2. VCDL members lobby DC on legislative response to Heller ruling

Hearing video:
Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications

Scroll down to "07/02/2008, Part 2

Mendelson, Chairman"

Jim Kadison, VCDL.org Board member talks at 14:00 minutes into the

EM Mike Stollenwerk talks at 100 into the video. MIke's
Powerpoint presentation is at http://tinyurl.com/5lu72y.


The purpose of the hearing was to take public input on what DC should
do to comply with the Heller ruling. See attached powerpoint submitted
to the Committee along with by oral testimoney.


Washington Times - Prospects for emergency gun bill uncertain

Prospects for emergency gun bill uncertain
David C. Lipscomb (Contact)
Thursday, July 3, 2008

The chairman of the D.C. Council's public safety committee said
Wednesday he is still uncertain whether to address the District's ban
on handguns with emergency legislation, despite growing pressure from
groups on both sides of the issue.

Council member Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, said D.C. Interim
Attorney General Peter J. Nickles has yet to say what he thinks the
city should do regarding the Supreme Court decision last week that the
District's 32-year-old handgun ban is unconstitutional.

"I think it's clear that there are some short-term fixes that we can
pursue," Mr. Mendelson said Wednesday after a public safety committee
hearing. "It's not clear, however, whether we would need to act on an
emergency basis and it didn't help that the executive wasn't willing
to share that information with the public today."

Mr. Mendelson introduced a bare-bones bill Tuesday that would allow
residents to register handguns and remove home storage provisions that
require guns to be disassembled or have trigger locks, the two main
issues affected by the ruling.

Mr. Nickles on Monday sent a letter to Mr. Mendelson, asking that the
council not take action regarding handgun regulations until
Metropolitan Police Department draft legislation is submitted at a
legislative hearing July 15.

Mr. Nickles also did not send a representative to the hearing
Wednesday, during which the council heard public testimony on the
matter for the first time since the ruling was made June 26.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Nickles did not respond to a request for comment
late Wednesday.

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, a Democrat, has said he may convene
an emergency session to deal with gun legislation during the council's
summer recess, which begins July 19. Otherwise, the council would not
hear testimony on the bill until it reconvenes in September.

Spokeswoman Doxie McCoy said Mr. Gray will likely defer to Mr.
Mendelson in making that decision, which makes open communication
between the council and executive crucial as residents, community
groups and interest groups press the council for emergency legislation.

Residents and groups in support of the gun ban have said its removal
will lead to more crime and open the market for illegal guns on D.C.

Ronald Moten, co-founder of the youth advocacy group Peaceoholics,
testified before the council Wednesday that he hopes to see tough laws
to regulate gun dealers in the District, including mandatory minimum
sentences for illegal sales.

"I want emergency legislation on the books so they know D.C. is not
going to play about this," Mr. Moten said during his impassioned

Pro-gun groups say the District's top priority should be complying
with the ruling as soon as possible and removing the city's
restriction on semiautomatic guns.

Mike Stollenwerk, co-founder of Opencarry.org, said he worries the
District may be reluctant to change the law and do the minimum to
comply with the ruling.

"In the short term, you should have emergency legislation to strike
down the handgun ban," Mr. Stollenwerk said. "No. 2 they need to go
into their basically bogus machine-gun statute and correct the
definition so it doesn't include normal, garden variety, semiautomatic

Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Peter J. Newsham said the
department is looking at all of the issues that have surfaced as a
result of the court's ruling and has not identified any single priority.

"We have to look at all the issues," Chief Newsham said. "When we
issue our regulations, we want to be as comprehensive as we can."