Senate Democrats are scrambling to kill a Republican measure that would allow gun owners to carry weapons across state lines, overriding stricter laws of many jurisdictions and giving preference to states with looser standards, reports the Washington Post. Critics, including police organizations, big-city mayors, and gun-victims groups, call the legislation, which may come to a vote tomorrow, “a new national lowest common denominator” for ownership of firearms. Twice this year, Republicans have succeeded in rolling back gun restrictions with substantial backing from Democrats, many newly elected from Western states with strong Second Amendment traditions.
In May, the GOP lured 27 Senate Democrats to support looser rules on firearms in national parks; the measure passed the House and was signed by President Obama as part of an unrelated credit-card bill. Sponsor John Thune (R-SD) described the current proposal as a crime-prevention tool. “Since criminals are unable to tell who is and who is not carrying a firearm just by looking at a potential victim, they are less likely to commit crimes when they fear that they may come in direct contact with an individual who is armed,” he said.