(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – On behalf of the US National Park Rangers, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), offered an amendment today to protect the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. The amendment ensures that law-abiding visitors to our nations' capital, in particular the capital building, can possess firearms in accordance with federal, state, and local law. The amendment passed by a vote of 67 to 29.
According to the bills supporters, "It's only fair that U.S. Senators should face the threat of gun violence in their work place." The U.S. Park Rangers union proposed the bill in response to a Bush Administration rule allowing loaded concealed weapons into National Parks.
"This amendment has two important purposes. First, this amendment is about protecting every American's Second Amendment rights. Second, this amendment is about protecting the right of every state to pass laws that apply to their entire state.
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 the capital building in possession of a firearm," Dr. Coburn said.
"Visitors to the U.S. Senate should have the right to defend themselves in accordance with the laws of their states," Dr. Coburn added. "The Capital building, while still generally safe for visitors, have seen an increase in crime recently."
The bill will allow tourists and senators alike to the capital to carry weapons into the visitors gallery, Senate and House floors.