NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 15, 2008

The right to keep and bear arms is secure in Texas, but in our nation's capital it has been taken away, says Kay Bailey Hutchison, the senior U.S. senator from Texas.

In 1976, the Washington City Council passed the nation's toughest gun control law, banning handguns completely and requiring rifles and shotguns to be registered, stored unloaded and locked or disassembled.

The D.C. murder rate was declining before this law; in the next 15 years it jumped 200 percent.

Besides being ineffective, the ban was simply incomprehensible:

  • Under D.C. law, business owners have the right to use a firearm to protect their store cash registers, but they cannot use the same firearm to protect themselves and their families in their homes.
  • Federal law enforcement officers protecting citizens and officials in the district with firearms cannot use similar protection in their homes.

This prohibition has been challenged in court, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the district's ban was not only unreasonable but unconstitutional.

Next month, for the first time since 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the issue of Second Amendment rights when it hears arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller. The court's decision will have major implications for all Americans.  The U.S. Supreme Court has the perfect case to affirm an individual's Second Amendment right to self-defense, says Hutchison.

Source: Kay Bailey Hutchison, "D.C. gun ban affects entire U.S.; Second Amendment rights should be unambiguous," Dallas Morning News, February 14, 2008.


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