One of the amendments offered yesterday was on national right-to-carry. It was offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). Because it didn’t get 60 votes in favor, it was considered defeated. The final vote was 57 ayes to 43 nays.
I think the mood in the Senate yesterday was that if Manchin-Toomey didn’t pass, nothing was going to pass good or bad. Otherwise you wouldn’t have had 44 Senators voting against the Burr Amendment which would have protected the Second Amendment rights of veterans by requiring that they be adjudicated mentally incompetent before losing their gun rights. To me, that amendment was right up there with Mom, apple pie, and baseball.
What does this mean for national right-to-carry in general? As I see it, national right to carry reciprocity legislation has a majority of the Senate in support of it. However, it is not a filibuster-proof majority as it didn’t get 60 votes. It would be foolish to think that a Senator Boxer or a Senator Schumer would not filibuster this as a stand alone bill.
A number of the senators voting against the bill come from states with strong shall-issue carry laws. It might be possible to gain the remaining three needed votes. I see Sen. Harry Reid’s votes as a “tactical no” while a Nelson of Florida or a King of Maine might be persuaded to listen to their constituents. It would be close and it again shows the folly of the Republicans in nominating weak, stupid, or ineffectual candidates. McCaskill of Missouri, Kaine of Virginia, and Baldwin of Wisconsin should have been beaten in 2012 and weren’t. That would have been the three needed votes.
Ah, woulda, coulda, shoulda.
Here is the breakdown of the roll call vote on the Cornyn Amendment.
YEAs —57 Alexander (R-TN)
NAYs —43 Baldwin (D-WI)