Gun rights were restored to Washington, D.C. residents after an amendment passed by the House of Representative this week. The legislation would prohibit the District of Columbia from spending money to enforce local gun laws, effectively nullifying statutes. The bill also applied to fingerprint requirements and registration processing for gun owners.
Kentucky Republican Representative Thomas Massie offered the Washington, D.C. gun rights amendment to a House appropriations bill related to district spending. The freshman Republican said he viewed the bill as prime way to address Second Amendment issues for the area.
Representative Massie had this to say about the right to bear arms amendment:
“The genesis was the opportunity, it was a limitation amendment on the appropriations bill. This amendment process gives rank and file members the opportunity to introduce legislation if they can’t get it on the floor through committee, so this was an opportunity for me to bring up the gun issue.”
The Representative also noted that he offered the gun rights amendment in order to give other freshmen members of Congress the chance to vote on Second Amendment legislation during their first term in office. “This was an opportunity to restore gun rights to a segment of the population, and I took it,” Massie stated.
During his floor speech about the Washington, D.C. gun amendment, Massie said:
“There is only one year after D.C.’s handgun ban went into effect in 1977 where its murder rate was as low as it was prior to the ban. D.C.’s murder rate rose dramatically relative to other cities, with its murder rate ranking either number 1 or 2 among the 50 most populous U.S. cities for half the time that the ban was in effect and in the top for two-thirds of the time. However, as soon as the ban and, more importantly, the gunlock regulations were struck down in 2008 the murder rate fell, dropping by 50 percent over the next four years. Indeed, every place in the world that has banned guns has seen an increase in murder rates.”
When it was time to make a decision about the gun amendment, Massie said Democrats offered to allow the measure to pass via a voice vote. When a voice vote is taken, individual votes are not recorded and constituents are left unaware where their Representatives stood on the issue. “I declined their generous offer,” Massie laughingly said. “I thought it was important to give everyone an opportunity to weigh in on this issue.”
What do you think about restoring gun rights to Washington, D.C. residents?