BELLEVUE, WA â€“ The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today said a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Jon Tester and John McCain that would repeal most gun laws in the District of Columbia â€œwould not be necessary if District officials had lived up to the 2008 Supreme Court ruling in the Heller case.â€
Tester (D-MT) and McCain (R-AZ) unveiled the Second Amendment Enforcement Act Tuesday. It would overrule the Districtâ€™s deliberately complicated registration requirements and would also prevent enactment of regulations that prohibit the carrying of firearms in public places. The bill would further reign in the police chiefâ€™s discretionary power to deny carry licenses to law-abiding citizens. Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Reps. Travis Childers (D-MS) and Mark Souder (R-IN).
â€œDistrict officials have stubbornly refused to adopt rational gun regulations that include the right-to-carry for self-defense, even after they were essentially told to do so by the Supreme Court,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. â€œThe cityâ€™s resistance to change has been both obstructive and childish, and it is time for grown-ups in Congress to stop this nonsense.
â€œMayor Adrian Fenty, the District Council and Police Chief Cathy Lanier have deliberately, and I believe maliciously placed one roadblock after another in the paths of District citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights,â€ he continued. â€œThese officials have hardly dealt with this issue in good faith. Instead they have mired the process in needless bureaucracy with no other apparent purpose than to simply discourage District residents from legally obtaining and keeping firearms for personal protection, as the Heller ruling clearly mandated.
â€œJust the other day,â€ he noted, â€œthey willingly sacrificed full congressional voting rights because the measure also included full gun rights provisions.
â€œWe will encourage our members to support the Second Amendment Enforcement Act,â€ Gottlieb stated. â€œThe District governmentâ€™s arrogant obstinacy has grown intolerable. Congress must pass this legislation and force the Districtâ€™s juvenile city government to behave.â€