A majority of the U.S. House of Representatives is supporting legislation that would repeal virtually all of Washington, D.C.’s gun restrictions, targeting one of the nation’s most stringent handgun bans while the presidential candidates are battling over gun limits, reports the Washington Post. Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.) said House Republican leaders have promised him a vote before the Nov. 2 election on his proposed D.C. Personal Protection Act, which would end a ban on handguns in the nation’s capital; remove a prohibition against semiautomatic weapons; lift registration requirements for ammunition and other firearms; and cancel criminal penalties for possessing unregistered firearms and carrying a handgun in one’s home or workplace.
Souder’s bill also would deny the District’s elected officials “authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.” The legislation has 228 co-sponsors, more than enough to clear the 435-member House. Both sides say prospects for passage are dubious in the U.S. Senate, where advocates of gun restrictions prevailed on two high-profile votes in March. Souder, who lives in Northern Virginia when Congress is in session, said his proposal is based on the Second Amendment’s guarantee of gun rights.