- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Jim Jordan took aim at the District’s restrictive gun laws on Thursday, introducing bills that would make it easier for residents to buy and carry firearms.

The two Republicans also want to make it harder for the D.C. government to impose burdensome requirements for citizens to obtain firearms or concealed-carry permits, which has been a complaint of gun-rights advocates since the Supreme Court upheld the legal challenge that ended the city’s virtual ban on firearms.

The legislation would:

⦁ Remove the authority of the D.C. Council to enact what they call “persecutory” gun-control laws.

⦁ Conform D.C. law to federal law governing firearm commerce.

⦁ Enable D.C. residents to obtain firearms from licensed dealers in Maryland and Virginia.

⦁ Repeal D.C.’s onerous firearm registration system.

⦁ Create a “shall-issue” permitting system for concealed carry, including provisions pertaining to background checks and firearm training.

⦁ Create authority for private entities and secure public buildings to determine whether or to what degree firearms will be allowed on their premises.

“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,” said Mr. Rubio, Florida Republican. “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.”

“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. The lawful exercise of the Second Amendment is part of what makes this possible,” he said.

Mr. Jordan, Ohio Republican, said the District has “some of the harshest laws against gun owners in the nation.”

“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,” he said.

The legislation likely faces an uphill battle to being enacted, including expected opposition from the White House.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s nonvoting delegate to Congress, called the bill an attack on D.C. home rule and its gun-safety laws.

She also accused Mr. Rubio and Mr. Jordan of using the District to score points with conservatives.

“It should shock no one that Senator Rubio, who is widely expected to soon announce a run for President, would try to raise his national profile and conservative bona fides, but they should be shocked to hear that he would try to use our local jurisdiction and laws to violate his own support for the principle of local control,” Mrs. Norton said.

“Such bullying is not very presidential,” she said. “If Senator Rubio and Representative Jordan want to remove restrictions on guns, why do they not offer a bill to eliminate the federal gun restrictions that affect their own constituents—such as bans on guns in federal buildings, and post offices—where there would be no violation of their often professed federalism principles?”

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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