Senate Rejects Controversial Concealed Weapons Measure
Senators voted for the measure, 58-39, but it fell short of the required 60 votes for passage in an unusual setback for the gun rights side, which has been able to muster majorities of Republicans and pro-gun Democrats to move its agenda through both the Bush and Obama administrations.
WASHINGTON -- The Senate sided with gun control advocates Wednesday by rejecting a measure that would have allowed people with concealed weapons permits to carry those hidden weapons across state borders.
Senators voted for the measure, 58-39, but it fell short of the required 60 votes for approval, based on a procedural agreement between Senate leaders.
It is an unusual setback for the gun rights side, which has been able to muster majorities of Republicans and pro-gun Democrats to move its agenda through both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Opponents say the concealed weapon proposal would force states with tough gun laws to accept gun-carrying visitors from states with weaker laws. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said that was not true and that gun-toters would have to follow the laws of the state they entered.
The gun proposal did not establish national standards for concealed weapons permits and would not have allowed those with permits to carry weapons into Wisconsin and Illinois, the two states that do not have concealed weapons laws.
Gun control groups were strongly in opposition.
So far this year gun rights advocates have had some successes in Congress. They attached a provision to a credit card bill signed into law that restores the right to carry loaded firearms in national parks, and coupled a Senate vote giving the District of Columbia a vote in the House with a provision effectively ending the district's tough gun control laws.
House Democratic leaders, unable to detach the two issues without losing the support of pro-gun Democrats, abandoned attempts to pass the D.C. vote bill.
The vote comes a day after the Senate completed what is probably the most controversial issue connected to the defense bill, voting 58-40 to eliminate $1.75 billion in the $680 billion bill that had been set aside for building more F-22 fighters. President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates campaigned hard for removing the money, saying the Pentagon had enough F-22s and the money could be spent on more pressing defense needs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Senate Rejects Controversial Concealed Weapons Measure - Political News - FOXNews.com