Begich Supports Gun Rights in Nation’s Capitol
Joins Bi-Partisan Support for Second Amendment Enforcement Act
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich signed on as a co-sponsor of the Second Amendment Enforcement Act, introduced today by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). The legislation is designed to secure 2nd Amendment rights for law abiding gun owners in the District of Columbia.
The legislation comes after the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2008 decision District of Columbia v. Heller overturned Washington D.C's ban on firearms. Yet Washington, D.C. still has several rules restricting gun rights in the city.
"I'm pleased to join this bi-partisan effort to support the gun rights of law abiding citizens in Washington, D.C.," Begich said. "Alaskans place high value on their 2nd Amendment rights and they are rights that should be enjoyed by responsible gun owners across this country. I look forward to this legislation passing so all Americans can exercise the legal right to keep and bear arms."
If it becomes law, the Second Amendment Enforcement Act would take precedence over D.C.'s laws because the federal government has jurisdiction over the city. The key provisions of the bill include:
· Repeal of the District of Columbia's restrictions on semiautomatic firearms;
· Repeal of the current gun storage law so legal firearms in private homes don't have to be "unloaded and either disassembled or secured." The new legislation would also stop landlords from banning legal guns from rented homes or offices.
· Repeal of a complicated firearms registration system.
· Amend federal law to allow residents to legally purchase guns and ammunition from licensed dealers in nearby Maryland and Virginia (there are no traditional gun shops in D.C. city limits).
· Ensure law-abiding residents the right to transport firearms for lawful purposes, while authorizing D.C.'s City Council to implement regulations governing licensed carry and the prohibition of firearms in sensitive public places.
Before he was elected to the Senate, Begich publicly supported the Supreme Court decision to affirm the Second Amendment in the Heller case.
As Senator he was the only Democrat to sponsor S.371, The Respecting Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would allow an individual to lawfully carry a concealed firearm across states lines if they have a valid permit, or if under their state of residence, they are allowed to do so.
Begich also supported a new requirement to allow passengers to carry guns in their checked luggage while traveling on Amtrak.