Thursday, September 11, 2008
The Heller earthquake continues to send
tremors through gun control communities in middle America.
Following the Supreme Court's U.S. v. Heller decision in June, at
least one town in West Virginia and two jurisdictions in Illinois
have been forced to reconsider their gun control laws. The latter
two -- in Wilmette and Morton Grove, Illinois -- repealed their
handgun bans in July.
But while some communities have "seen the
light," others continue to dig in their heels. Take Washington, DC,
where the city council has thumbed its nose at the Court's ruling
and has redrafted its registration law to impose a burdensome
12-step process that, as summarized in one legislative report,
involves "multiple trips to gun dealers and government offices,
fingerprinting, a written exam, and ballistic testing."
At a minimum, some officers believe this
process will take 14 days. But a more realistic assessment was
offered by DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier who said the process "could
In response, the U.S. House of Representatives
is expected to vote soon on legislation to simply repeal the DC gun
ban -- a vote that could come as early as today.
HR 6691, introduced by Rep. Travis Childers
(D-MS), would repeal much of the gun control in the District --
including the ban on semi-auto pistols and rifles, and the
registration requirements which require residents to get permission
from the city council before they can own a weapon.
The Childers bill will also strike the
"trigger lock" provision which endangers gun owners by forcing the
lucky ones who successfully jump through the 12-step process to
render their guns unusable for immediate defensive purposes.
Faced with a discharge petition that had
gained tremendous momentum -- in large part, thanks to your efforts
which was a response to an earlier GOA alert -- the Democratic
leadership realized that a bill to repeal the DC gun ban was
definitely going to be brought out of committee and passed on the
House floor. So the anti-gun leadership decided that the place to
kill the bill was in the Senate.
Consider what news reports are saying:
"Although the bill is expected to pass in the
House, possibly as soon as this week, its fate is less clear in the
Senate," reported The Washington Post this past Tuesday. "It has won
the backing of 48 [House] Democrats, many facing reelection in
strongly pro-gun areas, and is expected to pick up broad support
Remarkably, the Post is right. (A stopped
clock is also right twice a day.) The Democrats are trying to "have
their cake and eat it too" by protecting Democrats from rural
districts -- allowing them to vote pro-gun -- but then letting the
bill die in the Senate.
That's why GOA is encouraging members to
contact their two senators at this time.
ACTION: Please urge your senators to demand a
vote on repealing DC's gun control. While we certainly don't want to
discourage you from contacting your Representative, the main battle
is going to be in the other chamber, so please make sure you contact
both of your senators.
You can use the pre-written message below and
send it as an e-mail by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center