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District pols can argue about this soccer stadium or that housing scandal, but there’s one thing they all seem to agree on: opposition to the Saturday court ruling that, until a stay issued this afternoon, allowed anyone with a registered gun to pack heat in the District.
Democratic mayoral hopeful Muriel Bowser sent out a press release denouncing the ruling Sunday, while mayoral hopefuls Carol Schwartz and David Catania, both former Republicans, hustled out statements yesterday. Ditto D.C. Council chairman Phil Mendelson, who slammed the ruling on national security grounds.
With so much agreement on the ruling, who’s left for would-be gunslingers to support? Kris Hammond, that’s who. Unlike the guy whose job he wants, the Republican candidate for Council chairman says that the Council and Mayor Vince Gray‘s Office of the Attorney General are having a “knee-jerk” reaction by opposing the ruling. Instead, Hammond says legislators should work on new gun rules that would allow gun possession in some parts of the city.
“This is what the people win when the Council thinks carefully about the laws it enacts and makes a reasoned judgment,” Hammond says.
Not even the other Republican on the ballot agrees with Hammond. GOP at-large hopeful Marc Morgan tells LL that he’s “disturbed” by the ruling, worrying that it could bring back the days when “you couldn’t walk down U Street without a bulletproof vest or a shotgun.”
Still, Hammond, who owns one of the District’s more than 3,000 registered guns, is no stranger to being an outlier on gun control. A former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Eckington, he once declared on his neighborhood email list that the 2008 Heller ruling that preserved gun ownership in the District amounted to “a great day for the District of Columbia.”
Photo courtesy Kris Hammond