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Earlier today, LL examined the decision of Virginia Republican Tom Davis—-normally a staunch defender of home rule—-to back a bill gutting the District’s gun laws.
A few minutes ago, LL was able to speak to Davis’ spokesperson, Brian McNicoll, who says his boss supported less sweeping legislation advocated by District delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.
“He supported Eleanor’s approach; he backed it in committee. He shepherded the amendment that clarified what she was saying, made it acceptable to get it to the floor,” McNicoll said, adding that Davis voted against the more coercive amendment pushed by conservative Democrats “because he supports home rule.”
But why then, after the amendment passed, vote for the final bill?
“When it came to final passage, it was that or nothing, and if you look at what had happened since Heller, there is also an issue of the city thumbing its nose at the Supreme Court,” McNicoll said. “He wanted to send a message—-that you’ve got to do it. You may not like it, but you’ve got to do it.”
LL asked McNicoll if Davis knew that the D.C. Council had addressed many of Congress’ concerns the day before. “I guess he was aware of that,” he said, but previous attempts to let the city write its own gun laws “left a lot of issues unresolved….The devil got into the details.”