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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton to Defend D.C.’s Narrowly Tailored Carry Law from Congressional Interference

Sep 23, 2014
Press Release
Norton to Defend D.C.’s Narrowly Tailored Carry Law from Congressional Interference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After the District of Columbia Council today approved emergency legislation legalizing the carry of concealed handguns in the District, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said she is prepared to strongly defend the District’s new, narrowly tailored law from congressional interference.  The District passed the legislation, which would require a carry permit applicant to demonstrate good cause for carrying, in response to a federal district court ruling striking down D.C.’s ban on carrying a gun outside the home.  The District has asked the judge, U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., to reconsider the decision, and the city is still weighing an appeal.

“I regret that a New York federal district court senior judge, sitting here by designation, overturned the District’s longstanding carry ban, even though the ruling was not compelled by Supreme Court or D.C. Circuit Court case law,” Norton said.  “If any Member of Congress has nothing to do but to try to block or overturn this local legislation, I am prepared to take him on and suggest things to keep him busy.” 

The District’s gun laws have been under constant attack in Congress.  Most recently, a House- passed bill, the fiscal year 2015 D.C. Appropriations bill, included an amendment, sponsored by Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY), that would prohibit the District from spending its own local funds to enforce its local gun safety laws.  Norton kept his amendment out of the Senate’s fiscal year 2015 D.C. Appropriations bill.  Since passage of the Massie amendment, Norton has been working with her allies in the Senate and in the gun safety community to keep the Massie amendment out of the final fiscal year 2015 D.C. Appropriations bill.

The District’s carry legislation is based on carry laws in other states that have been upheld by federal courts.