Senate Rejects Thune Amendment on Concealed Weapons
The Senate today rejected Sen. John Thune's amendment to the defense spending bill that would allow people with concealed weapons permits in one state to bring them into another state that allows concealed weapons permits. 48 states (all but Illinois and Wisconsin) provide concealed weapons permits.
The measure failed by 2 votes, 58 to 39. (60 votes were needed.) Score one for the gun control lobby. I think the objections to the bill are specious -- and in the case of NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, verge on hysteria.
"This is about as anti-police, pro-gun trafficker piece of legislation that has ever come before the United States Senate," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Tuesday.
What the law would have provided:
The gun proposal would have made concealed weapons permits from one state valid in other states as long as the person obeys the laws of other states, such as weapons bans in certain localities. It would not have established national standards for concealed weapons permits and would not allow those with permits to carry weapons into Wisconsin and Illinois.
Backers, led by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said truckers and others with concealed weapons permits should be able to protect themselves when they cross into other states. Opponents countered that the measure would force states with strict procedures for getting permits to accept permits from states with more lax laws.
As a strong supporter of the individual right to bear arms and the Second Amendment, I'm sorry the amendment was defeated, but I don't think it should have been tagged on to the defense spending bill to begin with. Neither should the hate crimes law have passed this way. Why can't we just have amendments that deal with the topic? And if we're not going to do it that way, why doesn't someone introduce an amendment to the defense spending bill equalizing crack and powder cocaine penalties, which just could pass, since Obama and the DOJ support it? (Update: The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security passed a crack -powder penalty equalization bill today. Details here.
Update: Kudos to Colorado Rep. Mark Udall for supporting the Amendment. His office released this statement (received by e-mail, no link yet):
Since 2003, Colorado has had a relatively relaxed reciprocity statute recognizing the conceal-carry permits of 27 other states. Our experience over the last six years does not lead me to conclude that passage of this amendment would raise the risk of unlawful gun smuggling or other criminal acts. It allows Coloradans to travel elsewhere once they have obtained a concealed permit in our state. It does not encourage irresponsible behavior or absolve anyone from criminal prosecution in Colorado if they use a gun in the commission of a crime.”
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