Law Firm Uncovers Serious Flaws with Ensign Amendment to DC Vote Bill
Legal Memo Reveals Gun Amendment is Out of Date and Dangerous
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April 2, 2009
Washington, DC - Today, a local law firm issued a memorandum revealing that Senator John Ensign's amendment to repeal DC's gun laws contains serious flaws. On February 26, Sen. Ensign (R-NV) offered an amendment to the DC Voting Rights Act (H.R.157/S.160) to drastically change DC gun control laws. The measure and the bill passed the Senate by a large majority.
The memo released by Patton Boggs LLP concludes that the government of the District of Columbia has already enacted measures to comply with the Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller.
The findings also show that the Ensign Amendment to the DC Voting Rights Act is both dangerous and out of date.
According to Patton Boggs, DC's current laws: allow residents to register semiautomatic handguns; restore the right of self-defense in the home; and amend the District's safe storage requirements so that a firearm no longer need to be kept bound by a trigger lock within the home.
"The findings affirm what we've said all along," said Ilir Zherka, DC Vote Executive Director. "DC moved quickly to comply with the Supreme Court ruling and now has gun laws similar to states such as New York, Massachusetts and Hawaii. Ensign's amendment is unnecessary at best and dangerous at worst."
Patton Boggs's memo further pointed out that Sen. Ensign repealed gun control measures in DC that existed in his home state of Nevada.
"Members of Congress voted to support a measure that they would never approve in their home districts," added Zherka. "Even Sen. Ensign doesn't approve of these loosened gun control laws he proposed, yet he's trying to impose them on the District to gain clout with the NRA."
An analysis from the Congressional Research Service was also recently released, providing a thorough examination of the Ensign Amendment and DC's gun laws.
The DC vote bill is currently delayed in the House as a result of a proposed, similar gun amendment to the House version of the DC Voting Rights Act. But Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has announced his intention to resolve the issues around the bill and bring it to a vote by May.
Click here to read the entire text of the memo from Patton Boggs LLP.
Click here to read the entire text of the report from the Congressional Research Service.