WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) challenged Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), who last week introduced a bill that would wipe out almost all of the District of Columbia’s local gun safety laws, to travel in their own lane and introduce gun bills affecting their own constituents, including allowing guns in federal buildings, such as post offices and social security offices, in their states. The Rubio-Jordan bill would eliminate D.C.’s ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines and its registration requirements, and prohibit D.C. from passing gun laws in the future. Under federal law (18 USC § 930 and 39 CFR 232.1), a person may not bring a gun into a federal facility, with a penalty of up to one-year imprisonment for a non-court facility and two years for a court facility. Compounding the hypocrisy, the Rubio-Jordan bill blocks the District from prohibiting guns in District-owned structures or buildings that do not have security measures to identify and exclude unauthorized persons, such as metal detectors or biometric access devices. Moreover, if there are private tenants in such D.C. buildings or structures, D.C. may not prohibit guns in the space controlled by the private tenants even if such security measures are in place. The Rubio-Jordan bill also creates a special exception in federal law to expand the number of people who can carry guns in D.C. schools. Under the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, a person licensed to carry a gun may carry the gun in a school in the state that issued the license. However, the Rubio-Jordan bill would allow the holder of a carry license issued by any state to carry a gun in a D.C. school, not just those with D.C. carry licenses.
“Senator Rubio and Representative Jordan claim to profess a desire to allow District residents to protect themselves, but they have completely ignored the fact that their constituents are prohibited from bringing a firearm into federal buildings in their home states,” Norton said. “Congress is charged with governing the national interests of the United States, not with writing local laws for local jurisdictions like the District of Columbia. To ensure the right of D.C. citizens, not Congress, to govern the District of Columbia, Congress passed the Home Rule Act 40 years ago. Senator Rubio, in his quest to tout his ultra conservative principles before his anticipated run at the presidency, has in reality demonstrated that federalism and devolving authority to local people is for some, not all, Americans. If Senator Rubio and Representative Jordan are concerned about the reach of the 2nd Amendment in the United States, there are many opportunities in the federal sector where current law bans their own constituents from possessing guns. Rather than infringe on the democratic rights of the 650,000 District of Columbia residents, I urge them to turn their attention to the federal ban on guns in federal facilities.”
Norton defeated every effort last Congress to block or overturn D.C.’s gun laws, including a House-passed amendment to the fiscal year 2015 D.C. Appropriations bill that would have blocked D.C. from spending its local funds to enforce its local gun laws.