Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gun politics:

This was kind of interesting: (emp add)
... the Senate on Wednesday rejected a measure allowing a person with a concealed weapon permit in one state to also hide his firearm when visiting another state.

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 ...

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the sponsor, said it would not provide for a national carry permit, and that a visitor to another state would have to obey the limitations of that state, such as bans on concealed weapons in restaurants or other places.

"Law-abiding individuals have the right to self-defense," even when they cross state lines, Thune said, citing the example of truck drivers who need to protect themselves as they travel.

Opponents, however, said the 48 states with permits have a broad range of conditions for obtaining those permits: some such as Alaska and Vermont, give permits to almost all gun owners. Others, such as New York, have firearm training requirements and exclude people with drinking problems or criminal records.

New York Democrat Charles Schumer raised the possibility of his state having to accept gun carriers from states that have few or no restrictions. Thune's proposal, he said, was "the most dangerous piece of legislation to the safety of Americans when it comes to guns since the repeal of the assault weapons ban."

Thune shot back that if a person from South Dakota with a carry permit visited Central Park in New York City, "Central Park will be a much safer place." (...)

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., another sponsor, reminded his colleagues that the NRA and Gun Owners of America were scoring the vote, meaning it would be considered in their election evaluation of lawmakers.
The roll call vote is here.

3 didn't vote:
Byrd (D-WV), Kennedy (D-MA), Mikulski (D-MD)
2 Republicans voted Nay:
Lugar (R-IN), Voinovich (R-OH)
20 Democrats voted Yea:
Baucus (D-MT), Bayh (D-IN), Begich (D-AK), Bennet (D-CO), Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND), Dorgan (D-ND), Feingold (D-WI), Hagan (D-NC), Johnson (D-SD)
Landrieu (D-LA), Lincoln (D-AR), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Reid (D-NV)
Tester (D-MT), Udall (D-CO), Udall (D-NM), Warner (D-VA), Webb (D-VA)
States where both Senators voted Nay are: (in decreasing order of population)
California (11.9%)
New York (6.3%)
Illinois (4.2%)
Ohio (3.7%)
Michigan (3.3%)
New Jersey (2.8%)
Washington (2.1%)
Massachusetts (2.1%) Kennedy presumably would have voted Nay
Maryland (1.8%) Mikulski presumably would have voted Nay
Minnesota (1.7%)
Oregon (1.2%)
Connecticut (1.2%)
Hawaii (0.4%)
Rhode Island (0.4%)
Delaware (0.3%)
Vermont (0.2%)
Which collectively represent 43.6% of the nation. I would have thought it might have been greater, what with the tendency of places with urban areas - and hence larger populations - to be averse to conceal-carrying visitors from other states.


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