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Thread: Ramsey shifts stand on gun ban in the city

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA

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    Former D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey has shifted his position on Washington's 31-year ban on handgun ownership as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the issue.

    Mr. Ramsey, who turned the job over to Chief Cathy L. Lanier 11 months ago, said yesterday on WTOP Radio's "Ask the Chief" program, that there needs to be reasonable control over guns, but that handgun registration can provide that control.

    The former chief, who is set to take over Philadelphia's police department next month, said the nation is not going to ban handguns and he is taking a realistic approach to the issue. He said any weapons ban should cover assault weapons and more dangerous guns.

    Mr. Ramsey, 57, stepped down as the city's police chief after Mayor Adrian M. Fenty took office.

    Mr. Ramsey's comments are a shift away from his defense of the D.C. gun ban during his nine years as the District's police chief. In congressional hearings on the gun ban in 2004 and 2005, he told lawmakers that nothing good would come from overturning the law and that it would worsen crime in the city.

    The Supreme Court will rule on the scope of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms for the first time in nearly 70 years after deciding Nov. 20 to hear arguments on whether D.C. residents can keep handguns in their homes.

    The court's decision marks the first time it has weighed in on the Second Amendment since 1939. The decision is expected to change how localities and states across the nation approach gun regulations.

    Mr. Fenty, a Democrat, called the court's decision to hear the case good news for city residents.

    "We welcome the opportunity to take our arguments to the Supreme Court," he said.

    Potentially a landmark development, the court's decision came in response to a March ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which said the city's gun ban "amounts to a complete prohibition on the lawful use of handguns for self-defense."

    The appeals court's decision overturned city rules that bar most residents from registering guns and keeping them in their homes. It also voided a law requiring legal firearms to be stored bound and disassembled.

    Despite the city's ban, which was enacted in 1976, gun violence has remained a problem in the District. Records from the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner show that of 6,895 homicides in the city from 1982 to 2002, firearms accounted for 5,071 deaths.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    , Maryland, USA

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    He doesn't have to answer to the D.C. politicians any more...I would have been more impressed (maybe a little) with his character had he stood up to them while he was still on the job in D.C.

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