Repeal the DC Semi-automatic Gun Ban
DC City Council and Mayor Fenty
DC Residents and Business Owners
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SUBJECT: Petition seeking repeal of the DC semi-automatic handgun ban
We believe that all persons who may lawfully own a handgun in the District of Columbia have the Constitutional right to own the same ordinary handguns as all other Americans may now own in every state, i.e, semi-automatic handguns.
The following facts are not in dispute:
1. On June 26, 2008 the United States Supreme Court held that the Districts ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. ___, ___, slip op. at 64 (2008); and,
2. Within hours of the Supreme Courts ruling, and subsequently on many occasions, DC Attorney General Peter Nickels and DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier have exhibited both Contempt of Court and our Constitution by declaring that residents of the District would not be permitted to own semi-automatic handguns; but,
3. In open court, Assistant Attorneys General have told the Honorable Judges of the DC Superior Court that the DC Office of Attorney General does "not yet have a position" on whether to dismiss the pending criminal cases against semi-automatic handgun owners; and,
4. The United States Supreme Court has said that the Second Amendment protects the sorts of weapons in common use at the time, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. ___, ___, slip op. at 55 (2008); and,
5. It would be frivolous to claim that only handguns in existence in the 19th century, i.e., revolvers, are protected by the Second Amendment, see District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. ___, ___, slip op. at 8 (2008); and,
6. The United States Department of Justice reports that, by a 3 to 1 margin for decades, Americans prefer semi-automatic pistols over revolvers, see http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/guic.txt, http://www.atf.gov/firearms/stats/afmer/afmer2006.pdf, and http://www.atf.gov/firearms/stats; and,
7. Many consumers prefer semi-automatic handguns on safety grounds because these guns, unlike revolvers, usually offer a mechanical safety and are impossible for small children to load because of the strength, dexterity, and knowledge required to rack the slide and chamber a round; and,
8. That it is well known that both the DC Police Department and DC criminals prefer and have acquired semi-automatic handguns; and,
9. DC taxpayers will ultimately have to pay the attorneys' fees of civil rights litigants who will sue the District to overturn the semi-auto ban; yet, incredibly,
10. The City Council has passed emergency legislation re-affirming the unconstitutional ban on ownership of semi-automatic handguns by law abiding citizens.
THEREFORE, we DEMAND that the District of Columbia City Council and Mayor REPEAL the DC semi-automatic handgun ban that unconstitutionally bars DC residents from owning the ordinary handguns now in common use across America.
The undersigned RESIDENTS & BUSINESS OWNERS of the District of Columbia: