Concealed weapons amendment fails in Senate

By Laura Geller - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There was a small victory for gun control advocates on Capitol Hill Wednesday. They narrowly defeated a Senate amendment that would have broadened the area where you can take a concealed weapon.

The basic concept of the Thune Amendment is if you have a concealed weapons permit in Virginia, you would have been able to travel among 48 states with that weapon and not have any problems.

For Jeff Picchi, who owns The Smoking Gun in Colonial Heights, the reason to have a concealed weapons permit is pretty straightforward.

"Absolute protection, I mean that's the sole reason," he said.

Picchi says in recent months he's seen a drastic increase in the amount of people taking his permit class.

"It will draw a whole lot less attention. It doesn't frighten the people in public as much when they can't actually see you carrying a firearm," Picchi said.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League wanted to see the Thune Amendment locked and loaded.

"Criminals and danger to your well being doesn't end at a state line," said Philip VanCleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Right now, if you have a concealed weapons permit in Virginia you can carry that weapon in more than 20 other states because they honor the Commonwealth permit.

A group of family members of Virginia Tech victims did not want to see this expand. They issued a statement saying: "We are thrilled that common sense prevailed in the Senate."

They were disappointed, however, both Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, voted to support the amendment. The measure fell just two votes short of the sixty needed to pass.

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