Several D.C. Council members issued statements yesterday about the Supreme Court ruling on the city's gun ban. Here's what they had to say:
Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) issued a statement that was a lengthy explanation about what happens now. On a personal note, he said this: "Although I am disappointed by the court's decision, working collectively with the Mayor, the Metropolitan Police, legal authorities, and residents, the Council will do all it can to prevent violence from escalating further as a result of today's un-welcome weakening of our gun laws."
Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, announced that he would hold a public hearing on the ruling Wednesday. "The hearing will explore suggestions for how the District may preserve its laws controlling guns and protect public safety," he said.
Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), who represents Trinidad where police set up a controversial checkpoint to combat crime, said he would call for stricter waiting periods, training and education on handguns. "The residents of Ward 5 are concerned about the implications of the Supreme Court's decision," said Thomas. "With 22 homicides in Ward 5 alone since the beginning of the year, it is imperative that we develop the most rigorous and stringent gun laws possible."
"As a group and individually we are all disappointed in the courts decision. For years we have had a strict policy and zero tolerance when it comes to the use or possession of hand guns," said Marion Barry (D-Ward 8). "I think this sends the wrong message and will create more opportunity of thefts of legal hand guns that can ultimately be used in the commission of crimes."
Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) said, " I am disappointed in today's Supreme Court action which ruled that the DC law banning private handgun possession at home violates the Second Amendment...In agreement with resident's sentiments, I will work with my DC Council colleagues, the Mayor, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Attorney General's office, to preserve the most restrictive handgun regulations within the parameters of this ruling."
From Kwame Brown (D-At Large): "Every time I hear of another youth, another mother or child gunned down in our communities is yet another reminder of why we need these protective measures in place. While I disapprove the Supreme Court's ruling, I respect the Court's power. I will continue to work with my colleagues, members of the executive branch and our residents to develop legislative measures that will ensure that limitations for handgun possession are fully enforced."