Sylvia A. Smith
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Thursday, Sept 18, 2008
The District of Columbia can’t limit the guns its residents buy and own, including semiautomatic weapons, the House voted Wednesday.
Legislation pushed by Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd, was adopted 266-152 with 85 Democrats joining 181 Republicans in voting “yes.”
The bill, which the Senate is not likely to act on this year, would repeal the D.C.’s semiautomatic handgun ban and overturn a city law requiring that firearms kept in the home be locked and inoperable. It would allow residents to buy guns from licensed dealers in Maryland and Virginia and repeal some registration requirements.
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The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote in June, ruled that the city’s 32-year-old ban on handgun possession violates the Second Amendment. The District of Columbia City Council then adopted a temporary measure to allow possession of unloaded weapons in homes but kept the ban on semiautomatics.
On Tuesday, the council voted to allow residents to own most semiautomatic pistols and removed the requirement that weapons be stored unloaded and disassembled or secured with trigger locks.
But advocates of the House bill said that isn’t enough.
“This Congress has lost faith in the willingness of the District of Columbia to defend the Second Amendment,” Souder said.
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting representative of the District of Columbia, said Congress would not take this action toward any other U.S. city.
“The House has the gall to ask for a vote to nullify the gun laws in my district, depriving my district of the right to protect itself and visitors like yourselves while denying me a vote on this floor on passage. Have you no shame?” she said.
This article was posted: Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 10:53 am