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Sen. Coburn Attaches Gun Amendments to Water Bill

Image: Sen. Coburn Attaches Gun Amendments to Water Bill

By Melanie Batley   |  

Sen. Tom Coburn has attached two pro-gun amendments to a water resources bill scheduled to be voted on in the Senate Wednesday.

According to The Huffington Post, one measure by the Oklahoma Republican would lift a ban on carrying firearms in national outdoor recreational areas, while the other would create a registry of the guns and ammunition owned by the federal government.

If passed, the measure would permit weapons to be carried in otherwise gun-free zones, such as the nation's lakes, campsites, and trails currently controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Coburn said it would grant precedence to state laws that permit people to carry concealed weapons.

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that allows loaded firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The amendment, Coburn told The Huffington Post, would permit guns in other federally owned public spaces, "just like we have everywhere else." He added that it would provide "consistency in gun laws across government jurisdictions."

Pro-gun groups such as the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America have been pushing such a measure for years, The Huffington Post reported.

Coburn's second amendment would require the federal government to account for all the guns and ammunition it owns. It follows a claim last month from GOP Sen. James Inhofe that the government has bought up so much ammunition that little has been left for ordinary gun owners.

The water resources bill authorizes water projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During a Senate debate on the bill Tuesday, California Democrat Barbara Boxer, one of the bill's sponsors, chided her Republican colleagues for offering amendments that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

"We're working on a critical infrastructure bill, and the first two Republican amendments are not about jobs, are not about business, are not about commerce — are about guns!" she said, according to The Huffington Post.



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Sen. Tom Coburn is trying to attach two pro-gun amendments to a water resources bill scheduled to be voted on in the Senate on Wednesday.
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