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House Members Attempt to Re-Introduce Gun Bill

Guest Jaline Quinto

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Guest Jaline Quinto

Representatives Mark Souder (R-IN) and Mike Ross (D-AR) have moved to introduce a bill to repeal DC's gun control laws, even after the Supreme Court has already ruled that the existing laws are unconstitutional in the historic District of Columbia v. Heller case.


Though DC Mayor Adrian Fenty will file a bill in Congress proposing new gun legislation, Rep. Souder is pushing to re-introduce H.R. 1399 "to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia" by discharging the bill from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.


"Once again, Congress is attempting to overstep its boundaries on an issue that is clearly one of self-governance," said Ilir Zherka, DC Vote Executive Director. "Rep. Souder and some of his colleagues in the House are interfering with DC and using it as a testing ground for legislation they would never impose on their home districts. The Supreme Court has already spoken on this issue and the message is clear. DC's gun laws are not constitutional. The Mayor and the DC City Council are working to write appropriate, new legislation addressing the ruling. Souder's bill is anti-democratic and unnecessary, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling."


The bill would "repeal the District's: (1) registration requirement for possession of firearms; (2) prohibition on possession of handgun restricted pistol bullets; and (3) requirement that, under certain conditions, firearms in the possession of certain individuals must be kept unloaded, disassembled, or with the trigger locked."


In a statement released yesterday, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) called upon her colleagues in the House to show respect for DC home rule by not taking part in efforts to discharge H.R. 1399 from the committee. She emphasized that the DC government is already taking measures to address the Supreme Court ruling and asked members to "take the lead in ensuring the same respect for the District of Columbia and for her, that all members would expect for their districts and themselves."


"This bill would overturn measures that the DC government has put in place to ensure public safety for their constituents," added Zherka. "Like every state in the nation, DC taxpayers elect officials to serve in their interests. Sadly, certain members of Congress have a history of disrespecting DC residents' right to participate in American democracy. It's unconscionable that they would try to assert their authority over more than half a million people who are not their constituents."

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