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Senate Rejects Amendment to Weaken Hidden Handgun Laws
WASHINGTON - July 22 - The U.S. Senate voted today to defeat the Thune Amendment (No. 1618) to the FY 2010 defense authorization bill (S. 1390). The amendment, co-sponsored by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA), would have required states to accept concealed handgun permits that are issued by other states. The practical effect of this change would have been to reduce concealed carry permit regulations in the United States to the lowest common denominator. Many states have weak laws and issue individuals permits after only a simple computerized background check-through a federal database that is missing millions of disqualifying criminal and mental health records.
Several states screen concealed carry permit applicants more rigorously in the interest of public safety. For example, at least 35 states prevent people from carrying concealed weapons if they have certain misdemeanor convictions; 31 states prohibit alcohol abusers from obtaining a concealed carry permit; and 31 states require the completion of a gun safety program prior to the issuance of a permit. Under the Thune Amendment, individuals from states that do not have these safeguards would have been able to carry handguns into states that do.
On behalf of the 48 national organizations that comprise the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, we would like to express our gratitude to the Senators who voted against the Thune Amendment and stood up to the National Rifle Association. We also would like to thank the thousands of grassroots activists across the country who worked so hard to defeat this dangerous legislation.