WASHINGTON – Texas' U.S. senators are backing a measure that would allow licensed Texans to carry their concealed weapons anywhere in the country, though some gun-control advocates warn it will undermine Texas' own concealed-handgun law.
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote today on an amendment that would require states to allow visitors to carry lawfully concealed firearms across state lines.
"Over 300,000 Texans have been trained and issued a concealed handgun license, and this legislation will allow them to travel to states with comparable laws without questioning whether or not their Texas-issued permit is honored," said Republican Sen. John Cornyn, a cosponsor of the amendment. Aides to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, also a Republican, said she also supported the provision.
Gun-rights proponents, including the National Rifle Association, contend the measure helps bring parity in gun laws to protect the fundamental rights of U.S. citizens. An aide to Gov. Rick Perry said the Thune provision would protect Second Amendment rights "while also respecting states' rights."
Jerry Patterson, Texas' land commissioner who wrote the state's conceal and carry laws as a state lawmaker in the 1990s, supports the provision, which would be attached to a defense bill. He said critics just don't support reciprocity or conceal and carry rights.
"If detractors of this proposal are using the argument where the minimum standards aren't high enough, they should merely propose that reciprocity exists among the states with certain minimal requirements," Patterson said.
Being pro 2nd amendment is a requirement not only for Republican primaries but even for a lot of Democrat primaries too... even in the northeast. Only two Republicans did not vote with Thune, and yet it was killed because it only had 58 votes.