Statement of Paul Helmke on DC Voting Rights Legislation, Eviscerating DC's Gun Laws

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Peter Hamm,
Communications Director
Doug Pennington,
Assistant Director: 202-898-0792.

Statement of Paul Helmke on DC Voting Rights Legislation, Eviscerating DC's Gun Laws

WASHINGTON - Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence,
issued the following statement on the announcement that the U.S. House
of Representatives would move to a vote on a bill that gives the
District voting representation in Congress but also removes most of DC's
gun laws:

"As Second Amendment extremists prepare to
converge on Washington, D.C., it is shameful that our nation's leaders
are prepared to give the gun lobby bullies the victory they have always
sought - and never before achieved - the surrender by this City of the
power to enact its own gun laws.  Make no mistake about it - this
cave-in to the gun lobby will cost lives, many of them young lives."

(At
the start of the statement, Helmke was referring to two events planned
for the D.C. area on Monday, April 19, the anniversary of the battles of
Lexington and Concord, the bombing of the federal office building in
Oklahoma City in 1995 and the fiery end to the standoff between federal
agents and religious zealots at Waco, Texas in 1993.)

The gun
lobby claims the language is needed to "restore Second Amendment rights
in the District of Columbia." Yet the D.C. government rewrote its laws
to comply with the Supreme Court's Second Amendment decision in D.C. v.
Heller, and a federal judge recently upheld D.C.'s laws as entirely
consistent with the Constitution.

While that decision struck
down D.C.'s ban on handguns in the home, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote
that a wide range of gun laws are "presumptively lawful." Heller permits
the types of laws that would be eliminated by this amendment.

The
language that had been circulating would repeal D.C.'s ban on
military-style weapons, allow teenagers to possess semiautomatic assault
rifles, undermine federal anti-trafficking laws, and prohibit D.C. from
passing laws that could "discourage" gun possession or use, even by
felons, children or other dangerous persons.

More is at: http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/ensignfactsheet.pdf.

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The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence.

We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.

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