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Mendelson Introduces Gun Bill

D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson introduced legislation today that would overturn the city's long-standing handgun ban to comply with the historic Supreme Court decision last week. That ruling struck down the ban as unconstitutional.

All 12 of his council colleagues signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, which also upends the city's law to keep weapons unloaded and either disassembled or disabled by a trigger lock.

Exceptions would be made for gun owners keeping their weapons in their homes for "immediate self-defense," as well as those keeping them in their place of business or using them for legal recreational purposes.

The self-defense exemption was a key part of the 5 to 4 high court decision.

"The language is taken verbatim from the last page of the Supreme Court ruling," Mendelson said.

"The Supreme Court ruling was regrettable, but nevertheless, it is the law of the land," he said.

Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) commended Mendelson for "moving swiftly" and said she was supportive.

But she has some reservations, she said. "I am not conceding that...we make an open-ended exception" for trigger locks, Cheh said.

Mendelson, chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, will hold a public roundtable on the ruling tomorrow. He said he will use testimony from witnesses on whether to introduce similar emergency legislation by the council's last legislative meeting before summer recess on July 15.

Without an emergency bill, the council would not vote until the fall though Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) has said he will call a special summer meeting if necessary.

Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) also introduced a sense of the council resolution to support training and education programs on handgun hazards and restrictions on where gun stores can locate, including voluntary agreements with Advisory Neighborhood Commissions before such shops can get certificates of occupancy.

Watch this space for regular updates from the roundtable meeting tomorrow.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  July 1, 2008; 12:47 PM ET
Categories:  Gun Ban Case  
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Comments

If DC attempts to BAN semi-auto pistols, they will be back before the Court in record time. As noted in the Supreme Court ruling, semi-autos are THE most common handgun in the U.S. today.

Posted by: Fiftycal | July 1, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Where can I find a copy of the bill?

Posted by: DC | July 1, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) also introduced a sense of the council resolution to support training and education programs on handgun hazards and restrictions on where gun stores can locate, including voluntary agreements with Advisory Neighborhood Commissions before such shops can get certificates of occupancy.
________________________________________

I saw Cheh at this hearing, expect her to be a Constitutional obstructionist. She said that the District should, I'm paraphrasing, take every liberty they are able to, to make gun ownership impossible within the language of the court ruling. THEN she mentioned the trigger lock reservation. But not in such a straight forward manner.

Here is what is going to happen and mark these words. The District Council is going to introduce regulations that are in contravention to the Court's decision, and those Congressperson's on the Hill, who all signed off as supporting Heller, are going to rescind it and do it FOR them.

This Council does too much fanning for the crowd and too little intelligent decision making.

Notwithstanding Congressional intervention, we will find ourselves being slapped about from lawsuit to lawsuit until finally a judge will threaten to hold these lawmakers personally culpable for violating the Constitution.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 1, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Requiring gun locks in any form or fashion will restrict ones right to protect themselves in public... or even while driving through Car Jacker territory.

I expect most of the restrictions to be overturned by way of lawsuits by the NRA.

Time for those that support it to kick in some bucks for those that will be paying to defend your freedoms.

Posted by: . | July 1, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

You gun rights supporters who are on fire to get a piece are about to discover the very meaning of "all deliberate speed" that supporters of school desegregation were rudely introduced to 53 years ago in Brown II.

Get used to it. This ride ain't over; matter of fact, it's just begun.

And if you want to get a burner so bad, why don't you move out of Washington? That line of logic seems to be as handy as when it's used on those of us who would like some voting rights in Congress.

It's quite ironic that many of those who are so vocal toward handgun ownership in Washington are eerily silent when the topic is our lack of voting representation... then you hide behind the Constitution and make all manner of crappy excuses.

Posted by: slim charles | July 2, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Slim, I hear you on the Right to vote, but unfortunaly we have to take it as 'They' give it. If we could just make our Voting right happen we(District citizens)would. Are we Citizens? maybe that's why they alway refer to us as 'residents'...Mmmmm...

I think if the District were really sincere about their gun polices that the citizens would have been more receptive to the former gun ban. Don't get me wrong, I support firearm ownership, rifle, shot-gun, or other. Prior to moving to the District I lived in Md and enjoyed firearm ownership for sport, appreciation of the right to bear arms, and for self defense, though I can't say I ever really considered it for self defense.

Getting to the point:
Tell me Chief Lanier, how do you think it appears for MPD to police an unarmed citizen population with a semi-auto pistol on your hip? I think the district should be like Great Britain. No guns mean no guns for anybody. As a fail safe we have federal, park police, FBI, DEA, ATF, and others who are armed are located in the District which could be activated if the situation called for it.

Again, If the District were sincere they would tailor themselves to conform to the new proposed gun laws, limiting themselves to revolver style pistols as well, and un-loaded, and trigger locked. But we all know that the district is more about 'do as we say not as we do' on this issue.

Posted by: -Ant | July 2, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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