Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., passed a “may issue” concealed carry bill unanimously on Tuesday, paving the way for some D.C. residents to carry concealed handguns in public. But one councilmember also made a stunning comment about gun owners that has seemingly gone almost entirely unreported.
Speaking in support of a proposed amendment that would create a public database of concealed carry permit holders, councilwoman Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) made her feelings on gun owners very clear.
"Who cares about the confidentiality of a gun owner? We don't want it, so expose yourself,” she said, according to the DCist.
Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) reportedly introduced and later withdrew the database amendment. He also introduced an amendment to make the identities of D.C. concealed carry permit holders available through a Freedom of Information Act request, but he withdrew that proposal as well. The issue was ultimately tabled for further discussion.
D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson reportedly encouraged his fellow lawmakers to be careful when considering "complicated" legislation that could impact the privacy of residents, though another councilmember argued the Second Amendment comes with "no commensurate right to privacy."
"Once that information is out there, we can't take it back," Mendelson said.
The “may issue” bill passed on Tuesday was proposed after a federal judge found D.C.’s ban on carrying handguns in public to be unconstitutional. Under the law, permits will only be given to “suitable firearms owners who can show they have a legitimate need for it to obtain a permit to carry a weapon in public in a concealed manner,” D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said recently.
In addition to limiting where concealed guns can be carried, the “may issue” legislation mandates applicants prove they have not suffered from mental illness or other disorders in the past five years that might make them a danger to themselves or others and take part in and 18 hours of range and educational firearms training.
As previously reported by TheBlaze, the D.C. concealed carry bill will give D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier considerable discretion regarding who is allowed to carry a concealed firearm in the city.