Friday, September 19, 2008

D.C. City Council passes new gun law

In the wake of the House's vote to essentially strip the power-hungry tyrants Washington, D.C. City Council of its power to enact gun control on its own, the city has passed a new gun law that relaxes a few of the draconian restrictions under the existing law, which the city enacted in response to the Supreme Court's Heller ruling.

Among the changes:
  • The new law essentially changes the definition of "machine gun" from its previous nonsensical definition to now exclude semi-automatic firearms. D.C.'s previous definition of "machine gun" had included semi-automatic firearms.

  • Prohibits possession of a "large capacity ammunition feeding device", defined as one that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.

  • Removes the requirement that the gun be kept unloaded and locked up or disassembled except when, and only when, it was actively being used for self-defense against an attacker. The new law announces that the unloaded and locked up or disassembled condition is now only the city's suggested policy.

  • The new law does impose a requirement to keep loaded guns either locked up or carried on the registrant's person "if he knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the parent or guardian of the minor". Failure to observe this requirement is subject to an up to $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in prison. When the failure results in death, the penalty is up to $5,000 and/or five years in prison.

Related article links:

Washington Times: D.C. passes gun law, but House looms

Washington Times: House Democrats push through pro-gun bill:
Conservative House Democrats defied party leaders Wednesday and pushed through legislation that loosens gun laws in the District, saying that the Second Amendment trumps their party's long-standing advocacy of Home Rule in the nation's capital.

"Number one, I'm a pro-gun Democrat," said Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, a member of the Blue Dog conservative Democratic coalition. "Number two, if the government of the District of Columbia can take your guns away from you in our nation's capital, Prescott, Arkansas, and many other small towns across the country could be next." ...

Washington Post: Limit on Gun Law Passes; Senate Vote Unlikely
"If this bill comes to the floor of the United States Senate, I will do everything in my power to stop it," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

Gun Owners of America: House Passes Bill To Repeal D.C. Gun Ban -- Action now needed in the U.S. Senate:
The bill now goes to the Senate, but unless there is a ton of pressure put on Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the bill will languish in committee.

Thankfully, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) is spearheading an effort to get a vote on the House-passed bill. She is asking her fellow Senators to cosponsor a letter which she will then deliver to Sen. Reid.

The full text of the new law can be found here. [Hat tip to SCOTUS Blog for the link]

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