Second Amendment Victory in the Senate

The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday, February 26, to repeal the strict gun laws of the District of Columbia today, passing an amendment offered by pro-gun Senator John Ensign (R-NV).

For over thirty years, residents of D.C. have been subject to a near total gun ban.  Even after last year’s landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down the District’s gun ban, D.C. Council members passed a law that, in many ways, was worse than then one the Court threw out.

For example, an important element of the D.C. law that was repealed today was a “microstamping” requirement.  By 2011, the D.C. law mandates that all semi-automatic firearms sold in the District be capable of “microstamping” a cartridge with a unique serial number. 

Such technology, even if it were possible to implement, would make guns so expensive that no one would buy them.  If only a few jurisdictions passed such a law, it could start a chain reaction forcing gun makers to manufacture ALL guns to meet the new ‘microstamping” standards.

The Ensign amendment — if signed into law — will repeal the “microstamping” requirement and other gun restrictions and strips the City Council of its ability to deny Second Amendment rights to its citizens.

The underlying bill, however, remains a concern for gun owners.

The bill, S. 160, would expand the House of Representatives by two seats, one for D.C., the other temporarily for Utah. 

Article 1, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution requires that Representatives be chosen from the states.  D.C., of course, is not a state.  At least not yet.  The ultimate goal of most advocates of the bill is complete statehood for the District of Columbia, which would bring another two anti-gun Senators to Congress.

As the bill moves to the U.S. House, leaders there indicate they will try to strip the gun ban repeal from the bill. 

Gun Owners of America will oppose any effort to strike the Ensign amendment by the House, or in a conference committee between House and Senate.