Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) along with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives on Thursday that would “restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. The text of the bill, HR 645, has not be released yet by the Government Printing Office. The bill has been sent to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for hearings.
According to a press release on the bill issued by Ross’s office, HR 645 would:
The major provisions of the Second Amendment Enforcement Act include:
Repeal the D.C. Semiautomatic Ban. The District has restricted or banned the availability of various types of semiautomatic firearms that are widely owned throughout the United States. This repeal would allow District residents to choose for themselves the best firearms to meet their needs. The District’s current ban on fully-automatic machine guns would remain in place.
Restore the Right to Self Defense in the Home. The bill would repeal the District’s current storage law and allow gun owners to store their firearms so that they are readily available for immediate defensive purposes. It would also provide for criminal penalties when a person allows an unattended firearm to fall into the hands of minors who harm themselves or others.
Authorize Purchases of Firearms and Ammunition by D.C. Residents. Because there are not traditional gun shops in D.C. and federal law prohibits a person from purchasing handguns outside the person’s state of residence, this bill would provide more meaningful opportunities for D.C. residents to obtain the right firearms for their needs in Maryland and Virginia. It would also allow licensed dealers in D.C. to sell non-restricted ammunition.
Repeal Overly Restrictive Registration Requirement. Buying a firearm in D.C. can often take weeks and the registration fees can often cost as much as the gun itself. This bill would repeal the burdensome and very costly registration requirement and allows D.C. residents to exercise their right to bear arms without undue hindrance.
Ensure the Firearms May be Transported and Carried for Legitimate Purposes. This bill would allow a person to transport and carry firearms in prescribed manners for lawful purposes, while authorizing the D.C. City Council to implement regulations governing licensed carry and the prohibition of firearms in sensitive public places.
Ross represents the 4th District of Arkansas. He is one of the few Blue Dog Democrats to be re-elected in 2010 and is co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsman’s Caucus. He notes in his press release that he is a Life Member of the NRA. Both he and Jordan signed the amicus brief submitted by Members of Congress supporting Heller in D.C. v Heller.
Jordan represents the 4th District of Ohio. He is Chairman of the Republican Study Committee for the 112th Congress which is the caucus of Republican conservatives. Jordan serves onthe House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending.
Ross and Jordan were rated A+ for the 2010 election cycle by the NRA Political Victory Fund and both received the NRA endorsement.
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports on the bill introduced by Ross and Jordan. They think that some sort of bill will pass that will reduce the constraints imposed by the DC City Council. However, they are unsure whether a standalone bill will get through Congress and Obama.
House Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) is positively apoplectic in her response to this bill. From a release that her office issue:
“House Republicans revealed themselves to be hypocrites on day one of the new Congress when they stripped our residents of the federal court-approved Committee of the Whole vote,” Norton said. “They won control of the House on the slogans of job creation and reducing the power of the federal government, but they have spent the first month in the majority introducing bills to usurp the local autonomy of the District of Columbia. They underestimate our residents if they think this city will tolerate autocratic rule from Congress any more than the Jordan and Ross districts would tolerate dictatorship from Congress on local matters.”
UPDATE II: The full text of HR 645 is now available. It is a long bill so here is the link to the PDF of the bill.