Senate votes on changes to concealed weapons laws - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Senate votes on changes to concealed weapons laws

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WASHINGTON. - A measure allowing a citizen with a concealed weapon permit in one state to cross state lines was shot down in a vote on the Senate floor Wednesday.

The Senate bill backed by South Dakota Republican John Thune fell two votes shy of the 60 needed to pass.

It followed a heated debate on floor.

"Criminals commit crimes, what we're trying to do is allow law abiding people protect themselves when they travel across state lines," Thune argued.

"Did you listen to the groups that endorse the Thune amendment? Not a single law enforcement group support John Thune's amendment," countered Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin.

The bill would have created a national requirement that anyone approved to carry a concealed weapon in one state could go to another state with similar laws.

Opponents, including 450 mayors who signed an open letter featured in a full-page ad in USA Today, argued it would allow the state with the weakest permit requirements to set the bar too low.

"What you're doing is starting down a slippery slope and every other state has to follow what the other does," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The National Rifle Association has successfully argued in the past state rights should prevail when it comes to gun laws and preserving the 2nd Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms.

During this gun bill battle, the NRA reversed its argument, calling for a national law for concealed weapons.

Gun rights advocates say they will be back with another bill.
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