Gun owners and sportsmen earned a victory this week as the House Financial Services Committee considered and adopted an amendment offered by Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga.) to protect the Second Amendment rights of public housing residents.
His amendment to H.R. 4868—the Housing Preservation and Tenant Protection Act—was adopted by a voice vote on Tuesday evening. The measure would restore and protect the right to possess and lawfully use firearms for self-defense and other legitimate purposes in federally assisted housing, and would bar housing authorities from restricting residents’ legal ownership of guns. This amendment is very similar to the one that Congressman Price offered to H.R. 3045 last year. That amendment was adopted in committee on July 9, 2009 by a 38-31 vote.
Anti-gun Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) attempted to amend the Price amendment with a “second-degree amendment” to H.R. 4868. The Waters amendment—that would have allowed housing authorities to impose gun registration requirements—was defeated in committee by a 24-38 vote.
Adoption of the Price amendment indicates that the majority of committee members understood that a person should not be forced to give up Second Amendment rights just to have a roof over his head, and that many public housing projects are high-crime areas where people most desperately need the right to defend themselves. The NRA has long fought this battle both in the courts and in legislatures around the country.
Congressman Price should be commended for his leadership on this important issue since all Americans have a fundamental right to self-defense.
To view the committee vote, please click here: http://republicans.financialservices.house.gov/images/stories/072710waterstoprice321.pdf
We will be sure to keep you informed on any further developments.