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Council Members React To High Court Ruling

Several D.C. Council members issued statements yesterday about the Supreme Court ruling on the city's gun ban. Here's what they had to say:

Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) issued a statement that was a lengthy explanation about what happens now. On a personal note, he said this: "Although I am disappointed by the court's decision, working collectively with the Mayor, the Metropolitan Police, legal authorities, and residents, the Council will do all it can to prevent violence from escalating further as a result of today's un-welcome weakening of our gun laws."

Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, announced that he would hold a public hearing on the ruling Wednesday. "The hearing will explore suggestions for how the District may preserve its laws controlling guns and protect public safety," he said.

Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), who represents Trinidad where police set up a controversial checkpoint to combat crime, said he would call for stricter waiting periods, training and education on handguns. "The residents of Ward 5 are concerned about the implications of the Supreme Court's decision," said Thomas. "With 22 homicides in Ward 5 alone since the beginning of the year, it is imperative that we develop the most rigorous and stringent gun laws possible."


"As a group and individually we are all disappointed in the courts decision. For years we have had a strict policy and zero tolerance when it comes to the use or possession of hand guns," said Marion Barry (D-Ward 8). "I think this sends the wrong message and will create more opportunity of thefts of legal hand guns that can ultimately be used in the commission of crimes."

Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) said, " I am disappointed in today's Supreme Court action which ruled that the DC law banning private handgun possession at home violates the Second Amendment...In agreement with resident's sentiments, I will work with my DC Council colleagues, the Mayor, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Attorney General's office, to preserve the most restrictive handgun regulations within the parameters of this ruling."


From Kwame Brown (D-At Large): "Every time I hear of another youth, another mother or child gunned down in our communities is yet another reminder of why we need these protective measures in place. While I disapprove the Supreme Court's ruling, I respect the Court's power. I will continue to work with my colleagues, members of the executive branch and our residents to develop legislative measures that will ensure that limitations for handgun possession are fully enforced."


By Nikita R Stewart  |  June 27, 2008; 12:48 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Comments

If this Rubber Council were truely concerned about preserving gun control in the District they would have, back then, pulled out all of the stops in getting this Mayor to reconsider presenting the case before the Supreme Court in the first place. This decision should not have come as a suprise with the makeup of the Supreme Court.

It is far too late to now attempt to affix strict stops in the acquisition of handguns. Any attempts to unusually prevent law abiding citizens from getting handguns will most certainly be challenged and defeated at the superior court level. Extending the waiting period is doing just that, prolonging the inevitable. They have to do better than that.

This ruling forces this Rubber Council, the AG's Office, and the Mayor to do their job and identify innovative ways to avert crime that result in, well, reduced crime. This gun ban, obviously, did not do that.

The gun ban allows law abiding citizens to acquire handguns. The key words are law abiding citizens. They don't, at once, become criminals by securing a handgun.

The only ones with anything to worry about are criminals. Is that who the Council is wishing to protect.

Murial Bower is disappointed, I feel, more because Mayor Fenty is disappointed. I expect here to proxy his emotions. She proxies everything else of his.

That this council and this Mayor don't already have regulation ready to go speaks volumns about their lack of foresight. They should have been working on these regs months ago in the event that just this happend.

Mayor Fenty, by this grandstanding maneuver has set every city in the nation back in their gun control efforts. He has to be the most unpopular public servant in the circle of elected public officials.

This decision was an embarrassment to the District and shines a light upon the damage that a maverick Mayor and complicit Legislative can have on the lives of people.

Posted by: Concernedaboutdc | June 27, 2008 6:01 AM | Report abuse


Enough of DC police state mentality. Citizens of DC have the right to own a handgun. The same provisions of instant background check by NICS as every other person does under federal law are sufficient. The City Council should have the new regulations ready months ago after the Circuit Ct opinion was issued. They have to allow carry provisions since that was explicitly stated in the opinion. They have to allow guns stores to exist in DC. They cannot eliminate ammunition sales. They should not even have any registration laws.

I guess the idea that free people can be armed has not sunk in. It may need the Circuit Ct to teach them again that people must be able to purchase, own, posses and carry weapons. They cannot put arbitrary and capricious laws to make it harder for their residents to own guns.


The DC Chief of Police does not make law. Therefore her opinion on safe storage is invalid. The Supreme Ct invalidated the safe storage laws of DC and said the gun must be in operable stance. That means loaded if the owner so desires. No trigger locks required. People can choose to have it unloaded, in locked cases and no triggers locks. It is now their choice not the Chief of Police.

The prohibition of semi- automatic is disallowing an entire class if handguns and probably should be struck down or the law rewritten. I guess DC has not learned that the 2A means what its says ..." the right of the people to keep and bear arms will not be infringed"

Carry provisions were explicitly stated in the decision so open carry has to be allowed. DC may maintain CCW prohibitions enacted by Congress in the 1800's. But open carry has to be allowed in order to transport or for self-defense.

Posted by: tasha | June 27, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

You are all a bunch of fn morons. We will vote you out. Not one, not one hassaid they were proud that the SC restored their rights.

Posted by: Very Longtime DC Resident | June 27, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), who represents Trinidad where police set up a controversial checkpoint to combat crime, said, "With 22 homicides in Ward 5 alone since the beginning of the year, it is imperative that we develop the most rigorous and stringent gun laws possible." What? A total ban on private ownership wasn't stringent enough? How much more stringent can the laws get?

"As a group and individually we are all disappointed in the courts decision. For years we have had a strict policy and zero tolerance when it comes to the use or possession of hand guns," said Marion Barry (D-Ward 8). Apparently the long time use of crack affects the hearing. Or maybe Mr. Barry just wasn't listening to councilman Thomas. It's obvious that the "strict policy" and "zero tolerance" haven't done much to reduce crime in D.C.

Maybe it's time these geniuses on the City Council took a look at the low crime rates in neighboring Virginia, places like Arlington, just a walk or drive or Metro ride across a bridge. For some reason, the criminal constituents of these D.C. council members prefer to commit their crimes in "zero tolerance," "strict gun policy" D.C.

Instead of trying to find ways to keep the population helpless in the face of crime in spite of the Court's decision, maybe the Council should start thinking of ways to implement reasonable "shall issue" concealed carry laws that have proven so beneficial in 48 other states that aren't managed by corrupt political criminals. The District's laws and council are a joke in the rest of the country and an embarassment to acknowledge as our Capitol.

Posted by: Chris Meissen | June 27, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

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