WASHINGTON – District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city government is “insulted” by Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2017.
Rubio reintroduced the bill in the current session of Congress but Bowser, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) want the bill withdrawn.
“We have determined that we do not want people with assault rifles to be able to carry those rifles in our city or for them to be able to have such a weapon and be under the age of 21 years of old,” Bowser said during a conference call last month.
“The Rubio bill would gut that provision. We’ve determined we do not want guns in our schools and the Rubio bill, very strangely, would allow for guns to be carried in our schools,” she added.
According to the text of the bill, Rubio’s legislation would amend “the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 (FCRA) to repeal DC’s registration requirement for possession of firearms” and maintain the “current ban on the possession and control of a sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, or short-barreled rifle.”
Bowser argued that Rubio’s position on gun rights is hypocritical.
“To say in Florida that you are going to now get tougher on guns but in Washington, D.C., to do the opposite – so that’s why we’re here today,” she said.
Norton echoed Bowser’s call for the immediate withdraw of the legislation.
“We’re not going to let him take his stand as a senator who is trying to do something about gun violence and then systematically in every Congress put in a bill, the most extreme bill, that would wipe out gun laws in a district not his own,” she said.
Deutch said the age restrictions for the registration of firearms in Washington should remain in place. He urged Congress to pass new gun laws like the existing laws in D.C.
“He [Rubio] wants to impose the same extremist views on guns on the people of the District of Columbia despite the efforts undertaken by great leaders like the two of you [Bowser and Norton] to represent their interests and to get tough in order to try to address the scourge of gun violence,” he said.
“You’ve taken major steps to reduce gun violence; the assault weapons ban, restrictions on magazine capacity, extensive background checks, all of the sorts of things that Congress should be doing,” he said. “Instead, the senator wants to dismantle the strong work of your government by repealing it all, including undoing the assault weapons ban.”
Despite Rubio’s effort to reintroduce the legislation, the bill has stalled in the Senate. Deutch questioned why Rubio is not focusing more attention on gun control efforts after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Deutch’s district.
“The question is, why is it that a month after the Stoneman Douglas shooting there is no urgency in moving forward on any of the meaningful steps to help curb gun violence in our communities? That’s the question that we ought to be asking – that’s the question that, frankly, Sen. Rubio ought to be asked as well,” he said.
A spokesperson for Rubio said the senator’s bill “would not be withdrawn.”
“The District of Columbia is a federal jurisdiction and this bill simply aligns D.C. firearms regulations with federal law,” the spokesperson said. “If federal law is changed it would apply to D.C. as well.”