On the day Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) held a press conference with national groups to warn appropriators not to use the District of Columbia as a vehicle, Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA) filed an amendment in the House Rules Committee to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 that expresses the sense of the Congress that active duty military personnel in their private capacity should be exempt from the gun safety laws of D.C., but not those of any other jurisdiction. This Congress, Gingrey introduced his amendment as a standalone bill as well. Gingrey also added the amendment to the House-passed fiscal year 2013 and 2014 National Defense Authorization Acts, but, in both cases, Norton got it removed from the enacted bills. In case the amendment passes the Republican-led House again this year, Norton has already been in contact with Senate and gun safety allies to keep the provision out of the final bill. Jon Lowy, Legal Director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, joined Norton at her "Save D.C. Home Rule" press conference earlier today to alert members of the House and Senate that D.C. has national allies to help prevent anti-home-rule government amendments to D.C.'s laws, including on gun safety.
"Phil Gingrey's own constituents need to know that even when Congress turns him back, as it did the last two years on this same amendment, he keeps meddling in a district more than 600 miles away from his own," said Norton. "I wonder how many bills he has passed that are of interest to his own district, but we are certainly going to make sure his constituents know how he spends his time in Washington. He throws the Republican principle of local control of local affairs under the proverbial D.C. bus instead of filing bills that can be passed for the people of the 11th district of Georgia."
Last week, a federal district court upheld D.C.'s gun registration requirements, following a federal appellate court ruling upholding D.C.'s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. This means that the courts have turned back every attempt to overturn D.C.'s post-Heller gun laws in each case in which the courts have spoken.