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Government and People
|July 28, 2008
U.S. House of Representatives
We write today to urge you to refrain from signing the discharge petition for H.R. 1399, which effectively would rewrite the District of Columbiaís gun control laws while we, the cityís elected officials, are in the process of doing just that.
As you know, the Supreme Court recently held in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Districtís 32-year old ban on handgun ownership was overly restrictive. The Districtís Executive and Legislative Branches have moved quickly to respond to the Supreme Courtís decision, enacting an emergency bill, which went into effect on July 16, 2008, allowing residents to keep handguns in their homes as long as they are registered with the D.C. Government. While this emergency law is a stop-gap measure, we are fully committed to enacting permanent legislation, which will be subject to congressional review.
The issue at hand is not so much gun-related as it is ensuring that District of Columbia elected officials be able to discharge the duties for which their constituents elected them. Whatever oneís stance on the gun issue, we are all certainly united in cherishing and defending this fundamental American tenet. Just as our commitment to the rule of law required us to abide by the Supreme Courtís ruling despite our disappointment, we appeal to your commitment to the democratic process and ask that you allow District representatives to fulfill our charge to our residents.
We would be happy to discuss this extremely important matter with you further. Thank you for your consideration.
Adrian M. Fenty
Vincent C. Gray
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