Repealing Part of DC's Gun Ban
The vote of 259 to 161 marked the third time since 1999 that the House has targeted the city's gun laws, which are among the most stringent in the nation. . . . Gun rights groups said this measure's chances of clearing the Senate are greater because it is attached to a spending bill that Congress must pass to avoid a government shutdown. . . .
Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.), the measure's sponsor, said it marked "an extremely simple, common-sense . . . first step" toward freer gun ownership, allowing residents to keep loaded, assembled and unlocked weapons in their homes, just as D.C. business owners are allowed to do at workplaces.
Under D.C. law, residents can keep rifles and shotguns in their homes, as well as handguns owned and registered by Feb. 22, 1977, but only if they are stored in a nonoperating condition. The House amendment would prevent the city from enforcing that restriction. Unlike the bill passed by the House last year, it would not alter the city's ban on handguns, Souder said.
"This amendment does not legalize anything that can't be legally owned now. No machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, AK-47s or Uzis," he said. "All it does is . . . [it] gives D.C. citizens the same rights at home that they have at work."