A sweeping law being proposed by a likely Republican presidential hopeful would turn Washington, D.C., into Texas.
At least as far as its gun laws are concerned.
Dubbed the “Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015,” the bill sponsored by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio would make it easier to carry a concealed handgun in the District, lift the ban on semi-automatic AR-15s and bar the local government from enacting any law that restricts lawful gun owners.
“For years, the District of Columbia has infringed on its residents’ Second Amendment rights and rendered them vulnerable to criminals who could care less what the gun laws are,” Rubio said in a statement. “This legislation will finally allow D.C.’s law-abiding residents and visitors access to firearms for sporting or lawful defense of themselves and their homes, businesses and families.”
The new law is also sponsored by Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan who said the legislation would make the capital city a safer place.
“Washington, D.C. has some of the harshest laws against gun owners in the nation,” Jordan said. “By rolling back unnecessary restrictions and protecting the rights of homeowners to protect themselves, this bill will make Washington, D.C. a safer place for law-abiding citizens, and will restore the original intent of the Second Amendment to our nation’s capital.”
The District of Columbia only recently legalized the concealed carry of handguns but made the regulations for obtaining a license so restrictive, fewer than 10 of the city’s 650,000 residents have been granted a permit. The landmark 2008 Supreme Court “Heller” decision affirming an individual right to own firearms stemmed from a case brought by a D.C. resident.
The Democrat-run city council has long been opposed to gun rights, with the District’s new mayor claiming recently she “hates guns.”
“If it was up to me, we wouldn’t have any handguns in the District of Columbia,” she said during a speech in January. “I swear to protect the Constitution and what the courts say, but I will do it in the most restrictive way as possible.”
The 41-page law proposed by Rubio and Jordan would strip the council’s ability to “prohibit or unduly burden” a resident’s ability to own, purchase or carry a firearm in D.C. The bill would also protect non-residents who transport firearms through the city and lift the ban on the licensed carry of handguns on most property in the District unless the property owner specifically prohibits it.
“In order to achieve the American Dream, people need to be able to live in safe communities and be able to protect themselves, their families and their properties from danger,” Rubio said. “The lawful exercise of the Second Amendment is part of what makes this possible.”