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Senate narrowly rejects amendment to allow concealed firearms across state lines

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] on Wednesday rejected [roll call vote] a proposed amendment to a military appropriations bill [SR 1390 materials] that would allow individuals with permits to carry concealed firearms across state lines. The amendment [S.AMDT.1618 materials] was proposed by Senator John Thune (R-SD) [official profile] and had been a hotly contested issue, reflected by the 58-39 vote. Sixty votes were needed for passage. Thune expressed disappointment [press release] at the result, saying that the amendment had succumbed to "overheated rhetoric and fearmongering." The National Rifle Association [advocacy website], which had urged senators to vote for the amendment, viewed the narrow defeat as a victory [press release], noting that a majority of senators had voted for passage.

Wednesday's vote was the latest in a series of events surrounding gun-owners' rights in 2009. In early June, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit declined to apply the Second Amendment to the states [JURIST report] and upheld handgun bans in two Illinois municipalities. In May, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the credit card holders' bill of rights that would allow individuals to carry firearms in National Parks [JURIST report]. The amendment may have been in response to a March ruling by the US District Court for the District of Columbia enjoining a federal rule [JURIST report] which allowed concealed weapons to be carried in National Parks, as long as the individual is in compliance with state law.

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