As reported, the U.S. House of Representatives voted today to approve the National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed “Second Amendment Enforcement Act” in an overwhelming bi-partisan vote of 266-152. The Act, passed as an amendment to H.R. 6842, will overturn the District of Columbia’s gun control restrictions that defy the recent Supreme Court ruling by continuing to limit D.C. residents’ right to self-defense.
The Second Amendment Enforcement Act will:
- Repeal the District’s ban on semi-automatic handguns. Semi-automatic pistols have been the most commonly purchased firearms in the United States over the last 20 years, and therefore a ban on those firearms is unconstitutional as decided by Heller;
- Restore the right of self-defense by repealing the requirement that firearms be disassembled or secured with a trigger lock in the home;
- Reform the current D.C. registration system that requires multiple visits to police headquarters; ballistics testing; passing a written test on D.C. gun laws; fingerprinting; and limiting registration to one handgun per 90 days. The current system is unduly burdensome and serves as a vehicle for even more onerous restrictions; and
- Create a limited exemption to the federal ban on interstate handgun sales by allowing D.C. residents to purchase handguns in Virginia and Maryland. Currently there is only one licensed firearm dealer in the District, and the District government is standing in the way of additional dealers opening their doors. A 40-year old federal law prohibits residents from purchasing handguns outside of the District.
I’m encouraged that this important piece of legislation has passed the US House of Representatives. Now I hope that it passes the US Senate.