The Senate narrowly rejected a measure to allow gun owners to carry concealed firearms across state lines.
The amendment to a major defense-authorization bill attracted 58 votes – including 20 Democrats – but fell two short of the supermajority needed to defeat a promised filibuster by opponents. Two Republicans, Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and George V. Voinovich of Ohio, joined 35 Democrats and two independents in voting to strip the gun provision from the bill.
Sen. John Thune, South Dakota Republican, sponsored the amendment. Among those backing him was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.
Mr. Thune and other supporters argued that the concealed-weapon proposal would reduce violence and enable truck drivers and travelers to protect themselves as they crossed state lines.
“Criminals commit crimes; that’s what they do. Criminals kill people. This isn’t directed at criminals – this is directed at law-abiding citizens who want to protect themselves,” Mr. Thune said.
Under the amendment, an individual with a permit to carry a concealed firearm in his state of residence would have been able to take his gun across state lines, but then would have to abide by that state’s gun laws.
Forty-six states have concealed-gun laws under which permits are issued. Illinois and Wisconsin don’t allow any carrying of concealed firearms, while Alaska and Vermont permit doing so without a permit.
Mr. Thune, who recently replaced Sen. John Ensign of Nevada as head of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, is regarded as a rising star among Republican lawmakers. His 2004 victory over incumbent Sen. Tom Daschle was the first defeat of a sitting Senate majority or minority leader in more than 50 years.
Mr. Thune’s was not the only controversial amendment proposed to the fiscal 2010 defense-authorization bill. In two other contentious votes, the Senate approved a bolstered hate-crimes measure targeting crimes against gays and stripped out $2 billion in funding for new F-22 Raptor fighter jets that Obama opposed.
Well, I think it is plain where the Democrats stand. Anti-law abiding citizen, Anti-military, and pro-sodomite.