Senate defeats concealed gun amendment

July 22, 2009 at 1:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Wednesday defeated an amendment that would have allowed concealed weapons to be carried across state lines without regard to local laws.

The Senate voted 58-39 Wednesday in favor of the amendment to the defense authorization bill -- two votes short of the 60 needed to enact the measure sponsored by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., The Washington Post reported.

Political analysts told the newspaper the vote exposed bitter division on the gun issue within the Senate as a bloc of liberal Democrats, led by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., went against the wishes Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who sided with gun rights supporters.

The Post said that even though the measure went down to defeat, it still demonstrated the clout wielded by the National Rifle Association in Congress since the bill was considered the most extensive effort ever to expand federal laws to allow weapons ownership.

"This carefully tailored amendment will ensure that a state's border is not a limit to an individual's fundamental right and will allow law-abiding individuals to travel without complication throughout the 48 states..., " the Post quoted Thune as saying in Wednesday's Senate debate.

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