Senator, and likely presidential candidate, Marco Rubio cosponsored legislation this week that would end DC’s strictest-in-the-nation gun laws, and restrict the City Council from imposing new restrictions.
Under the legislation introduced by Rubio and Jordan, that would change dramatically. District gun laws would be repealed and replaced with much looser federal laws, including a “shall issue” provision requiring the District to issue a concealed-carry permit to any resident or visitor who meets the most basic criteria.
The D.C. Council and mayor would also be stripped of their ability to pass future restrictions on gun control. And D.C. residents would be allowed to purchase guns in neighboring states including Virginia, where purchasing requirements are among the nation’s most lenient.
While we happen to like the intent of this legislation, there are three obvious problems with it.
The first problem with this legislation is that pesky Tenth Amendment and specific legislation that was passed by the Congress giving the District of Columbia limited home rule.
The second problem is that while we don’t question Sen. Rubio’s fealty to the Second Amendment, we see this as an obvious bone to throw to the base so that they’ll overlook his work with the Gang of Eight.
With respect to DC home rule, that is a fairly constant battle between Congressional Republicans and a City Council that ranks as one of the most liberal in the nation. The district was granted limited home rule by Congress in the 1970s.
During the term of Democrat Mayor and crack addict extraordinaire Marion Barry, Congress imposed strict financial controls on the District. Since then there have been battles with the district over needle exchange programs, medical marijuana, public funding for abortion,and upcoming fight over the District’s legalization of marijuana, and a possible fight over their position on gay marriage.
One of these days, some Congress is going to have to decide whether residents of the District of Columbia have the right to govern themselves or not. It’s a very contentious and partisan fight, but as staunch defenders of the Tenth Amendment, we would prefer to give the citizens of DC the right to govern themselves, with the explicit understanding that the federal government will not bail them out if their Socialist ways drive the District into bankruptcy.
Make that, “WHEN” their Socialist ways drive them into bankruptcy.
With respect to Rubio trying to make points with the base, we have a better way he can do it.
We would prefer to see Congress include concealed carry permits in the list of things that states are required to recognize when issued by other states. Just like drivers licenses. An Arizona drivers license is recognized in all fifty states and the District giving an Arizona drivers license holder the legal right to drive anywhere in the United States.
Let Congress require an Arizona concealed carry permit to be legal in all fifty states and the District.
We didn’t forget the third problem with this legislation, it’s just the biggest and most obvious. It requires the signature of Gun-Banner-in-Chief Barack Obama before it can become law. Or, Republicans could find thirteen or so Democratic votes in the Senate to override Obama’s veto.
Again, while we are very sympathetic to this legislation, we would prefer Sen. Rubio spent his time and effort on ways to block Obama Amnesty, or getting 15+ million illegal aliens deported.
But we know that’s not gonna happen.
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