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GOP Readies Push to Loosen Gun Laws

One in five Americans is either jobless or underemployed, and one in six is without health insurance. What’s the GOP’s response? Gun amendments.

Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.), are readying a number of gun-friendly amendments they intend to offer this year on must-pass appropriations bills, Roll Call’s John Stanton reports today.

Coburn “believes it’s important to stay on offense, so he wants to have a Pattonesque approach to amendments,” a veteran Senate GOP operative said.

This operative said that in the wake of Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) win in last month’s special election, Republicans believe it is critical that they try to make Democrats appear out of step with the public. They believe amendments on guns and spending in particular will help GOP Senators achieve that goal.

Among the provisions Coburn is eying, Stanton writes, is a proposal allowing veterans deemed “mentally defective” to own firearms, and another extending concealed-carry permits across state lines. The latter failed in the Senate last summer by just two votes. GOP strategists think that Brown’s arrival could tip the scales in favor of the provision the next time around.

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