February 27, 2009
As part of its vote to grant the District of Columbia a vote in Congress, the Senate also approved giving the capital’s residents far greater access to firearms, including semiautomatic weapons. The 62-36 vote comes eight months after the Supreme Court narrowly ruled that the district’s 32-year ban on handgun possession violated the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
The measure now must be reconciled with the House.
The legislation’s sponsor, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said the district “has attempted to subvert what the Supreme Court did by putting very burdensome types of laws to make it more and more difficult for district residents to own a gun to be able to protect themselves in their own homes.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who has fought for a ban on assault weapons, denounced the move.
“I believe it will lead to more weapons and more violence on the streets of the nation’s capital. It will endanger the citizens of the district and government employees who work here, our elected officials and those who visit this great American capital,” she said.