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D.C. Voting Bill Pulled From House Consideration

Friday, April 23, 2010

Last week we reported that the U.S. House of Representatives was preparing to consider H.R. 157, the "District of Columbia Voting Rights Act," which proposes to give the nation's 30th most populous city a vote on the House floor.

This week, the bill was pulled from consideration over the refusal of D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton to agree to common-sense reforms to D.C.'s gun laws, which would have brought the District into compliance with the historic Heller decision. 

The tone of the anti-gunners' rhetoric was predictable. "The District should not have to cede one set of rights for another," the Washington Post complained. "A person in the District would be able to walk on the streets carrying an assault weapon slung over her shoulder or with concealed weapons," cried Del. Norton (of course, the legislation would do no such thing).  Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) resorted to cliché, commenting that if D.C.'s gun laws are reformed, "I believe the District will become much less safe," to which we are tempted to ask, "less safe than where?"

Predictably, Norton and her supporters expressed their intention to regroup and try again. "I am full of promising ideas about how to move forward," Norton said. "We will persist in our mission to realize voting rights, local autonomy and statehood for D.C.," proclaimed the "D.C. Vote" organization. "Giving up on gun control could be a good deal if the District were getting two Senate seats as well," a columnist in the Washington Post mused.

But Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.), author of the reforms to D.C.'s gun control restrictions, intends to complete his mission too. "This fight is not over," he said. "When, nearly two years ago, D.C.'s City Council defied a Supreme Court ruling to protect citizens' right to [keep and] bear arms, it violated the fundamental rights upon which this great country was founded. I remain committed to overturning D.C.'s gun ban—a critical step towards ensuring that these rights are permanently safeguarded for all Americans. I plan to move forward with introducing this important bipartisan legislation in the near future, and will urge leadership to bring our bill to the floor without delay."

NRA members are encouraged to give Rep. Childers the support he needs, by contacting their senators and congressmen to express their support for legislation to reform D.C.'s gun control laws. 

You can find contact information for your legislators by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or you can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.