Gun rights advocates have found a sweet spot in Democratic-dominated Washington, and they are using it to aggressively push legislation.
Their latest victory came yesterday when the House passed a bill that will allow people to bring concealed and loaded guns into national parks. Advocates won with the help of moderate Democrats.
Those Democrats, many from states in the South and Midwest, joined nearly all House Republicans to back yesterday's provision, which has passed in the Senate and could become law this week. The gun bill passed 279 to 147 in the House with the help of 105 Democratic votes; 145 Democrats opposed the bill.
The legislation was the latest defeat for gun-control advocates, who had expected more success with a Democratic president and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress.
The bill to grant the District of Columbia a voting member in the House remains stalled after Senate Republicans attached a provision to the legislation that effectively would repeal many of Washington's gun restrictions.
Yesterday's provision, originally sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), would allow gun owners to bring the weapons into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are permitted by the laws of the state in which the park is located. The bill codifies a change the Bush administration had sought in its final months, but a federal judge blocked the effort in March. Read more