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District of Columbia Personal Protection Act

Location: Washington, DC

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PERSONAL PROTECTION ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 29, 2004)


Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, first. In addition to violating the Republicans' "sacred oath" to support "states' rights;" this body is violating the citizens of the District of Columbia's right to self-determination with respect to guns . . . just because it can. Congress, in 1993, denied American citizens the right to statehood and continues to deny them voting rights. DC's young people are fighting, dying and being wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of democracy and self-determination . . . something they don't have back home in DC! So Republicans in Congress exercise outside control over DC citizens, and DC citizens have limited means of fighting back, since they have no voting representation in Congress.

Second. The other side is forcing us to vote on this bill just to send a political message back home. The Senate has already rejected it, so we know it will not become law this year. They are doing it for political reasons just before the election on November 2--which they would never even think about doing to another state because the Americans they represent have a member in the House and two in the Senate. They are exploiting the politically impotent citizens of DC. It reminds me of the big bully in school picking on the littlest and weakest kid in the class. Let's be clear. They are forcing us to vote on this legislation in order to politicize the gun issue on the eve of the election in order to send a political message back home.

Third. In addition to all of that, let's look at the Republican flip-flop on the gun issue! What was the Republican Party saying about guns in 1968? And, I might add for context, in 1967-1968 our cities were in rebellion and our colleague, Congressman BOBBY RUSH, was a Black Panther, and the Panthers had guns?

But let's look at the Republican Platform language in 1968!

[End Insert]


"We pledge an all-out federal-state-local crusade against crime, including enactment of legislation to control indiscriminate availability of firearms."


First, on September 13, Republicans let the assault weapons ban expire!

Now the "Republican District of Columbia Personal Protection Act"!

Sec. 3. Reform DC Council's authority to restrict firearms.

This section shall not be construed to permit the Council, the Mayor, or any governmental or regulatory authority of the District of Columbia to prohibit, constructively prohibit, or unduly burden the ability of persons otherwise permitted to possess firearms under Federal law from acquiring, possessing in their homes or businesses, or using for sporting, self-protection or other lawful purposes, any firearm neither prohibited by Federal law nor regulated by the National Firearms Act. The District of Columbia shall not have authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.

Sec. 4. Repeal DC semiautomatic ban.

Sec. 5. Repeal registration requirement.

Sec. 6. Repeal handgun ammunition ban.

Sec. 8. Additional repeals.

Sec. 9. Remove criminal penalties for possession of unregistered firearms.

[Begin Insert]

This bill is a waste of this body's time. It is wrongheaded. It is patently unfair. It is nakedly political. It is anti-democratic. And I urge its defeat.

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