Senator John Ensign of Nevada offered his amendment to repeal D.C.'s draconian gun ban today.
But Senators John Thune of South Dakota and David Vitter of Louisiana have also stepped up to the plate. They filed an amendment that would result in REAL national concealed carry reciprocity -- without adversely affecting no-permit states like Alaska and Vermont.
So now the battle lines are drawn! By the end of the week, the Senate will vote on whether to rule these two pro-gun amendments out of order.
The vote could come on a so-called "cloture" motion to cut off debate (and thus kill the Ensign and Thune/Vitter amendments). Moreover, if the underlying bill is then passed, the virulently anti-gun jurisdiction of the District of Columbia will be rewarded with a voting member of the House of Representatives.
But first, a little background on the two amendments:
You've all heard of the various "microstamping" proposals crafted by the anti-gunners to ban guns and ammunition nationwide.
The anti-gunners would do this by serial number "microstamping" requirements which are so onerous that guns (or ammunition) would become prohibitively expensive in all 50 states.
In the wake of the Heller case, the District of Columbia's reaction to the Supreme Court's decision declaring its gun laws unconstitutional was to pass legislation which will, as a practical matter, continue its current policy of denying gun licenses to its citizens. But, to add insult to injury, it added a whole bunch of additional anti-gun
One was a requirement that most guns used for self-defense be capable of "microstamping" a cartridge with a unique serial number. Aside from being useless for identifying any criminal who pockets his spent brass, this provision would, even if it were technologically possible, make guns so expensive that no one would buy them.
If a few more liberal jurisdictions follow suit, this could start a chain reaction so that gun manufacturers will eventually be forced to manufacture ALL guns to meet the new microstamping standards.
The Ensign amendment would completely repeal D.C.'s gun ban and, in the process, help stave off the push for microstamping.
Next, the Thune/Vitter amendment on concealed carry reciprocity is an idea whose time has come. Why should your right to self-defense stop at the state line?
But it must be the right kind of national reciprocity. It must protect states like Alaska and Vermont which do not require a permit to carry concealed at all and it must be done in a Constitutional manner that protects State's rights.
The Thune/Vitter amendment would do these things -- it is REAL national reciprocity.
But the problem is this: Nevada Senator Harry Reid has moved to cut off debate on the D.C. bill -- using a parliamentary maneuver known as a "cloture" petition -- for the sole purpose of ruling such pro-gun amendments out of order.
You see, Barack Obama and the liberals who run Congress hate guns. They hate guns so much that they would probably be willing to kill the District's voting representative in order to preserve the District's gun ban.
The next two days are crucial. While there will be votes in the Senate throughout the day on Thursday -- which may include either of the two pro-gun amendments -- it is likely that the true focus will be on Friday's cloture vote.
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