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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mark Warner May Hold Deciding Vote on National Reciprocity

The Hill has an article this morning on the renewed push for National Concealed Carry Reciprocity.  Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn recently introduced the bill for the current session and has been making the rounds talking it up.

The last time the National Reciprocity bill fell just short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate.  Now that Republicans are in the majority of the U.S. Senate, there is hope that there will be enough votes to push the bill over the top:
Supporters of the legislation believe they can secure enough Democratic votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster and get the legislation to President Obama’s desk.

While Obama is unlikely to sign the bill, given his support for stricter gun controls, getting the legislation through Congress would give Second Amendment advocates a significant victory.

Gun-control groups are planning to fight back hard, setting the stage for what promises to be a contentious battle over Second Amendment rights ahead of the 2016 elections.
Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk voted against the bill the last time it came up.  That means it would need the support of all of the remaining 53 Republicans and seven Democrats to pass.  The list of Democrats being targeted includes Virginia Senator Mark Warner.
Advocates plan to focus much of their lobbying on the Senate Democrats who have voted for the concealed carry bill in the past: Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Tom Udall (N.M.) and Mark Warner (Va.).
Warner has a mixed record on issues related to our Second Amendment rights.  As Governor of Virginia, he signed a number of pro-rights bills, including a preemption bill that put all matters related to firearms in the hands of the General Assembly. He did not veto any pro-rights legislation.  For his record as Governor, Warner earned an "A" rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2008.  But after the Sandy Hook school shooting, he made some comments that maybe it was time to consider new gun control and he voted for the Schumer/Manchin/Toomey background check amendment which would have criminalized private sales of firearms between friends and gun club members, among others.  That earned him a "C" rating when he ran for re-election in 1014.

Yes, Warner voted for National Reciprocity in the past.  But the only way to make sure he votes for it this time is if he hears from gun owners.  The gun ban lobby is going to go all out to try and stop the bill from reaching that all important 60th vote.

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