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This morning, less than 24 hours after the D.C. Council itself gutted the District’s gun restrictions, the House has passed a bill going even farther, 266-152. Eighty-five Democrats voted for the bill.
Senate action, at this point, seems unlikely before term’s end. But let the outraged reactions begin!
First up, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray:
“I am extremely disappointed that the House of Representatives has rushed to trample on the rights of D.C. taxpayers and moved to significantly and dangerously change our gun laws, even as the District government has acted swiftly and responsibly to enact an emergency bill to meet the requirements of the Heller Supreme Court decision and attempt to protect public safety.
“There is still hope that the Senate will allow the District’s own legislative process to take its course and reject the House’s action. In the meantime, the amended emergency bill approved just yesterday by the Council and signed by the Mayor remains law in the District of Columbia, pending our passage of a permanent bill this fall.”
UPDATE, 12:48 P.M.: Here’s the roll call. Of the suburban delegation, Virginia Republicans Tom Davis (!) and Frank Wolf voted in favor. Virginia Dem Jim Moran and Maryland Dems Chris Van Hollen, Steny Hoyer, and Donna Edwards voted against.
UPDATE, 1:05 P.M.: As much as LL would like to assemble a Hall of Shame of Democrats who voted for this, there’s 85 of ’em, so you’ll have to settle for a list of the good guys—-the moderate Republicans who voted against. They are: Michael Castle (Del.), Wayne Gilchrest (Md.), Pete King (N.Y.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Christopher Shays (Conn.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Jim Ramstad (Minn.)
UPDATE, 1:32 P.M.: Should the bill reach the Senate floor, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is promising filibuster, reports CQ:
“I’d filibuster it. You bet your life I would,” Feinstein said. “I think it is the height of folly.”
Senate Democratic leadership aides said Tuesday that a crowded calendar would make it difficult to find time for consideration of the measure. Norton predicted that there would be “multiple holds” in the Senate on homeland security grounds and hopes that Senate allies will “strangle this bill in the crib.”
UPDATE, 2:49 P.M.: And heeere’s Eleanor Holmes Norton:
“I am grateful to the 160 Democrats who voted for home rule and gun safety rather than for the NRA and organizational priorities. The fight in the House does out many of our allies and many who were willing to stay past midnight this morning to help make the case. The needless consideration of this issue when the District was well on its way to substantially altering its gun legislation was all the more egregious because the city’s representative could not vote on final passage. It has been clear all along that the substitute would gut our bill, courtesy of NRA threats and campaign contributions. Everyone knew full well that votes were in well before they were counted. The vote on the substitute was about what we expected. Therefore, for weeks now, I have been in touch with senators I knew would be helpful. As a result, I am very pleased that this bill will have multiple holds on it as it hits the Senate, and many other efforts are underway by our friends in the Senate to assure that the bill dies. I also have put in a call to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to say that the very least that the District is entitled to is referral of the House bill to committee as with all bills in the Senate. Although I was confident we could kill the bill in the Senate, it would have been a grave mistake for the District to fail to pull out all stops in the House. My experience in the House has been that fighting hard against transgressions against the District has real effects on the nature of the struggles we have to make in the future.”
UPDATE, 3:20 P.M.: And here’s Mayor Adrian M. Fenty:
“The Childers amendment, which was passed today by the House of Representatives, puts significant restrictions on the District’s ability to enact reasonable regulations on gun ownership in the District of Columbia. I find it unacceptable that this bill makes the District the only jurisdiction in the country exempt from a federal law banning residents from buying guns in other states. As this amendment moves to the Senate, I fully expect members to be sensitive to the prerogative of District leaders to strike the appropriate balance between the protection of the public and the requirements of the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Heller.”