled or secured with a trigger lock in the home;

* Repeal the current D.C. registration system that requires multiple visits to police headquarters; ballistics testing; passing a written test on D.C. gun laws; fingerprinting; and limiting registration to one handgun per 90 days. The current system is unduly burdensome and serves as a vehicle for even more onerous restrictions; and

* Create a limited exemption to the federal ban on interstate handgun sales by allowing D.C. residents to purchase handguns in Virginia and Maryland. Currently there are no firearms dealers in the District of Columbia, and the federal ban prohibits residents from purchasing handguns outside of the District; therefore, District residents have no means of purchasing handguns.

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Jay21 said...

While the idea of a "house resolution" in this case is beneficial to gun rights, it is another example of the federal government imposing on the sovereignty of states/territories. Bad is bad, even for a good cause. i feel for the citizens of DC, but there is a beeter way then involving the federal government.
Just my $.02

Dustin said...

That is a very good point. It might be argued that the Federal government has gotten involved multiple times to protect civil rights such as when they forced the removal of slavery against the will of the States, but I see your point in any case.

West, By God said...

Regardless, DC is not a state... the city government only has the power directly granted by Congress. The Constitution says that Congress controls the District, so whatever they want to do there that doesn't violate the rest of the Constitution is fine. Even if it means dissolving the local gov't, so be it.

Anonymous said...

I was about to comment, but "west, by god" said it for me.

Dustin said...

That is a good point as well West & Anon. Washington DC is itself a Federal entity with ultimate control in the hands of the Federal Government itself. It was a wise move by our Founders to set it up that way. We wouldn't want the population of DC to have control over the location where our Federal Government conducts all of its affairs. Imagine a power hungry Mayor Fenty who in conjunction with the DC Council & his appointed Chief of Police could decide to enact local laws allowing him throw in jail all members of congress other than those who submit to his bidding. An extreme example I know, but here in Arizona we actually have a law that makes it illegal for Police officers to "detain" Senators while the legislature is in session. I understand that law was enacted when a Chief of Police temporarily "detained" one or more Senators who were going to vote the "wrong" way if they had been allowed to be present for the vote.

Jay21 said...

Agreed that is why i included territories under imposement. my main point is that Congressional action in direct reaction to any laws in DC, can and will affect laws else where. Federal legislation is rarely the answer to any problem.

Anonymous said...

As a DC resident and strong Anti-Federalist I'm torn here. I would be against congress doing anything besides filing group amicus briefs in cities like Chicago or San Fran but in the case of DC, the constitution actually grants this power to the federal gov't (rare for anything they do these days). I'll live with it, and hopefully be "living legal" soon.