While congratulating the House of Representatives for its 250-171 vote Wednesday to overturn the gun ban in Washington, D.C., the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said the job of Congress is “only half done.”

“We’re delighted that a strong, bipartisan House majority voted in favor of the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “but the Senate now needs to act fast and pass this measure too. Where else but in the nation’s capitol would it be more appropriate for citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms? As it stands now, an important civil right is declared null and void at the District’s boundaries.”

“Residents of Washington D.C. should have as much right to defend themselves and their families as people who live in Arlington, Virginia; Billings, Montana or Portland, Oregon,” added CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “Criminals know they have a risk-free environment in the District, because only the law-abiding have been effectively disarmed. Crime data from communities where gun ownership is widespread and citizens are licensed to carry shows that violent crime rates decline. Guns were banned in the District back in 1976 and since then, crime rates have skyrocketed. There’s a message in that.”

Gottlieb and Waldron said arguments from anti-gunners like Washington D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton that this measure would “pave the way” for so-called “assault rifles” and “cop killer bullets,” and allow minors to possess firearms are nonsense.

“The misinformation and outright lies being spread about this legislation have gone beyond the pale,” Gottlieb stated. “I believe this debate has brought us to a new low in anti-gun politics, and to tell the truth, that just didn’t seem possible after all the hysteria that was generated by the recent sunset of the ban on semiautomatic firearms.”

“The Senate now has only a few days to act on this legislation,” Waldron noted. “If passage of this measure helps save just one life, it will be worth the effort.”