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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 6842 - National Capital Security and Safety Act

September 15, 2008


(House Rules)

(Del. Norton (D) District of Columbia and Rep. Waxman (D) California)

The Administration supports the objective behind H.R. 6842 of revising the District of Columbia's firearms laws to ensure their conformity with the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. The bill in its present form, however, would do nothing more than direct the District's City Council to reconsider the emergency firearms legislation that it unanimously passed in July. Because that emergency legislation must by law expire in October, H.R. 6842 simply requires the Council to do what it is effectively required to do already (in far less time than the 180 days that would be required by this bill). Therefore, the Administration strongly opposes this legislation unless it is amended to include the provisions of H.R. 6691, the Second Amendment Enforcement Act.

The Administration strongly supports H.R. 6691 because it would immediately advance Second Amendment principles by directly protecting the individual right of law-abiding District residents to keep and bear commonly used firearms not only to protect themselves and their families but also to protect their homes and property. H.R. 6691 would ensure that law-abiding residents of the District have a meaningful opportunity to procure lawful firearms without undue delay, as well as the ability to keep those firearms readily accessible for self-defense without having to unlock or assemble them in the face of imminent danger. H.R. 6691, which has bipartisan support, would responsibly balance individual rights with the public safety by expanding the practical opportunities to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes in the District within the reasonable limits imposed by the Federal firearms laws.

George W. Bush, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 6842 - National Capital Security and Safety Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project