Norton Votes on House Floor to Protect National Gun Background Checks, Highlights Importance of Democratic Majority in Protecting D.C. Gun Laws

Feb 28, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a cosponsor of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8), which requires universal background checks on gun sales and transfers, celebrated House passage of this historic gun violence prevention bill.  With Democrats in power, Norton has reclaimed her right to vote on the House floor in the Committee of the Whole and voted for two amendments to improve this bill.  Norton noted that with Democrats controlling the House, she is able to go on offense in combating gun violence.  In recent years, she has had to defeat bills that would have eliminated the District of Columbia’s local gun violence prevention laws.  The District has recently seen a sharp increase in gun homicides.

“I have spent the past eight years defeating annual attempts by House and Senate Republicans to eliminate the District’s local gun violence prevention laws,” Norton said. “Yesterday, the House passed historic legislation that will help combat gun violence in the District and across the country. The background check bill keeps people who should not have guns from purchasing them. While the District mandates universal background checks under local law, surrounding states do not, allowing illegal guns to flood some of the District’s neighborhoods.”

Last Congress, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and then-Representative Thomas Garrett (R-VA) introduced the Second Amendment Enforcement Act (S. 162/H.R. 1537), which would have eliminated most of D.C.’s gun violence prevention laws.  Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced the D.C. Personal Protection Reciprocity Act (H.R. 2909), which would have required D.C. to recognize out-of-state concealed carry permits.  None of those bills have been reintroduced this Congress, though Norton is prepared to defeat them, as she did in the last Congress.