House votes to limit DC from enforcing gun laws

A proposal to limit the District of Columbia's ability to enforce its gun laws passed the House on Wednesday.

Rep. Thomas Massie's (R-Ky.) amendment to the fiscal 2015 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, which includes a $637 million federal payment for the District of Columbia, would prohibit funding to enforce its handgun ban and other gun laws. The amendment passed 241-181.

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Massie said the District's gun laws ran counter to the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue.

"Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller that struck down the D.C. handgun ban, as well as the unconstitutional gun lock provision, it's still difficult for D.C. residents to exercise their God-given rights to bear arms," Massie said.

Massie also argued that gun control laws would not prevent firearm violence.

"Does anyone actually believe that strict gun control laws will prevent criminals from getting guns? Strict gun control laws do nothing but prevent good people from being able to protect themselves and their families in the event of a robbery, home invasion or other crime," Massie said.

But Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), the District's nonvoting representative in Congress, blasted the proposal from the Kentucky Republican.

"It's a flagrant abuse of democracy by a member who comes here with a Tea Party principle that says power should be devolved to the local level," Norton said. "He is playing with the lives of the American citizens who are not accountable to him and live in my city."

Moreover, Norton said, the District's gun laws following the Supreme Court decision had withstood scrutiny from the judicial system.

"Every single federal court that has ruled on the constitutionality on the District's post-Heller gun laws has upheld them," Norton said.