Congress looks into D.C. for violating vet’s personal property rights
Republicans are trying to ensure the District respects the full constitutional rights of our military personnel. The House this week is expected to take up a measure by Rep. Phil Gringrey, Georgia Republican, expressing the sense of Congress that the approximately 40,000 active-duty military personnel who live in or are stationed in Washington should be exempt from local firearms restrictions. While the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act would not be binding, it adds to the mounting pressure on the liberal D.C. Council to consider allowing carry rights.
The nation’s capital does not recognize the Second Amendment right to bear arms, creating the absurd situation where a member of the armed forces – whose job it is to carry a gun – can be put in jail for doing so. That’s what happened to Army National Guard1st Lt. Augustine Kim.
The injured vet, who served two tours in Afghanistan and is preparing to deploy to Kosovo, had his personal firearms collection seized by the city two years ago as he stopped for a doctor’s appointment while traveling in full compliance with federal law. Though all charges against him were eventually dropped, the city refuses to return his property to him in South Carolina. The case is putting D.C.’s anti-gun policies in the national spotlight.
South Carolina’s congressional delegation is up in arms. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a gun owner and hunter, fired off a letter to Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on Thursday, saying that he would, “strongly encourage you to return the firearms to Lt. Kim’s possession as soon as possible.”