Senate Gun Debate Unpredictable, Could Weaken Gun Restrictions


As the U.S. Senate prepares to begin a gun-control bill, the gun rights lobby is working on amendments that could have the opposite effect — loosening many of the restrictions that exist in current law, reports the Washington Post. One would achieve one of the National Rifle Association's biggest goals: a “national reciprocity” arrangement, in which a gun owner who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in any one state would then be allowed to do that anywhere.

Other pro-gun proposals would make it easier for dealers to sell their merchandise between states or let certain people who had been treated for mental illness regain the right to buy weapons. The Senate always has been a place where legislation can take an abrupt detour. That could happen this time, where allegiances on guns break down not along party lines but along regional ones and an urban-rural divide. For example, President Obama spent 20 minutes last week discussing the issue with Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), who faces a potentially difficult reelection bid next year. It is not assured that any legislation will pass in the end.

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