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Back to legislation introduced in Council Period 17

Firearms Control Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2008
PR 17-996




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
Gary Imhoff
Phil Mendelson
Mark David Richards
Sandra Seegars


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Councilmember Phil Mendelson


To declare the existence of an emergency with respect to the need to amend the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 to repeal the prohibition on the registration of pistols and to establish a self-defense exception to the requirement for safe storage of firearms in the home.

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the “Firearms Control Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2008".

Sec. 2. (a) There exists an immediate need to repeal the prohibition on the registration of pistols and to establish a self-defense exception to the requirement for safe storage of firearms in the home.

(b) The Council enters recess on July 16, 2008.

(c) On June 26, 2008, the United States Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290 (2008), which held that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

(d) In District of Columbia. v. Heller, the Court struck down provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 as unconstitutional, and determined that handguns are “arms” that may not be banned by the District of Columbia.

(e) The United States Supreme Court found that the portion of the law that requires all firearms including rifles and shotguns, be kept “unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger locks” makes it impossible for citizens to use firearms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense. The Court found this provision unconstitutional because it did not contain an exception for self-defense. The Court stated “[i]n sum, we hold that the District’s 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.”

Sec. 3. The Council of the District of Columbia determines that the circumstances enumerated in section 2 constitute emergency circumstances making it necessary that the Firearms Control Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2008 be adopted after a single reading.

Sec. 4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.


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