The Republicans-controlled House passed a spending bill Wednesday, July 16, to amend its gun-control and marijuana possession laws.
According to The Washington Post, the gun amendment was proposed by Republican Rep. Thomas Massie. The Supreme Court set the rules in 2008 that required people to register their handguns every three years, attend a safety course, and get fingerprinted and photographed. Massie amended the bill to remove all the procedures that the District’s gun-owning citizens have had to go through.
“It is time for Congress to step in and stop the D.C. government’s harassment and punishment of law-abiding citizens who simply want to defend themselves,” Massie wrote in a statement.
Massie’s amendment is supported by 20 Democrats and 221 Republicans, with four Republican lawmakers opposed.
The other amendment about marijuana possession was introduced by Republican Rep. Andy Harris. If passed, it would prevent the District from spending money to relax the pot laws.
Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill in March that replaces the criminal penalties with a $25 fine, one of the country’s lowest, for possession of less than one ounce. The new law took effect on Thursday, July 17.
Drug policy experts said Harris’s amendment would only take away the District’s ability to issue the fines.
The White House said the drug law is a state’s right issue and “poses legal challenges to the Metropolitan Police Department’s enforcement of all marijuana laws currently in force in the District.”
The final decisions of the bill and amendments will depend on communications between the House, Senate and White House.
Photo: via KP Tripathi (kps-photo.com)/flickr