For Immediate Release
Voting Rights Bill with NRA Gun Amendment Pulled from Consideration
WASHINGTON - Today,
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the District of Columbia
Voting Rights Act would be pulled from consideration in the U.S. House
of Representatives because of the chamber’s inability to stop a National
Rifle Association (NRA) amendment that would have effectively gutted
the city’s gun laws. “The price was way too high,” said Hoyer, who
indicated he made the decision along with D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) applauds Majority Leader
Hoyer and Delegate Norton for making this hard decision and for
acknowledging that the bill was a threat to D.C. residents’ safety and
democratic rights. It is a tragedy that a bill that would have extended
voting representation in Congress to American citizens who richly
deserve it was undermined by the NRA’s insidious agenda.
A recent decision by a federal judge upheld the District of Columbia’s
new gun laws as constitutional and torpedoed the NRA’s claims that these
regulations are arbitrary and tyrannical. Nonetheless, the NRA pressed
ahead and put their petty, partisan agenda ahead of the civil rights of
600,000 patriotic Americans. Their goal was to drive a wedge between
D.C. residents, but in the end we emerged unified and more determined
CSGV has been committed to obtaining full democracy for the District
for 40 years. Our president, Mike Beard, was the first executive
director of Self-Determination for D.C., a national coalition that was
instrumental in passing the Home Rule Act in 1973. In recent years, we
have been proud to advocate for voting representation and political
autonomy for District residents.
We would like to thank the many individuals and organizations who
stepped forward to protect the principle of self-determination in the
District. Among them were the 13 members of the D.C. Council, ROOT
(Reaching Out to Others Together), the League of Women Voters, DC for
Democracy, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the D.C.
Democratic Party, and—most importantly—family members who lost loved
ones in the March 30 mass shooting in Southeast Washington.
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The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. For more information about the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, visit www.csgv.org.