WASHINGTON — Washington D.C. officials cried foul over Republican legislation that would supersede the district’s local gun control laws, with the District’s one Democratic congresswoman calling it an “insult” to suggest some D.C. residents may want to carry firearms for self-defense.
D.C. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke to reporters Monday at a press conference regarding the legislation being considered on the hill that could change local gun control laws that Bowser has called “reasonable.”
However, despite serving on the City Council at the time, Bowser claimed to The Daily Caller she knew nothing about the 2014 case of District resident Mark Witascheck, who was convicted of having an inoperable shotgun shell and a box of .45 caliber Knight muzzleloader bullets in his residence, so she refused to comment on the “reasonableness” of the decision in that case.
“Our council has reviewed this. Some gun laws have been challenged in the District. Laws have changed laws have changed because of that and we believe we have a regime in place that respects the Constitution but also puts reasonable limits on whose requesting licenses in the District. So, we feel very good about where we are,” Bowser said.
D.C. non-voting Democratic Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton blasted the bills.
“Washington, D.C., is the last place you want to condone or allow concealed-carry weapons,” she told The New York Times Sunday. “They are certainly not going to be successful if I have anything to say about it.”
When asked by TheDC Monday following the press conference if law abiding residents in high crime neighborhoods may want to defend themselves with firearms, Holmes Norton responded, “The city has taken the position that the best way to defend yourself is not to be armed. So, your notion…is an insult– quite an insult to the wards that have greater crime. They have not come forward to me and say, ‘Congresswoman we want to conceal and carry.’ So, I suggest that you approach the people you’re talking about.”
Just one month after the shooting at a Congressional Republican baseball practice that resulted in serious injuries, four pro-gun bills have been filed in Congress.
Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin introduced legislation on June 20 to allow members of Congress the ability to carry a concealed firearm wherever their jobs may take them, including in D.C.
“My bill would ensure rank and file Members of Congress have the opportunity to defend themselves by providing them the ability to concealed carry in nearly every scenario with only a few restrictions. With the increase in security threats to Members of Congress and our staffs, this is an important and necessary step that we must take,” Babin said in a statement.
Two other notable partner bills filed after the Alexandria shooting in the House and Senate, (S. 1435) and (H.R. 3054), would allow an amnesty period for veterans or their family members to register historic firearms, acquired before October 31, 1968, that are presently regulated under the National Firearms Act.
Months before the shooting in Alexandria, H.R. 1537 and S. 162 were filed. The House legislation would amend the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 (FCRA) to repeal DC’s registration mandate for having firearms. Additionally, it would keep the present prohibition on the possession and control of a sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, or short-barreled rifles.
The Senate bill would allow D.C. residents to get firearms from licensed dealers in Maryland and Virginia, as well as repeal the District’s gun registration requirement.