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Discussion Starter #1
I originally wrote the following post to put on another board for the benefit of my fellow federal retirees who live in and around the District of Columbia. I thought it might be worthwhile to post it here as well in case anyone living or visiting in that area should not understand that the DC gun laws have not changed yet.

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On September 29, 2004, the HOUSE (only) passed HR-3193, The Second Amendment Rights Protection Act.

The effect of this bill (IF it becomes law) would be to remove all power from the Mayor, City Council or other DC government entities to regulate firearms laws in the District of Columbia.

It would repeal the prohibition which prevents DC residents from owning firearms in their homes, businesses or other private property they own.

It would remove the handgun registration requirement. (There was also a "catch" in the old law - after the date that it was passed it was no longer possible to register a firearm.)

It would remove the prohibition on possessing cartridges or components of cartridges. (This also applies to VISITORS in the District - you can not only be arrested for possessing a firearm, but also you can be arrested for possessing ammunition.)

It would repeal the ban on semiautomatic firearms. (Sawed off shotguns, short rifles and machine guns would still be banned.)

It would restore the right of self-defense in the home. (Can you believe self-defense in your own home was illegal?)

However, the Senate has NOT passed S.1414, which would be the corresponding bill in the Senate.

Therefore, as of now the law HAS NOT CHANGED.

I didn't want you to be misled by media reports, such as some that I've seen on TV, that gives the mistaken impression that the passage of the House bill has resulted in the repeal of the restrictive firearms legislation in DC.

S.1414 was introduced in the Senate by Senator Orrin Hatch. It has 33 co-sponsors. This is not nearly enough.

I urge each of you to write to your two federal SENATORS and ask them to not only support the bill, but also to co-sponsor it.

I predict that when the law-abiding citizens of the District of Columbia are permitted to arm themselves the violent crime rate in the District will decrease. This has been the demonstrated effect in other jurisdictions.

Do not bother to contact your representative in the House of Representatives. It has already passed there.
 

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OldStar said:
It would repeal the ban on semiautomatic firearms. (Sawed off shotguns, short rifles and machine guns would still be banned.)
Are these firearms truly banned or are they merely class III firearms requiring a $200 tax/registration fee plus paperwork? They may as well be banned, 'cause I don't see that dipstick CLEO signing off on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As Yogi Berra used to say, "You can look it up."

Go to the Thomas website: http://thomas.loc.gov and type in HR-3193 in the search box to get the full text.

In the "registration" section it says:

(b) DESCRIPTION OF FIREARMS REMAINING ILLEGAL- Section 201 of such Act (sec. 7-2502.01, D.C. Official Code) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

`(c) A firearm described in this subsection is any of the following:

`(1) A sawed-off shotgun.

`(2) A machine gun.

`(3) A short-barreled rifle.'.


I did not go back to the DC code to get the full text. I went with the title which indicates to me that those firearms "remain illegal."

In the section on reforming the DC councils' ability to regulate firearms, the council lost the power to regulate "any firearm neither prohibited by Federal law nor regulated by the National Firearms Act."

So it appears they retained the power to regulate firearms prohibited by federal law and/or regulated by the National Firearms Act. So they can still ban Class III firearms.

Is that how you see it?
 

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Sadly, that's how I see it also.

Full Text SEC. 3. REFORM D.C. COUNCIL'S AUTHORITY TO RESTRICT FIREARMS.

Section 4 of the Act entitled `An Act to prohibit the killing of wild birds and wild animals in the District of Columbia', approved June 30, 1906 (34 Stat. 809; sec. 1-303.43, D.C. Official Code) is amended by adding at the end the following: `This section shall not be construed to permit the Council, the Mayor, or any governmental or regulatory authority of the District of Columbia to prohibit, constructively prohibit, or unduly burden the ability of persons otherwise permitted to possess firearms under Federal law from acquiring, possessing in their homes or businesses, or using for sporting, self-protection or other lawful purposes, any firearm neither prohibited by Federal law nor regulated by the National Firearms Act. The District of Columbia shall not have authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.'.
The City Council can no longer outlaw self-defense. A good move in itself. Now if the Senate would just take it up in about a week.....
 
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