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[Ben]:Email from Cara's favorite Congressman Discuss This [1 comment so far] View Comments
Dear Ben:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 6691, the Second Amendment Enforcement Act. I appreciate hearing from you.

As you may know, in June 2008, the Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia's bans on handguns and operable firearms within the home for self-defense. The District responded by passing a bill that fails to comply with the Court's ruling. In particular:
  • D.C. failed to eliminate its ban on operable firearms within the home, allowing a person to assemble and load a firearm at home only if a criminal attack is underway;
  • D.C. established a complicated, intrusive and expensive registration procedure to discourage people from attempting to register a handgun;
  • D.C. did not alter its "machine gun" ban to reflect federal or state law, which commonly defines "machine gun" to include most semi-automatic firearms. As a result, the city continues to ban most semi-automatic pistols, the most widely used self-defense firearm in the United States.

To counteract the District's failure to comply with the Supreme Court's decision, H.R. 6691 was introduced by Representative Travis Childers (D-MS) on July 31, 2008. This bill includes provisions focused on the restoration of Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. This bill was drafted to:
  • Conform D.C. gun laws to the requirements set out by the Supreme Court. The bill will repeal the city's "pistol" ban, amend its separate ban on semi-automatic handguns, and repeal the city's ban on operable firearms within the home;
  • Reform the D.C.'s firearm registration system, which the District's Emergency Bill makes even more complicated and intrusive. Firearm registration has no crime-prevention benefit, as demonstrated by the fact that nearly all firearms used in violent crimes in D.C. are not registered;
  • Allow D.C. to enact regulations that do not prohibit or unduly burden the acquisition, possession or use of firearms for lawful purposes;
  • Allow D.C. residents to buy handguns in Maryland or Virginia. Because there are no gun stores and one federally licensed firearm dealer who will perform handgun transfers in the District, the substitute amendment would change federal law to permit a D.C. resident to acquire a handgun from a federally licensed dealer in Maryland or Virginia. All sales would be subject to the National Instant Check System;
  • Allow D.C. to prohibit the carrying of any firearm in public without a permit. Currently, while D.C. requires a permit to carry a handgun, no permit is required to carry a rifle or shotgun.

On September 17, 2008, H.R. 6691 was offered as a substitute amendment to replace the Democrat bill H.R. 6842, the National Capital Security and Safety Act. H.R. 6691 passed the House by a vote of 266-152. This bill will now be referred to Senate for consideration.

I voted for H.R. 6691 because I believe that law-abiding citizens have the right to own firearms for reasons of personal safety, recreation, or sport. These are legitimate and lawful reasons. I have heard first hand from Hoosiers who have exercised their Second Amendment rights for the protection of themselves, their loved ones, and their property.

Please be assured of my continued support for the Second Amendment and the right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. As always, should this right or other personal liberties be attacked, I welcome your suggestions on how to counter them.

Best Regards,
Steve Buyer
Member of Congress

Oddly ... I don't believe I did contact Steve about this issue ...
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