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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton Prepared After Massie’s New Pressure to Bring D.C. Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill to House Floor

Jul 17, 2017
Press Release

Norton Has Defeated Four Prior Attempts by Massie to Overturn D.C. Gun Laws

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today responded to a press report that Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) had a discussion last Thursday with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) about Massie’s bill (H.R. 2909) to require the District of Columbia to recognize out-of-state permits to carry concealed guns, regardless of the state standards for issuing such permits.   According to the report, Massie “felt [it] was a positive interaction” with McCarthy, who schedules bills for House floor consideration.  This is Massie’s fifth attempt to overturn some or all of D.C.’s gun safety laws since coming to Congress in 2012.  He has failed each time to get them enacted into law.

“Here comes Thomas Massie again with his D.C. concealed carry bill, which he introduced the day after the horrific shooting of Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and others at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia,” Norton said.  “Congressman Massie needs to get a life, or at least to get as many bills through the House as I have, although I have no vote on the House floor.  So far this Congress, the House passed one of my bills, but zero for Massie.  Instead of using his status in the Majority to do something for Kentucky residents, he has exploited the Scalise tragedy to reintroduce the D.C. bill, although another member had introduced that bill last Congress, but had not reintroduced it.  Massie is a serial abuser of Congress’ undemocratic power over D.C., but he has never had the courage of his convictions to introduce a bill to overturn the federal bans on bringing guns onto the U.S. Capitol grounds or in federal buildings, such as U.S. post offices, across the country, including in Kentucky.  It seems Massie insists upon the democratic principle of local control for all Americans except U.S. taxpayers in the nation’s capital.”

The National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority is passing a national concealed carry reciprocity bill.  That bill faces many obstacles, including, ironically, as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Massie both have acknowledged, resistance by some members on local control principles to Congress overriding state and local concealed carry laws.  In the report, Massie said: “Now, as far as national reciprocity goes there’s a debate about the 10th Amendment and whether the federal government can tell states they have to honor the gun control regime of another state in their state. But there’s no 10th Amendment issue with this D.C. bill that I’ve introduced, because the Constitution is very clear. This body makes the laws for the federal city.”

The District requires applicants for a concealed carry permit to demonstrate a “good reason” to carry.  The District law has been challenged in court and the case is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  Similar standards have been upheld by several federal appeals courts.