Recent Press Releases

Thune Offers Concealed Carry Bill as Amendment to DC Voting Rights Bill

--Thune Also Supports Amendment to Ensure Second Amendment Rights in Washington, DC--

February 25, 2009

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today filed his bill, the Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (S.371), as an amendment to the so-called DC Voting Rights Bill (S.160). The bipartisan Thune amendment would allow individuals to carry lawfully concealed firearms across state lines, while at the same time respecting the laws of the host state. Senator Thune introduced S. 371 as a stand-alone bill with bipartisan support earlier this month.

“South Dakota and many other states have responsible measures in place that allow citizens to protect themselves with concealed weapons,” said Thune. “Law-abiding South Dakotans should be able to exercise the right to bear arms in states with similar regulations on concealed firearms.”

Currently, some states with concealed carry laws grant reciprocity to permit-holders from other select states. Senator Thune’s bill strikes the appropriate balance between individual and states’ rights by allowing an individual to carry a concealed firearm across state lines if they either have a valid permit or if, under their state of residence, they are entitled to do so.

Traveling individuals must follow the laws of the host state, including laws concerning specific types of locations in which firearms may or may not be carried.

Additionally, Senator Thune is an original cosponsor of an amendment being introduced by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) which would ensure that the District of Columbia abides by last year’s Supreme Court decision overturning the District’s handgun ban.

“In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, the District of Columbia enacted restrictions on firearm possession that water down the ruling,” said Thune. “If Congress is going to give the District of Columbia a voting member of the House of Representatives, it should also prevent the District from denying citizens their Constitutional right to bear arms.”

Senator Thune’s amendment is cosponsored by Senators David Vitter (R-LA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim DeMint (R-SC), James Inhofe (R-OK), Robert Bennett (R-UT), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and James Webb (D-VA).