The plaintiff in the landmark 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller that overturned the handgun ban in the nation’s capital praised the House passage of an amendment sponsored by Rep. Thomas H. Massie (R.-Ky.) that strikes down the district’s administrative obstruction of the Heller decision.
“We have a Constitution that puts the district under the administrative and legislative authority of Congress,” said Richard A. “Dick” Heller, a special police officer in Washington, where he provides security at federal office buildings. Heller was an armed guard at the Supreme Court, forced to turn in his handgun at the end of his shift, when he filed his lawsuit.
The amendment passed the House 241 to 181, with four Republicans: Rep. Peter T. King (R.-N.Y.), Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R.-N.Y.), Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R.-Pa.) and Rep. Patrick L. Meehan (R.-Pa.). Twenty Democrats voted for the Massie amendment.
Massie said his amendment would block the District of Columbia from using taxpayer dollars to enforce the following District of Columbia ordinances: the Firearms Registration Amendment Act of 2008, the Inoperable Pistol Amendment Act of 2008, the Firearms Amendment Act of 2012, and the Administrative Disposition for Weapons Offenses Amendment Act of 2012.
“Criminals by definition don’t care about laws. They will get guns any way they can,” the Kentucky congressman said. “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. Studies indicate that murder rates rise following bans on firearms.”
Heller said the Massie amendment to the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2015 appropriation bill puts the district back in synch with the Constitution.
Washington Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the city council must stop thwarting the Heller decision and the gun rights of its residents by creating new paperwork and regulations that put back the handgun ban the Supreme Court overturned, he said.
“How convenient for DC’s Mayor Gray, and whole City Council for that matter, to forget we live by laws, not by the whims of power mad individuals, always trying to overstep their pay grade with government mission creep,” Heller said.
“We have a Constitution and a Second Amendment that carries within it it’s own standard of review stating: ‘shall not be infringed,'” he said. “Infringe is what the more-than-a-dozen regulations starting in 2008 do–from the: ‘We don’t like the color of your gun’ to saying: all gun owners must be fingerprinted like a criminal, registered, and perform the equivalent of reporting to a probation officer every three years.”
The district’s war on gun rights creates two realities, he said. “That’s just for the good guys, not the criminals–they just roam the streets, unmolested, with a gun in their pocket.”