Coburn Gun Amendment Tacked Onto Credit Card Bill

Posted May 12, 2009 at 6:14pm

The Senate voted 67-29 to add a gun-rights provision to the consumer credit card bill on Tuesday, handing a victory to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who has employed a variety of procedural tools to advance the gun measure over the last two years.

The amendment would allow visitors to carry concealed weapons onto national park property by requiring those parks to follow state gun laws.

“If an American citizen has a right to carry a firearm in their state, it makes no sense to treat them like a criminal if they pass through a national park while in possession of a firearm,— Coburn said in a statement.

Coburn filed amendments to both the House-passed credit card bill and the Senate substitute to ensure its consideration.

Because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has not filed a procedural motion to move forward on the credit card bill — which was considered unnecessary since it has broad bipartisan support — non-germane amendments are allowed to be considered under Senate rules.

“This is something a robust majority is going to have to deal with,— a Senate Democratic aide said. “This is the only way for the minority to get votes on bills they think are important.—

Noting the Senate’s heavy legislative schedule before the Memorial Day recess begins after next week, Reid urged Members Tuesday night to submit amendments so the chamber could move quickly on the credit card bill.

“We want Senators to be able to offer amendments to the bill. But we’d hope they’d be related to the bill,— Reid said.

While Coburn’s gun amendment won strong approval in the Senate, it is unclear whether it will emerge once House and Senate conferees convene to craft a final measure. The version passed by the House on April 30 does not include a gun amendment.