BELLEVUE, WA - A proposal by Sen. Tom Coburn to expand gun rights made sense, and Senate anti-gunners who opposed the measure should be held accountable by voters, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said Thursday.
Sen. Coburn's proposal would have allowed armed private citizens to legally carry firearms on Army Corps of Engineers lands in states where carrying firearms for personal safety is already legal. The vote was 56-43, four votes shy of a required 60-vote threshold.
"Democrats set that threshold," noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. "It's okay when an anti-gun minority thwarts the will of the people, but when pro gun rights senators do it, they scream bloody murder."
Currently, citizens may only bring firearms on to Corps lands for hunting. Other federal lands, primarily national forests and national parks, are open for carrying firearms for all kinds of reasons, including self-defense.
"Senator Coburn was trying to do the right thing at the right time," Gottlieb said. "Corps lands should not be any different than other federal lands where the Second Amendment certainly should apply.
"However, anti-gunners led by California's Barbara Boxer pandered their opposition on the flimsy grounds that law-abiding armed Americans create some kind of national security risk, which is ludicrous," he continued. "But that argument certainly shows how Sen. Boxer and her gun prohibitionist colleagues feel about citizens exercising a constitutionally-protected fundamental civil right."
Coburn, who serves on CCRKBA's National Advisory Council, argued that existing federal law would still protect "critical infrastructure" by prohibiting weapons in such areas.
"The fact that 11 Democrats and one independent supported Coburn's measure shows that it has bipartisan support," Gottlieb said. "Sen. Coburn pushed through the earlier amendment allowing firearms in national parks, and this effort was a natural progression to open up more lands to legally-armed citizens. Boxer and her allies have once again demonstrated an unreasonable fear of their fellow citizens."
With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation's premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet a www.ccrkba.org
or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org