Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 17, 2014

Activists Ready to Fight Rand Paul’s D.C. Gun Amendment in Senate (Updated)

Paul 12 031413 440x279 Activists Ready to Fight Rand Pauls D.C. Gun Amendment in Senate (Updated)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:12 p.m. | Activists on the national and local level are gearing up for the ensuing gun fight surrounding amendments to the Senate’s bipartisan hunting and fishing legislation, especially a proposal related to firearm control in the District of Columbia.

They view an amendment introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Tuesday afternoon that would restrict the D.C. Council’s authority to regulate firearms and handguns in the District as a threat to home rule.

“Senator Paul is at it again,” said DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry, reacting to the news that the libertarian lawmaker and potential 2016 presidential candidate is once again pushing to uproot the District’s gun policies. In 2012, Paul’s proposed gun-related amendments helped sink a Senate bill that would have granted D.C. budget autonomy from Congress.

“He continues to be hypocritical in the fact that he’s ignoring his own local government advocacy,” Perry continued, pointing out that Paul’s proclaimed support for state’s rights and local control seemed to conflict with his drive to overturn legislation passed by District officials.

While the senator’s amendment says it would repeal D.C.’s semiautomatic ban, there is no ban on registering semiautomatic weapons in the District. Current law bans registration of sawed-off shotguns, machine guns and short-barreled rifles. Paul’s amendment would end that ban and make legal assault weapons and certain rifles considered unsafe in D.C. code.

Overall, Paul’s amendment targets D.C. gun policies that were recently reaffirmed by a federal judge as consistent with the Second Amendment. The May ruling, hailed by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Vincent Gray, was a follow-up to the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller that struck down D.C.’s ban on handgun possession.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Norton accused Paul of attacking home rule and pointed out that House conservatives are waging a similar battle in the other chamber. Paul pitches the proposal as a way to enhance public safety. The text of his amendment states: “The District of Columbia has the highest per capita murder rate in the Nation, which may be attributed in part to local laws prohibiting possession of firearms by law-abiding persons who would otherwise be able to defend themselves and their loved ones in their own homes and businesses.”

Brian Malte, senior national policy director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in an interview that Congress has “no business” trying to regulate public safety issues.

“The District of Columbia has very good and strong gun laws that are in place to protect the public,” Malte said, adding that the Brady Campaign wants to see Congress expand background checks on gun purchases, rather than dismantle existing laws.

Malte said gun safety advocates are assessing the situation right now, and would be calling up their allies to let them know about Paul’s “terrible amendment” and “other terrible amendments” that Republicans were trying to attach to the sportsmen’s bill.

During remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said he welcomes the gun debate and will offer an amendment that would stiffen penalties for those who buy a firearm for someone else who commits a crime.

“Girlfriends, wake up,” he said.

Sarah Chacko contributed to this report.

  • http://democraticprogress.net/ JohnB

    Lets start with removing any regulations about carrying weapons into the capital building first. Let citizens open carry right in where these so called lawmakers work. I mean they aren’t antigun are they?

    • salmonhair

      I agree 100%! That building belongs to the people, not them and we have the right to carry there.

      • http://democraticprogress.net/ JohnB

        My point is they have a different standard for them vs the public. Didn’t mean I am in favor of open carry.

    • Frederick Bastiat

      Well, Feinstein does pack a .25 caliber pistol. She wants different rules for the proles though.

  • Killary Clottin’
    • Centaur927

      Rand Paul 2116!

      Double speak, discrimination, plagiarism and an unbalanced toupee.

      • Ev1L

        “unbalanced toupee”

        ahahaaa

        • Killary Clottin’

          You should be much more worried about the blood clots INSIDE Killary’s head than the hair on top of Dr Paul’s head.

          FYI.

          Your tired old bag of blood clots voted for the Iraq war “with conviction, and voted for the PATRIOT Act TWICE!

          Those two issues mean that Rand Paul crushes Killary in 2016!

          Killary is the disease. She is not the cure.

        • Frederick Bastiat

          Whereas the matter at the sub-follicle level of your noggin’ is unbalanced.

      • Killary Clottin’

        Your femmy elitist mormon Romney 2.0 remains silent on Iraq, the border, the debt, and all the other problems of our day.

        He’s irrelevant.

        That’s why you come to Rand Paul articles.

        I will always point this out because you are always pathetic.

      • Frederick Bastiat

        “Discrimination.” Spare me. You discriminate every day in a thousand ways. It doesn’t mean I have to accept it, but I do have to tolerate it. That’s Rand Paul’s liberal (in the real sense of the word!) view, too.

  • Guest

    Notice how Hannah Hess gives us only gives us quotes and opinions from one
    side of the issue? The only let up from the total anti-rights bias is some of the Amendment’s text halfway down the
    page, after you’ve heard from a few detractors and have been smugly told by one of his critics that “Senator
    Paul is at it again”.

    Did Hannah even attempt to get a statement
    from Senator Paul or any of the Amendment’s supporters, or did she just
    not want to “confuse” her readers with more than one perspective on
    self-defense, constitutional DC jurisdiction and the people’s rights?

    Totally
    biased and distorted “reporting” by another deceitful anti-liberty
    authoritarian who wants to keep the people of DC disarmed and
    defenseless at the mercy of the lawless criminals.

    • Killary Clottin’

      She’s a hack.

      That’s what hacks do.

      Goebbels never talked about the benefit the Jews were to the German economy.

      It disrupts the propaganda if you get your readers “thinking for themselves.”

  • cliffhutchison

    Notice how Hannah Hess only gives us quotes and opinions from one
    side of the issue? The only let up from the total anti-rights bias is when she quotes some of the Amendment’s text halfway down the page. Of course, that’s only after you’ve heard from a few detractors and have been smugly told by one of his critics that “Senator Paul is at it again”.

    Did Hannah even attempt to get a statement from Senator Paul or any of the Amendment’s supporters, or did she just not want to “confuse” her readers with more than one perspective on crime factors, constitutional DC jurisdiction and the people’s rights?

    Totally biased and distorted “reporting” by another deceitful anti-liberty hack who wants to keep the people of DC disarmed at the mercy of the lawless criminals.

  • Dean Weingarten

    No mention of how the DC District court has stonewalled a decision on the constitutionality of carry outside the home for nearly five years:

    http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2014/07/justice-delnied-gura-files-renewed.html

  • Chad

    Ummm. DC’s not a state. It’s always been under Congress’s thumb. Eff them.

  • TEEBONICUS

    Local governments do not have the legitimate power to infringe constitutionally guaranteed rights.

    And when they do, they must be smacked upside the head.

  • binaryloop

    The Sportsmen’s Act (S. 2363) is a “do nothing” bill designed to help Democrats in red states get elected in November. It does nothing to protect the 2nd Amendment and Rand Paul is correct in trying to stop it. As soon as he tries to add some real “teeth” to the bill, suddenly the anti-gun people sponsoring it aren’t interested.

  • Hal Burton

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