Gun control and gun rights advocates are bracing for another clash with a Senate vote on a measure that would allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry those hidden weapons across state borders.
Backers, led by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., say truckers and others with concealed weapons permits should be able to protect themselves when they cross into other states. Opponents say the measure would force states with strict procedures for getting permits to accept permits from states with more lax laws.
The Senate has scheduled a vote Wednesday on the measure, which Thune offered as an amendment to a major defense policy bill. Under an agreement reached among Senate leaders, 60 votes will be needed to approve the amendment.
Hat tip: Drew M. at Ace
The vote was 58-39 in favor of the provision establishing concealed carry permit reciprocity in the 48 states that have concealed weapons laws. That fell two votes short of the 60 needed to approve the measure, offered as an amendment to a defense spending bill.
Opponents prevailed in their argument that the measure violated states rights by forcing states with stringent requirements for permits to recognize concealed weapons carriers from states that give out permits to almost any gun owner.
Congress this year voted to restore the rights of people to carry loaded weapons into national parks and the Senate moved to effectively eviscerate the tough gun control laws of the District of Columbia.
Congress has also ignored urgings from President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to revive a ban on military-style weapons that expired in 2004.
The concealed weapons measure, promoted by the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America, would have made a concealed weapon permit from one state valid in the 47 other states with permit laws. Only Wisconsin and Illinois have no carry permit laws.