The District’s refusal to recognize the full meaning of the Second Amendment may not last much longer. A Supreme Court decision in 2008 forced Washington to allow residents to keep arms, and now Congress is pressuring the city to recognize the next part of that constitutional mandate: the right to bear them.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to allow a floor vote on the House-passed national-reciprocity, concealed-carry bill because he knows it might actually pass. Sen. Rand Paul is trying to force the Nevada Democrat’s hand. “The Senate shouldn’t be about the majority party cherry-picking what they want to vote on,” Dr. Paul told The Washington Times. “Harry Reid will only vote if he can win.”
Last week, the Kentucky Republican tried to attach amendments granting carry rights in the District to a Democratic bill enabling D.C. politicians to decide how tax dollars are spent. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, canceled the entire bill to avoid a vote on the gun measures. Vulnerable Democrats on the committee representing pro-gun states – such as Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri – could side with the Republican minority and provide the votes to enact concealed-carry rights.
“I think reciprocity could have a chance,” said Dr. Paul. “The bill ended up getting pulled down because they are fearful that it could pass. Now they realize if they want to pass anything on D.C., they have to address my amendments.”