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Mendelson to Introduce Bill to Repeal Gun Ban

Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) has decided to introduce legislation tomorrow that will address the Supreme Court ruling on the city's gun ban. The bill would repeal the prohibition on handguns.

He made the announcement at the council's news briefing held in preparation for tomorrow's meeting.

It would still require that a firearm be disassembled, unloaded and trigger-locked in the home but would tweak the current law to allow an exception for self-defense.

A draft of the bill will not be available until this afternoon, he said.

Mendelson said he would still wait until the fall to introduce more comprehensive legislation, which would address the city' registration law.

Jason Shedlock, Mendelson's special assistant, said the council member wanted to introduce legislation to give the council a starting point in responding to the landmark ruling that struck down the District's 32-year-old ban. The council would not vote until the fall.

Mendelson said he does not believe it is necessary to move as emergency legislation but will use Wednesday's public roundtable for guidance.

Nikita Stewart

By Marcia Davis  |  June 30, 2008; 10:59 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety , D.C. Council  
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Comments

It would still require that a firearm be disassembled, unloaded and trigger-locked in the home but would tweak the current law to allow an exception for self-defense.
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This is a deal breaker according to the high court ruling. It specifically states that you cannot require that firearms in the home be rendered useless. A firearm is useless for self defense (a legal purpose) if you have to run and find a key to unlock it.

Locking a gun is a good practice, and one that I support, however, it is not a practice that this ruling allows for the city to mandate, by law.

This is the kind of legislation that is going to place the District a long and expensive road of legal battles. I'd rather they mandate classes on gun safety over how they must be stored in the home.

Posted by: Concernedaboutdc | June 30, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

As a DC taxpayer, I am perfectly fine with entering into a long and protracted battle with the Supreme Court on gun control. Perhaps the battle will continue until we can get more reasonable-minded judges on the bench who will effectively over-turn the previous decision.

What I want to know is why these libertarian activists are not out there also fighting for DC's right to vote while they are trying to put guns in everyone's hands????

Posted by: DC taxpayer | June 30, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

This shows how stupid D.C. pols are. After being overruled by the Supreme Court, Mendelson plans to introduce a bill containing the exact same provision that was ruled unconstitutional! Since no one gets a certified letter stating they are going to be attacked at a future time and date, the only way to have a gun for self-defense purposes is if it is loaded and fully functional at all times.

Posted by: woodbridge | June 30, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Typical DC. They'll waste more taxpayer dollars defending their inane rules they'll put into place only to lose again. You need to vote all of these dummies out.

Posted by: FLvet | June 30, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The Supreme Court has ruled, give gun control measures up.

The law makers should turn their energy to legislation to secure the D.C. logo on firearms for financial gain. A special D.C. firearm for tourist, one for residents and of course the Supreme Court Little Lady Firearm. Market them, sell them. make a profit.

Rename Dupont Circle to the "O. K. CORRAL",
permit firearm use in parks during certain hours. Start firearms training in pre-school and have students ready to protect the schools with firearms by the time they reach High School.

D.C. government could have a booth at the airports handing out firearms to arriving passengers and collecting firearms from departing passengers. Charge $25 for any spent shell.

This is America , lets make money. Life Insurance couls have a special death by firearm policy. An adward for NRA member with the most kills in the District. Free burial after your fifth firearm purchase.

Come on D. C. let's make it happen.

Posted by: W.W. Graham | June 30, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I say why doesn't DC just ignore the Supreme Court ruling? How long will it take until a case winds it way back up to the Supreme Court again? Hopefully by that time, we'll have Justices on the Court who can actually read the words of the Constitution and who will simply overrule this idiotic and dangerous Scalia decision. Has anyone ever heard of the Dred Scott case? That decision supposedly reflected the "true meaning" of the Constitution also. The words "A well regulated militia.." weren't just put in there to be ignored by the Supreme Court and other right-wing gun nuts!

Posted by: Mike Wallman | June 30, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

As a DC taxpayer, I am perfectly fine with entering into a long and protracted battle with the Supreme Court on gun control. Perhaps the battle will continue until we can get more reasonable-minded judges on the bench who will effectively over-turn the previous decision.

What I want to know is why these libertarian activists are not out there also fighting for DC's right to vote while they are trying to put guns in everyone's hands????

Posted by: DC taxpayer | June 30, 2008 11:54 AM

______________________________________________

Word of advice, this is an election year in the United States. If you are concerned about D.C. Voting Rights and statehood, attempting to pry guns from the hands of U.S. Citizens is not the way to do it. You see, it will take a concerted effort of the Union to provide statehood for the District as it would require an amendment to the Constitution. Now, how much "support" do you think you will get from states that allow for handgun ownership, and that would be the majority of them, if the District is seen to be the lone wolf seeking to steal away one of their cherished Constitutional rights.

I, too, am a District resident and pay a handsome tax bill each year. As such, it would be intolerable to me for District resources to be used for the purpose of fighting this loosing battle; much less used to battle the Constitution.

Again, if individual citizens choose not to purchase a handgun, that is YOUR business. It is your right. However you have no right to impute your personal will onto another. That would be NONE of your business.

Posted by: Concernedaboutdc | June 30, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Sad Sad Sad. The Supreme Court has spoken and DC has lost, as a life long resident I have yet ceased to be amazed. I understand that individuals feel that in 2008 our society should be past firearms. However, in order for that to be true we need 2 things. 1. A Constitutional Ammendment 2. Someone to inform all the criminals with guns that we dont want them in our cities anymore!

Posted by: Tom | June 30, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully by that time, we'll have Justices on the Court who can actually read the words of the Constitution and who will simply overrule this idiotic and dangerous Scalia decision.

Posted by: Mike Wallman | June 30, 2008 2:07 PM

How stupid are you? ok, lets ignore what the "right of the people" means, forget its even there, that should be easy for you.. Go look up the meaning of the militia. whoops! wow, thats right, all males 18-45!
We need reasonable computer control to keep the retarded from posting on the internet.. keyboard registration perhaps? its for the children right?

Posted by: wtf? | June 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

By a handgun. Take a safety course. Practice with your weapon. Resist any entity that denies free men.

Posted by: Benjamin9 | June 30, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

DC Taxpayer, you and other DC residents aren't ready or deserving of the vote until you are willing to embrace and understand the freedoms that the Constitution and Bill of Rights gives citizens of the U.S.. End of story. When y'all figure it out, get back to us about the vote.

Posted by: Cannoneer2 | July 1, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I love the notion that DC residents are somehow undeserving of federal representation. Does that mean that the citizens of the rest of the states have undergone some sort of examination to demonstrate the right to vote is deserved? Someone, please share with the dates and times of these exams; I imagine it would generate great interest in the District.

Or is my understanding correct: any idiot waste-of-humanity is considered "deserving" simply by avoiding the means of their own demise for 18 years following their date of birth. Using the one and only criterion applied to the citzens of the 50 states, 466,700 residents (2006 census estimate) of DC have very much proven they are ready and deserving of a vote.

Posted by: Candyman | July 1, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

When you think about it people who elect city officials like in DC, Daley in Chicago, Nagin in New Orleans, etc. are probably too stupid to be trusted with guns.

Posted by: CC Ryder | July 1, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

You "latte Liberals" should be ashamed of yourselves. As one who holds TRUE to the principals of liberalism and individual rights (i have pretty good credentials here), I am celebrating the Supreme Court's decision as a validation that ALL the Bill of Rights deal with individual rights.

If "the people" in 2nd amendment are the collective, then why not the "people" in the 1st Amendment? You could easily argue that we have no individual right of free speech since we elect representatives as our collective voice.

It saddens me to hear my fellow liberals jump through linguistic hoops to deny the obvious intent of 2A as an individual right-and totally not see how the "collective" arguement UNDERMINES ALL THE RIGHTS affirmed in the BoR that so many before us fought for (e.g. Eugene Debs-BIG 2A supporter)

You are no better than a Bush-appointed hack lawyer arguing for warrantless wiretaps and the denial of habeus corpus. Please take good long look in the mirror.

BTW-Obama is the man (although he sucks on this issue).

Posted by: DC Lib | July 1, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I am no legal scholar but wouldn't an amendment to the Constitution negating the Second Amendment be, in itself, unconstitutional since the Bill of Rights is simply an enumeration of unalianable rights?

Posted by: bandofotters | July 1, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

To Bandofotters:

That is an excellent point. I've been telling my liberal brethren that a debate on whether we, as a society have outgrown 2A is a reasonable one. And if we agree the answer is yes, then let's amend it. Now Im not so sure.

From my understanding, the BoR merely validates that man has certain unalienable rights. The BoR is not an exhaustive list, just the ones the Framers wanted to make sure about which there was no confusion. (9A leaves the door open for more--like the right to privacy).

Now, I guess you could argue that society evolves and bearing arms is no longer considered and unalienable right (After all, the BoR in a large part a reflection of post-enlightenment ideals) and strike it down.

Interesting question, and I could see myself being talked into it at some point. But until that time, it remains and individual right IMHO

Posted by: DC Lib | July 1, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Guns are NOT causing the crime in DC. Imagine if all the effort being put forward by DC was aimed at crime and other social/economic problems. The guns don't cause the crime. I would say the ban is a great thing if it actually worked. Yet, so many people are still being shot in DC. All the ban does is prevent law abiding citizen from having the option of protecting themselves if they want. I live in VA and have a license to carry and was arrested in 1997 when I drove through DC coming home from a range in MD. Bing the only "light skin" (as they liked to call me) everyone wanted to rap with me. One particular gentleman was telling his story of how he was busted "again" for jacking cars at gun point in the DC area. He looked at me an asked why I was there. Told him CPWL, but I live in VA and can carry legally all the time. I told him that many of my friends do too. He asked about VA in surprise and asked what kind of "piece" I was carrying. I told him a Taurus 45, my neigbor carries a Kahr 40 and so on...He replied, "s$%!#, when I get out of here I am making sure the cars I jack have DC plates only. You crazy light skins over there are carrying cannons!" Everyone in the cell laughed...but I really don't think he was joking.

Posted by: tarzandc | July 8, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

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