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Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday he would introduce a bill that would give District of Columbia residents the ability to get gun permits and visitors from around the U.S. the right to carry concealed weapons while in the nation's capital.

"For too long the Americans who live in and visit their nation's capital have been prevented from defending themselves and their loved ones. No longer should our citizens have to choose between safety or visiting Washington, D.C.," the presidential candidate and Kentucky Republican said. Paul currently ranks eighth in the Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings.

The District has strict gun laws and was rated the worst state for gun owners in 2015 by Gun and Ammo. The Defend Our Capital Act would cancel current laws banning firearms and ammunition ownership in the District.

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