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Councilmember Muriel Bowser 
Reaction to Heller ruling
June 26, 2008




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June 26, 2008  

Contact: Kristen Barden
202-841-2813 cell

Statement of Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser in response to United States Supreme Court decision in Heller v. District of Columbia

I am disappointed in today’s Supreme Court action which ruled that the DC law banning private handgun possession at home violates the Second Amendment.  For more than 30 years, the District of Columbia has had a very strict handgun law and this morning’s decision will likely introduce more handguns into the District of Columbia.

District of Columbia laws have regulated the purchase, sale, possession, ownership, registration, transportation, importation, and manufacture of handguns.  The DC Council, along with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), will continue to meet their obligation to protect the residents of the District of Columbia.  Today’s ruling will allow the legal possession of handguns in private homes but this possession will be strictly regulated, including the registration and finger printing of hand gun owners, and until so doing, all DC laws remain in effect. 

Today’s Supreme Court decision does not impact our laws prohibiting the possession and use of guns outside of the home.  There is no right to carry handguns on the streets in the District. That has not changed.  Automatic and semi-automatic weapons will continue to be banned throughout the City. 

Along with the registration requirement for handguns, DC Council will also adopt safe storage provisions and the Metropolitan Police Department will provide free trigger locks.  MPD will be issuing regulations to establish a process for registering handguns within 21 days.  Components of the regulations may include registration requirements, minimum qualifications, criminal and mental background checks, medical clearance, training or test requirements, appropriate waiting periods, and procedures for transporting guns outside of the home. 

In agreement with resident’s sentiments, I will work with my DC Council colleagues, the Mayor, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Attorney General’s office, to preserve the most restrictive handgun regulations within the parameters of this ruling.

Residents with questions about the registration of hand guns can all the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-4275 from 7 AM to 3 PM - Monday through Friday for more information.  There will also be much more information available in the days to come at: www.dc.gov.

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 406, Washington, DC 20004
202-724-8052 phone 202-741-0908 fax

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