Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

House vote on guns in national parks could come at any time

As many readers know, the Senate added an amendment, introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), to the House's credit card reform bill, that would lift the draconian gun laws that currently apply in national parks. This became necessary when an activist federal judge blocked the rule change made late in Bush's last term.

The Brady Bunch is predictably apoplectic.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence called on President Obama to demand a clean credit card reform bill, without the dangerous and extraneous Coburn amendment that could allow concealed handguns and openly carried AK-47s in national parks.

“The country needs President Obama to show leadership and demand a clean bill that will not force loaded guns into our national parks and bypass a Federal court ruling and an environmental review. Families should not have to stare down loaded AK-47s on nature hikes,” Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke said. “The President should not remain silent while Congress inserts reckless gun policies that he strongly opposes into a bill that has nothing whatsoever to do with guns. He should urge that this provision be removed from the bill.”

Late Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted 67-29 for the Coburn amendment, attached to an unrelated credit card reform bill, which allows loaded guns in national parks. The Coburn amendment allows open carrying of loaded firearms, including semiautomatic assault rifles, in most national parks and refuges.
Ditto the New York Times:
The gun lobby and its all-too-willing political accomplices have struck again. The Senate’s version of urgently needed legislation to protect credit card users has been saddled with a dangerous and utterly nongermane amendment allowing visitors to openly carry loaded firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges.

A disappointing 27 Senate Democrats, whose party once led the fight for gun control, eagerly signed on with 39 Republicans — fawning together before the lobby’s lethal diktat.
The Coburn Amendment passed last week, and the Senate passed the bill itself today. The House version of the credit card legislation--without the gun amendment--has already passed. Frankly, I've been quite skeptical that the guns in parks language would survive the reconciliation process.

GOA seems to think otherwise.
The problem for anti-gun House leaders is that their priority bill, H.R. 627, now contains a pro-gun amendment. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is forced to either delay the entire bill in order to try to strip the popular pro-gun amendment out later in the year, or allow the underlying bill to move through the House before Memorial Day with the Coburn amendment intact.

Sources close to the situation tell GOA that the Democrat leadership, which has opposed the NPS gun ban repeal at every turn, may have finally run out of options. The enormous outpouring of grassroots activism from GOA supporters may have at last convinced congressional leaders that if they bury this measure yet again, the repercussions will reverberate into the next election.

President Obama wants to sign this credit card legislation before Memorial Day. So it is possible that there will be just one more vote on this issue in the House this week. As of today, it appears the leadership plans to bring the underlying bill to the floor in two pieces for two separate votes -- one on the main bill and one on the Coburn amendment.

If both pieces pass the House, then they can be combined together as one bill and sent directly to the President without going to a House-Senate conference committee. (There would be no need to iron out differences in conference committee since the Senate would have already passed the exact same version of the bill.)
Talk to your Congressman. There's a letter you can use in the GOA link above.