Congress Should Reject
Dangerous Legislation (H.R. 1288) Repealing the District of Columbia's
Longstanding Laws Banning Assault Weapons and Handguns
Violence Policy Center (VPC) today urged lawmakers to reject H.R. 1288,
reckless legislation that would repeal the District of Columbia's stringent
restrictions on the sale and possession of handguns and semiautomatic
assault weapons. A hearing on the bill took place today before the House
Committee on Government Reform. Similar legislation failed last Congress.
VPC Legislative Director
Kristen Rand states, "This new assault on the District's landmark gun
laws represents a direct threat to the safety and security of all D.C.
residents, businesses, tourists, and public officials. The legislation
would allow the uncontrolled proliferation of handguns, assault weapons,
and even semiautomatic 50 caliber anti-armor sniper rifles. The fact ignored
by the proponents of this outrageous proposal is that the District's gun
Crime gun tracing
data from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(ATF) shows that gun dealers in the District accounted for a meager
three percent of recovered crime guns in 2000, the last year for which
data is available. In contrast, 59 percent of traceable D.C. crime guns
were first purchased in Virginia and Maryland. Another 18 percent of D.C.
crime guns came from gun dealers in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia,
and South Carolina. All of these jurisdictions have gun laws far more
lenient than the District of Columbia's.
Adds Rand, "In fact,
America would be a much safer place if the rest of the country replicated
Washington, D.C.'s strict gun laws."
The Violence Policy Center is a
national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence
in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals.
The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research
on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related
death and injury.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x109