Friday, July 24, 2009

Senate "conceal-carry" amendment defeated

The Washington Post yesterday carried an article about an amendment to a bill currently in the Senate that would have allowed gun owners to carry their weapons across state lines, which fell just short of passage, revealing deep divisions among Democrats there.

"Offered as an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill, the legislation would have allowed people to carry concealed firearms across state lines, provided they 'have a valid permit or if, under their state of residence' they 'were entitled to do so.' It was considered one of the most far-reaching federal efforts ever proposed to expand gun-permitting laws," the article said.

"This carefully tailored amendment would have ensured that a state's border is not a limit to an individual's fundamental right and have allowed law-abiding individuals to travel without complication throughout the 48 states that already permit some form of conceal and carry," Senator John Thune said during Wednesday's sometimes contentious debate.

"Despite its defeat, the amendment, sponsored by Thune (R-S.D.), demonstrated the continuing power of the National Rifle Association and the gun rights issue in Congress. Rather than a setback, those backing the effort consider the vote a sign of strength for the Second Amendment and are planning more gun-related amendments to other legislation throughout the year. Afterward, Thune said he hopes the Senate will ‘reconsider this important issue’ later this year."

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