Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams and Police Chief Charles Ramsey yesterday called the congressional effort to repeal the city’s handgun ban an insult to democracy that would lead to more bloodshed, the Washington Post reports. A congressional hearing featured political jousting over the capital’s 29-year-old gun law. One pending bill would end the ban on handguns and semiautomatic weapons, roll back registration requirements for ammunition, and decriminalize possession of unregistered weapons and possession of guns in homes and workplaces.
“It’s insane in my opinion for a law-abiding citizen to not be able to protect themselves in the murder capital of the world, of the United States, by having a weapon in the home to protect themselves,” said Rep. Dan Burton (R-In.). The city’s 550,000 residents do not have a vote in Congress. The D.C. homicide total fell 17 percent last year, dipping to 198 for the first time in 18 years. The figure is 10 more than in 1976. Said Chief Ramsey: “Adding more guns into the mix is not a good thing.”