U.S. Senate Rejects Thune-Vitter Gun Proposal

Senators Reject Gun Proposal: July 22, 2009 from ABCNews.com

  • The U.S. Senate voted against a proposal to allow certain gun owners to bring concealed weapons across state lines.
  • The Senate’s 58 to 39 vote fell just short of the 60 votes needed to add the amendment to a defense policy bill.
  • The gun debate was not an issue that cut down party lines.
  • Many new Democrats from conservative states are supportive of gun rights, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who voted in favor of the amendment.
  • Author Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said, “The visitor must comply with the restrictions of the state they are in.”
  • For example in S. Dakota, he explained, concealed weapons are prohibited at schools or anywhere that sells alcohol.
  • “It is not, as some have suggested, a preemption of state laws,” Thune said.
  • Only two states not slated to be part of the plan: Illinois and Wisconsin, who do not issue any conceal and carry permits so wouldn’t have been affected.
  • The amendment also did not apply to the District of Columbia.
  • “Law-abiding South Dakotans should be able to exercise the right to bear arms in states with similar regulations on concealed firearms,” Thune said in a Monday statement. “My legislation enables citizens to protect themselves while respecting individual state firearms laws.”
  • Those backing the measure argued that it’s not the people holding permits that Americans need to worry about.
  • “Few criminals are going to go down to the county courthouse and file a permit,” said Virginia Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, who said he has a concealed carry permit himself.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., agreed, saying those who take the time to go through the steps required of gun permit holders before carrying a concealed weapon are likely the ones who “understand the responsibility that goes with owning it.”

What is the Thune-Vitter Bill? February 5, 2009 kalb.com

  • U.S. Senators John Thune and David Vitter introduced the Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in February 2009
  • The bill would allow individuals the right to carry lawfully concealed firearms across state lines, while respecting laws of the host state
  • “This bill simply clarifies the rights of gun owners and affords citizens a right that they are already entitled to under U.S. law,” said Vitter.
  • “By elevating concealed handgun permits to the same status as driver’s licenses, we can ensure that an individual possessing a legal permit to carry a concealed weapon from his or her home state is afforded the same privilege in another state that already has concealed carry laws.”
  • The Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act allows an individual to carry a concealed firearm across state lines if they have a valid permit or if, under the state of their residence, they’re entitled to do so.
  • Traveling individuals must follow the laws of the host state, including laws concerning areas where firearms may or may not be carried.

For a full copy of the Amendment, click here.

What are your thoughts on the rejected Amendment?


8 Responses

  1. Left this at M. Bane’s blog as well…

    And why is this not a step toward national registration?

    If the 2A can be enforced against the states… then why in God’s creation is FEDERAL reciprocity a good thing?

    Just look at how well the .gov does everything else. Let the states handle their own firearms business.

    • Dan, even as cynical as I am about our government and as freedom-loving as I consider myself to be, I’m having a hard time making the leap from this potential amendment to a national registration. It doesn’t add any federal database. It doesn’t add any new federal authority or regulation. It would necessarily have to use current, already-existing methods of law enforcement checks of valid CCW permits, but those, as mentioned, exist already. Perhaps you were thinking of the National Concealed Carry Legislation? That is another issue entirely and a very bad idea altogether.

      So, help me out here: Why IS this a step toward a national registration? I just don’t see a way to make that leap.

      Now, that said, don’t get me wrong or misunderstand me on this matter. I am not convinced this amendment would have been good for us either, just for very different reasons than you, it would seem.

      We at least seem to be in agreement, if I am reading your post correctly, that the 2A is a limitation on government of all types (federal, state, local, etc) in their power-grabbing against us, and, in that regard, it IS our formal reciprocity among states.

      I’m not convinced that this amendment would not have brought about unintended consequences nor that it should be necessary to begin with, but, since we live in a nation in which the average citizen completely misunderstands the word RIGHT, let alone what RIGHTS they actually have or how to exercise them appropriately, I am still willing to entertain the idea we, as freedom-lovers and gun-owners, must push for our rights to be recognized. And, in that regard, I am always willing to entertain a push-back against our liberty-destroying Congress-critters.

      I do have to disagree with the last part of your last comment in that even the states have limits on how they may abuse our rights. The right to self-defense in the best way possible for a person was certainly not given to us by the Federal government, but it wasn’t granted to us by any State either.

      ‘Nuff said.

      Keep fightin’ for ’em. You’re gonna need ’em sooner than ya think.

      • Kellene,

        First, thanks for taking the time for discussion. And, this is going to be relatively brief… simply because it will be a couple of days before I can get back to it and I don’t want to appear as if I am ignoring the conversation.

        Yes, you did read me correctly. 2A is (in my feeble view) absolutely a restriction on the government(s).

        As for the leap to registration, I did not read in any of this how it was going to reconcile the differences between state laws… which are currently handled by the states sharing reciprocity. With my Alabama concealed pistol permit, I can lawfully carry in about half of the states that have a permitting process.

        So, (again in my feeble view) in order to get the states to implement, there would, by engineering nature, have to be a uniform standard to be met. Now we are on the path to Federal licensing. A process that would lend itself to many abuses, one of which could end up being firearm registration.

        As an example, again using my Alabama carry permit, application for a license in my “may issue” state requires (at the time of my application several years ago) that you supply the make, model, serial #, caliber, etc of one (1) pistol. That firearm is essentially registered as long as I still own it.

        I realize that there is a large amount of supposition and many iterations of law making in my commentary. Unfortunately, seeking the worst possible outcome seems to land pretty close to where a lot of legislation ends up.

        That is how I see it being a possible step toward registration.

      • Dan,

        Thank you for helping me to understand where you are coming from. I read the amendment very differently.

        It has nothing to do with making any requirements for getting a particular state CCW permit any more uniform than they currently are. This is one of the issues raised against it, frankly.

        What it attempted to do is to say IF you have a CCW permit from a state then other states that offer a CCW permit must recognize your permit as if you had a permit in their state. BUT, you would have to follow THAT state’s regulations, rules, etc as to how YOUR CCW permit was used in THAT state.

        In other words, if I had a Utah CFP and travelled to Kansas, which currently does not recognize the Utah CFP, Kansas, under this amendment, would have to recognize my Utah CFP. I would, however, have ONLY the privileges of a Kansas CFP. In other words, even though a Utah CFP exempts me from the laws of non-carry in a public school here in Utah, if the law in Kansas prohibited carry in a public school, regardless of whether or not I had a permit, then I could not carry in a public school in Kansas even though I could in Utah.

        It would be left up to each individual to know the particular CCW laws for any state they choose to exercise their CCW privileges in, but there would be no change in the administration of any CCW laws in any particular state. They would not become uniform and there would be no reconciliation of regulations, rules, or laws between states.

        This, of course, would cause its own problems, and I believe there would be several unintended consequences (but that’s another post, right?).

        Again, the National Concealed Carry Legislation that has been proposed would be more similar to what your discussion seems to be, and I believe that legislation is an absolutely terrible idea for so many reasons.

        I hope that helps in the understanding. Either way, thank you for the great responses!

  2. As i posted


    First, dont be fooled into thinking that some of the people that voted for the amendment are pro-gun…

    second, i dont think this amendment was ever really meant to pass… i think it was designed to put the senators on record for their positions…

    • Don’t worry. I have no such delusions about the voting records of our current set of Congress-critters and I am not fooled.

      Good comment!

  3. C’mon now, ma’am, you didn’t actually believe that bill had a chance in hell of passing, did you? I’ve got more faith in global warming than I do in that bill’s passage…

    • Nope, I didn’t, nor am I convinced that it would have been the best or most effective way for us to retain our 2A rights.

      It was an interesting idea though, you have to admit.

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