Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

D.C. Gun Bill: Fact And Fiction

Friday, February 18, 2011

Earlier this month, Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) introduced H.R. 645 the "Second Amendment Enforcement Act," to eliminate harsh gun control laws imposed by the District of Columbia after the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).

The bill will move the city's gun laws closer to the mainstream laws in place in most of America. For example, they will abolish the city's intentionally difficult and costly firearm registration requirement, its restrictions on carrying a gun for protection on private property, its post-Heller ban on hundreds of types of semi-automatic firearms denigrated as "assault weapons," its ban on standard defensive magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and its California-style "microstamping" law and handgun "roster" system.

Anticipating that the D.C. Council will try to suppress gun ownership by preventing dealers from conducting business in the city, the bills provide for D.C. residents to buy handguns from firearm dealers in Maryland and Virginia, and prescribe reasonable conditions for the lawful transportation of firearms within the city.

A story appeared this week on Examiner.com calling into question NRA's support of what the misguided author claims is a "gun-control bill."  The author claims, among other things, that, "H.R. 645 would turn victims, who had their firearms stolen, into criminals if the gun was not locked up."

In fact, H.R. 645 would substantially scale back D.C. law, which currently creates a crime of "criminally negligent storage of a firearm," punishable by six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both -- even if no one is injured. (If someone is injured, the crime is a felony, punishable by five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.)

In place of those provisions, the bill would eliminate punishment of victimless violations, only allowing a penalty in cases where a person is injured or killed. In all cases, the penalty would be a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.  The bill would also mandate extreme prosecutorial discretion in cases where the gun owner's child is accidentally injured or killed, barring all prosecution in those cases unless the gun owner was grossly negligent.

The Examiner story also claims, "H.R. 645 gives a landlord the right to decide who is allowed to keep a firearm in the home or business." In fact, the opposite is true.  What the bill actually says is that "Private persons or entities owning property in the District of Columbia may prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on their property by any persons, other than law enforcement personnel when lawfully authorized to enter onto the property or lessees occupying residential or business premises." (Emphasis added.) So the bill actually prohibits landlords from banning gun possession by tenants.

The Examiner story also accuses NRA of selling out on Right-to-Carry in D.C., failing to realize or acknowledge that what the bill actually does is restore D.C.'s pre-Heller discretionary permit system.

Because D.C. officials have demonstrated hostility toward the Second Amendment--imposing a "microstamping" law, "assault weapon" ban, ban on magazines holding over 10 rounds, and "unsafe handgun" ban (which the city modified after the ban was challenged in court)--the purpose of the bill is to prohibit the city from enacting new laws designed to thwart the exercise of the right to arms.

And therein lies the critical point that the Examiner author fails to grasp.  The bill wasn't intended to try and fix every single problem with D.C.'s gun laws.  Rather, it is a bill that is capable of passing both houses of Congress, that will fix the major problems identified in the Heller decision, thereby allowing ordinary D.C. residents to own guns and store them in their homes, loaded and ready for self-defense.

H.R. 645 is a good bill that NRA will continue to support.  As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox recently said, "NRA remains committed to restoring the right to self-defense for law-abiding citizens in Washington, D.C., by whatever legal or legislative means necessary."

TRENDING NOW
No Gov. Northam, Your Gun Ban is NOT Constitutional

News  

Friday, December 13, 2019

No Gov. Northam, Your Gun Ban is NOT Constitutional

As Virginia gun owners have shown their displeasure with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed attack on their rights in city and county meetings across the Old Dominion, Northam has been forced to answer questions about ...

Virginia Gov. Northam Seeks Gun Registration as Down Payment on Gun Confiscation

News  

Friday, December 13, 2019

Virginia Gov. Northam Seeks Gun Registration as Down Payment on Gun Confiscation

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) must think that Old Dominion gun owners are stupid. After months of Northam and his Michael Bloomberg-backed General Assembly allies advocating for the enactment of gun confiscation legislation, the governor ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

Pro-Gun Bill Introduced to Protect Lawful Gun Carriers from Federal-State Legal Trap

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Pro-Gun Bill Introduced to Protect Lawful Gun Carriers from Federal-State Legal Trap

Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced a bill that would protect persons lawfully carrying firearms under state law, including in those states that do not require a carry permit, from being snared ...

Member Spotlight: Meet the hunter who stands up to those who call her a ‘murderer'

Hunting  

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Member Spotlight: Meet the hunter who stands up to those who call her a ‘murderer'

America’s hunters are increasingly under fire by political extremists. Hunter and philanthropic consultant Britt Longoria has been at the center of an online hate campaign by animal rights extremists who don’t understand where their food ...

Senate Confirms Hunter-Friendly Candidate to Oversee Wildlife Management

News  

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Senate Confirms Hunter-Friendly Candidate to Oversee Wildlife Management

The NRA-ILA applauds the U. S. Senate for confirming Aurelia Skipwith to serve as director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Crooked California: Bad Gun Control Laws Once Again Foster Official Corruption

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Crooked California: Bad Gun Control Laws Once Again Foster Official Corruption

In news that will not shock gun rights supporters, the anti-gun utopia of California has provided further evidence that unjust gun control laws invite official corruption. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s ...

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

News  

Friday, March 29, 2019

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

In one of the strongest judicial statements in favor of the Second Amendment to date, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined on Friday that California’s ...

Background Checks for Family Members?! Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislature Seeks to Ban Private Firearms Transfers

Friday, December 6, 2019

Background Checks for Family Members?! Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislature Seeks to Ban Private Firearms Transfers

Michael Bloomberg’s bought-and-paid-for new Virginia majorities have wasted no time introducing an extremist bill that would make the Commonwealth one of the most hostile states for law-abiding gun owners.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.