This week, in a bi-partisan effort, Congressmen Travis Childers (D-Miss.), John Dingell (D-Mich.), John Tanner (D-Tenn.), Mike Ross (D-Ark.), and Mark Souder (R-Ind.), 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 NRA-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 firearm, are the most popular firearm 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.