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National Capital Security and Safety Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

NATIONAL CAPITAL SECURITY AND SAFETY ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 16, 2008)


Mr. CUMMINGS. I want to thank the gentleman for yielding, and I rise today to express strong support for H.R. 6842. I was proud to join Mr. Waxman and other members of our committee on Tuesday when we passed this bill out of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Mr. Speaker, I find it odd that certain individuals in Congress feel the need to weigh in on this subject now when it is still in the process of being resolved.

Specifically, H.R. 6691, legislation introduced by Representative Childers, entitled the Second Amendment Enforcement Act, which will be offered as an amendment in the nature of a substitute, goes far beyond the court's intent. This amendment flies in the face of the Heller decision by prohibiting the District of Columbia from enacting any future laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.

Aside from my concerns about whether Congress ought to weigh in on what is essentially a local issue, I seriously question whether Representative Childers or any other Member of this body would appreciate Congress determining the gun laws in their congressional districts.

The proposed legislation is simply bad policy. We can all agree that different communities, whether they are urban, rural or suburban, require different types of regulation. The District of Columbia in particular presents a unique case.

No one in the Congress can tell me that they do not understand the specific homeland security issues that the National Capital region faces. We have allocated millions of Federal dollars to secure this city because we recognize that we are all still sitting in one big target.

With the number of U.S. officials and foreign dignitaries who live, work and travel here every day, it's simply astounding that there are not more acts of violence than we currently have. This is a tribute to the fine work of the law enforcement officials who patrol these streets and I, for one, simply cannot understand why we would fail to give them all the tools they need to do their work effectively and efficiently.

Let's be clear. They support this legislation. Allowing an individual to own an unregistered AK-47 in our Nation's Capital is pure insanity. And so I support the legislation, and I would ask our Members to vote against the substitute.


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