U.S. House, D.C. Council Wrestle Over Gun Control


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camacho
September 17, 2008, 09:28 AM
My favorite one: "I implore the Congress to give this body, this mayor and this city an opportunity to find a solution," said D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), moments before the council voted without debate to end storage requirements for firearms and permit ownership of semiautomatic handguns."

Well, you had your chances buddy, you've had decades to find a solution. Too late now!




U.S. House, D.C. Council Wrestle Over Gun Control

By Paul Duggan and Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 17, 2008; A01

The struggle to regulate guns in the District in light of a historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling sparked competing legislative efforts yesterday as members of Congress debated taking control of the issue and the D.C. Council implored them to leave it in local hands.

On the most significant day of legislative activity on gun control since the high court ended the District's 32-year-old handgun ban in June, the council voted unanimously to ease some contentious firearms restrictions while the U.S. House of Representatives considered a more dramatic measure that would limit the city's power to regulate guns.

The issue of gun control in the nation's capital has been the focus of intense, often tortuous debate for two months, since the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to own firearms. The court also held that local governments could impose reasonable restrictions.

"I implore the Congress to give this body, this mayor and this city an opportunity to find a solution," said D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), moments before the council voted without debate to end storage requirements for firearms and permit ownership of semiautomatic handguns.

"There's every reason to believe we're moving in the direction of a responsible solution," Gray declared.

Council member Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) said, "Let our elected officials make these decisions for the people we are elected to represent." Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) decried what she called "congressional trampling of our local prerogatives."

The measure passed by the council as emergency legislation was signed by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and takes effect immediately.

On Capitol Hill, though, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.), a supporter of the House legislation, voiced skepticism about the council's action.

"I remain concerned about what some authors of the so-called emergency legislation . . . may try to pass in order to continue to drag their feet and continue to deny D.C. residents their constitutional right to protect themselves," Sessions said.

The House was debating a bill last night that would scrap almost all locally imposed gun control rules in the District, including the new handgun registration process. It would also severely limit city officials' ability to enact any future measure that goes beyond the firearms restrictions in federal law. The measure is expected to go to a vote today.

Although House passage was expected, Senate approval would be far less likely in the session's waning days, activists on both sides said. Opponents accused lawmakers of pushing the legislation to win favor with the National Rifle Association and gain political advantage in November's election.

Its main sponsor is Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.). More than 50 Democrats have added their signatures to the measure, which also has broad Republican support.

"Democrats were met in a dark alley with a do-or-die demand from the NRA, pointing a proverbial gun at their reelection" campaigns, said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-N.Y.) said, "D.C. does not need a second mayor and does not need a second city council, although there are members here today who seem intent on being both."

In a statement, the White House backed the House measure.

"It would immediately advance Second Amendment principles by directly protecting the individual right of law-abiding District residents to keep and bear commonly used firearms not only to protect themselves and their families but also to protect their homes and property," it said.

Foes of the bill have contended that it would allow D.C. residents to carry semiautomatic rifles on the streets, but the House measure that was debated yesterday would ban that possibility.

It would, however, allow residents to keep semiautomatic rifles in their homes, which D.C. law currently forbids.

The measure also would allow District residents to buy guns in Virginia and Maryland and would bar the council from taking any action to "discourage or eliminate" private ownership or use of firearms.

After the Supreme Court ruling, the District set up a registration process for revolvers. But it continued to ban most magazine-loaded semiautomatic pistols and required that handguns be kept unloaded in homes and either disassembled or fitted with trigger locks when not being used in self-defense.

Supporters of the Supreme Court decision have complained that those restrictions and others violate at least the spirit, if not the letter, of the ruling. That prompted some House members to push for legislation that would do away with nearly all local gun control rules in the city.

While the House began debating that proposal, the council voted without debate yesterday to allow ownership of semiautomatics and to let handgun owners keep their weapons loaded and unlocked at home.

The emergency measure will remain in effect for a limited time while the council continues working on a permanent gun control law that probably would include the changes made yesterday.

Staff writer Martin Weil contributed to this report.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/16/AR2008091602223.html?hpid=moreheadlines

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usmarine0352_2005
September 17, 2008, 10:17 AM
I'm at work and that's a lot to read, but tell me if I'm correct:


It is now legal to own a semi-auto handgun and no locking mechanism in D.C. correct?

6_gunner
September 17, 2008, 10:25 AM
That's what it sounds like to me. Chalk another one up for the good guys.

Am I correct in assuming that it's still illegal to carry a weapon on one's person in D.C.? Hopefully that will be the next thing to change; we're still heading in the right direction.

kevindsingleton
September 17, 2008, 10:30 AM
"There's every reason to believe we're moving in the direction of a responsible solution," Gray declared.

If what they're attempting to produce is a "responsible solution", is that not the same as admitting that their prior "solution" was irresponsible?

"Democrats were met in a dark alley with a do-or-die demand from the NRA, pointing a proverbial gun at their reelection" campaigns, said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

And, if the NRA is "demand"ing capitulation, isn't it because the council and Congress are violating enumerated rights via the Heller decision?

Do the people in DC just not care that they're governed by idiots?

eflatminor
September 17, 2008, 11:31 AM
The citizens of DC voted these people in office. These are the same people that voted for Marion Barry AFTER his got busted smoking crack with a whore. While Iím sure there are exceptions, I say the voters of DC are at best ignorant to history and letís be honest, probably idiots as well. Shall we take a look at the average IQ, education level and income of the good people of DC? Want to bet itís at the bottom of ladder for any reasonable measure of intelligence? Idiots voting for idiots...not a surprize.

Standing Wolf
September 17, 2008, 11:38 AM
"There's every reason to believe we're moving in the direction of a responsible solution," Gray declared.

At half the speed of a glacier.

Moo 2 Drvr
September 17, 2008, 12:53 PM
The house ignored DC this morning and passed the Childers amendment stripping DC of its ability to regulate firearms.:neener:

Now if only the Senate would do the same. :uhoh:

One down, one to go. I for one will be thrilled if DC's officials take it in the shorts after giving it to the citizens for so long.

22-rimfire
September 17, 2008, 01:06 PM
If DC can't find a way to comply with the Supreme Court decision, I guess it is time for the Federal Govt to step in.

It is really simple... no restrictions, no permits to purchase or own, no storage requirements, no nothing....

Why does DC want to restrict honest citizens from exercising their rights as citizens of the USA?

Professor Gun
September 17, 2008, 01:37 PM
I am sure if the D.C. council were interfering with voting rights or with free speech that the our Congress would be just as slow and reluctant (Senate) to step in to assure basic constitutional freedoms for the citizens of D.C.:rolleyes:

By the way, the ACLU will certainly get involved in defending the constitutional rights of the people of D.C., right? Oh yeah, they defend only some of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights:(.

James T Thomas
September 17, 2008, 02:00 PM
Don't relax just yet; the House is holding it's breath until the election is over, and the Senate will do likewise.

There is nothing -nothing that these legislators will not do in order to retain Party; Democratic control over this nation. They are distraught over loosing the White House and frantic to regain it. {There must be some great strategic plan of theirs in the wing, awaiting..}

Should they succeed in November, then watch how things will rapidly go.

If this bill had been before them after Nov. it would not even be contended.

At this critical time they do not want to appear; to give the conservative vote any more truthful views of who they are. Until this is over that is.

7.62X25mm
September 17, 2008, 02:05 PM
What's really, really amazing is that despite all the agonizing handwringing, people carry firearms lawfully everyday and there's no "bloodbath." Moreover, when there is a bloodbath, it inevitably involves UNLAWFUL possession. And so the laws regarding restriction of RKBA aren't working, are they? But I'm preaching to the choir.

usmarine0352_2005
September 17, 2008, 02:13 PM
The house ignored DC this morning and passed the Childers amendment stripping DC of its ability to regulate firearms.

Now if only the Senate would do the same.

One down, one to go. I for one will be thrilled if DC's officials take it in the shorts after giving it to the citizens for so long.


1.) What's the chance of the Senate passing it?


2.) When will the Senate vote on it?

Moo 2 Drvr
September 17, 2008, 05:41 PM
If Harry Reid has his way, the bill will never see the light of day. The only chance is to attach it as a rider to a bill that must pass. Not clear what the chances of that are. We might ask the NRA who will be taking the lead on this in the Senate.

My understanding is the Senate intends to adjourn for the year on September 26th. Not much time left.

searcher451
September 17, 2008, 05:57 PM
When the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the pit.

Old Grump
September 17, 2008, 08:48 PM
If Harry Reid has his way, the bill will never see the light of day. The only chance is to attach it as a rider to a bill that must pass.

This is exactly why the state, senate and house elections are more important than the Presidential race. They don't get the press but they are more important to what we do every day than anything that comes out of the White House. Only When Reid and Pelosi are no longer sitting in the chairs of their respective legislative bodies do we stand a prayer and than only if we keep agitating our representatives and senators. They won't move on anything controversial without a lot of prodding from the public.

elChupacabra!
September 19, 2008, 05:44 PM
Guys,

I emailed my congresswoman (Marsha Blackburn, she's fantastic!) thanks to the Brady Campaign's "email your congressmen urging them to oppose 6691" link which allowed me to "personalize" the message, so I basically replaced every "oppose" with "support" and every "common-sense" with "unconstitutional," and it actually got across to my Representative and both my Senators, awesome - use your enemies tools against them:)

Ok but that's beside the point - I just got a reply from Marsha that has this line:

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, H.R. 6691 was introduced to effectively repeal all related limitations on firearm possession as required under D.C. law. You will be pleased to know that with my full support H.R. 6691 passed the House by a vote of 266-152 on September 17, 2008. Since passing in the House, H.R. 6691 was signed by the mayor of the D.C. and has immediately taken effect allowing Washingtonians to keep handguns loaded and unlocked in their homes. Please rest assured that as Congress continues to review this vital issue I will continue leading the fight to protect gun owners' inherent second amendment rights.

So what does that mean - did Fenty go with 6691? Is this issue finally over? I've searched but can't find anything more... thoughts?

Duke Junior
September 19, 2008, 05:52 PM
I feel good!D.C. is capitulating,the House got it right and it's only a matter of time before the be-knighted Senate bows down and sees the light.

Wisdom from Old Grump:

If Harry Reid has his way, the bill will never see the light of day. The only chance is to attach it as a rider to a bill that must pass.

This is exactly why the state, senate and house elections are more important than the Presidential race. They don't get the press but they are more important to what we do every day than anything that comes out of the White House. Only When Reid and Pelosi are no longer sitting in the chairs of their respective legislative bodies do we stand a prayer and than only if we keep agitating our representatives and senators. They won't move on anything controversial without a lot of prodding from the public

xsquidgator
September 19, 2008, 06:42 PM
I emailed my congresswoman (Marsha Blackburn, she's fantastic!) thanks to the Brady Campaign's "email your congressmen urging them to oppose 6691" link which allowed me to "personalize" the message, so I basically replaced every "oppose" with "support" and every "common-sense" with "unconstitutional," and it actually got across to my Representative and both my Senators, awesome - use your enemies tools against them


Tactical note- I don't think using links from the Brady campaign is a good idea (I've done the same thing before). If it's a webform that sends a message, even if you change the text it will still show up as coming from the Brady campaign and it is not likely to get read, simply counted as "someone against guns" and thus having the opposite effect than you intended. I now just send emails myself using the tools on the NRA-ILA page.

elChupacabra!
September 19, 2008, 07:14 PM
Tactical note- I don't think using links from the Brady campaign is a good idea (I've done the same thing before). If it's a webform that sends a message, even if you change the text it will still show up as coming from the Brady campaign and it is not likely to get read, simply counted as "someone against guns" and thus having the opposite effect than you intended. I now just send emails myself using the tools on the NRA-ILA page.

Xsquidgator - actually, that was the general argument I received when I originally discussed it in this thread

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=391607&highlight=brady+campaign

(post 3 and subsequent), but the fact that I've received reply emails from both Marsha Blackburn (Representative) and Bob Corker (Senator) directly to my email account leads me (and others) to believe that no, it wasn't simply chalked up as a Brady email, nor was it sent from a @brady.org account... they both replied in agreement with the body of my email, so they got the message.

Anyway, has anyone else heard that Fenty has submitted to 6691 prior to a Senate vote? That was really why I posted.

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