Two senior House Democrats have asked President Bush to say whether he supports a bill that would repeal virtually all of Washington, D.C.’s gun laws, says the Washington Post. Republican House leaders have scheduled a vote on the measure tomorrow. The legislation is expected to pass by a lopsided vote. Its prospects are uncertain in the Senate, which has turned back two other efforts this year to repeal D.C. gun limits. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.), would end the city’s bans on handguns and semiautomatic weapons, lift registration requirements for ammunition and other weapons, and decriminalize possession of unregistered firearms and carrying a handgun in one’s home or office.
In a letter to Bush, Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) and John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said the bill would “undo many of the security measures that have been put into place” in the nation’s capital since the 2001 terrorist attacks. They wrote that if the bill became law, “someone could legally possess a semiautomatic sniper rifle and armor piercing ammunition in an apartment overlooking” a common route for motorcades. “Ice cream and hot dog vendors [on the Mall] could be armed with assault weapons. A Capitol Hill resident who lived across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court could sit on his porch with a fully-loaded semiautomatic Uzi Carbine.” White House spokeswoman Clare Buchan said: “The president believes that law-abiding citizens have an individual right to own firearms, and the president looks forward to working with Congress to achieve this goal while we continue to vigorously prosecute the criminal misuse of guns.”