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?

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