June 4th, 2008 07:32 PM
DC gun ban doesn't apply to the capitol grounds
I found several interesting facts in the article below; most interesting to me is the subject statement.
TheHill.com - Lawmakers say they wonâ€™t pack heat
Lawmakers say they won’t pack heat
By Jordy Yager
Posted: 06/03/08 08:02 PM [ET]
Several gun rights lawmakers say they won’t start packing heat on Capitol Hill if the Supreme Court overturns Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other advocates of the Second Amendment support reversing the District’s 32-year-old handgun ban, but say security in the Capitol Buildings means there’s no need for them to carry a gun to work.
“Why would I need to carry a gun? I mean, look at these guys, there’s four guns around us right now,” said Ryan, referring to four armed U.S. Capitol Police officers around the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby.
At the same time, Ryan and others are adamant that they should have the right to bring a gun to the Capitol.
“I’ve never brought a gun up here [on Capitol Hill],” said Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.), another gun-rights advocate who thinks the D.C. gun ban is unconstitutional. “But I think you should be able to.”
Since the country’s founding by revolutionaries fighting the British, Congress has been filled with gun owners. Still, it’s unclear how many members of Congress own guns, partly because many choose to keep the matter private.
“I don’t believe in telling people that, and I also don’t believe in gun registration,” said Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas), a gun ownership advocate who supports overturning D.C.’s ban. “I want to keep a little doubt in the minds of any potential criminals.”
When Goode put forward an amendment to overturn the D.C. ban several years ago, he said he spoke with many fellow gun supporters about the amendment and got the impression they already had firearms in D.C.
“A few told me they did anyway,” Goode said. “I’m certainly not going to name any names, but I had some with a twinkle in their eye say, ‘I hope this thing passes so our guns are legal.’ ”
Since 1976, D.C. law has restricted handgun ownership to former or current law enforcement officers who had registered their guns before 1977. Still, there’s some uncertainty whether the law applies to members of Congress.
A spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C. Police Department said the District laws governing gun ownership apply to members of Congress and city residents alike, with no exceptions.
But the office of the House sergeant at arms said lawmakers can keep firearms in their offices, which are on federal grounds.
“The regulation on the grounds here is that a member can keep a firearm [handgun, shotgun or rifle] within the confines of his office,” said Bob Howe, adviser to House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood. “DC’s laws don’t apply on Capitol grounds.”
Many members of Congress aren’t aware of the House regulations, which have been in place for more than 40 years, Howe suggested.
“Well, it’s not something that’s advertised,” Howe said, adding that the sergeant at arms does not keep track of which members have firearms in their office. “We have no idea if any or all have them.”
“I’ve never been informed of any privilege for congressmen to bear arms,” said Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.). “To my knowledge, they have to abide by the laws of the District.”
Congressional firearm privileges do not extend to staff members. Phillip Thompson, Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-Va.) executive assistant, was arrested last year as he attempted to enter the Russell Senate Office Building with a handgun.
Eventually cleared of the charges, Thompson said Webb had given him the gun for “safekeeping” and that he had forgotten it was in his briefcase as he passed through security.
Webb, a registered gun owner in Virginia, did not take responsibility for the handgun and instead said only that the incident was unfortunate.
“I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex, and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson, and that’s all that I think I’ll say,” Webb said during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol after the arrest.
Members of Congress have been involved in several other incidents, though most have been well off Capitol grounds.
Former Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) was detained in a Kentucky airport after authorities found a loaded handgun in his carry-on baggage several years ago. He was questioned and later released after he said he forgot it was in his bag.
Former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) mistakenly fired an antique handgun at an Atlanta reception for him in 2002.
Dozens of lawmakers in almost every Congress have put forward amendments and bills to revoke the D.C. gun ban, all of which have failed.
“I remember back in 1976, I was on the House floor and brought up a resolution of disapproval because I said [the ban is] unconstitutional and it’s going to go down,” said Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), a GOP presidential candidate who was a congressional freshman when the ban was enacted. “And it took them 30 some years and now they’re going to do it. I hope they rule correctly.”
June 4th, 2008 07:47 PM
They have registration in VA???
Originally Posted by Anubis
Real standup guy.
...did not take responsibility for the handgun
and instead said only that the incident was unfortunate. “I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex, and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson
, and that’s all that I think I’ll say,” Webb said during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol after the arrest.
Clinging to guns and God in PA...
June 4th, 2008 08:40 PM
US Constitution, Art. 6
As best I remember, the first violation of the District of Columbia’s ban on the ownership or possession of handguns was misdemeanor by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment of up to one year, or both. A second offense is punishable as a felony by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to five years, or both, in the case of a handgun or other non-registerable firearm.
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
Now if a Congressman or Senator cannot be Arrested for a misdemeanor the first time, they can't be a second offense. So no felony. So, the DC law doesn't apply to them.
I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.
I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro
June 4th, 2008 09:42 PM
In order to get a VA 'Permit To Carry A Concealed Handgun' you must apply and by that you are "registered".
Originally Posted by rmarkob
- Janq is 'registered' in VA
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
June 6th, 2008 06:47 AM
A lot of laws don't apply to members of Congress. So even if they did carry in DC, not just the Capitol building, my guess is the issue would "go away quietly."
"The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree..."
Nunn v. State GA 1848
June 6th, 2008 09:55 AM
This is a moot argument.
Even if the legislator is arrested, as soon as they find out who he is a supervisor will be called and will be given a brief on the situation.
Unless it is something significant AND the legislator does not have any chits to call in, they are probably getting released with a minimum of fuss.
The DCPD's budget is controlled by congress. Do you want to be the guy who arrested the guy who knows the guy on the committee who is voting yea or na for the pay increase?
Didn't think so.
June 6th, 2008 01:28 PM
Actually there is one type of gun in Virginia you must register.
“Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll
Its not about guns...Its about Freedom!
June 6th, 2008 04:21 PM
1943 - 2009
Is this a State secret, or are we Virginia non-residents not cleared for this information?
Originally Posted by Rob99VMI04
When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
And go to your God like a soldier.
June 6th, 2008 05:16 PM
June 11th, 2008 12:31 AM
Well Captain, I imagine if he tells us he will have to kill us.
Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis
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