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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  July 23, 2009 2:05am-6:00am EDT

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in the weeds here but the gentleman mention michael ijime who did not have a carry permit. and another gentleman, willie donaldson, the court recognized that the person acted in self shf defense. the point is that criminals commit crimes. that's what they do. criminals kill people. this isn't directed at criminals. this is directed at law-abiding citizens who want to protect themselves and the statistics i mentioned earlier make it very clear. if you want to look at the studies, there is a lot more defensive gun use by victims than there are crimes committed with fire jamplets it is further estimated that there are as many as 2.5 million defensive uses of firearms in the united states each year, many of which go unreported. but i think you have to come back to the point that of the 5 million people in this country who are concealed carry permit holders, and if you assume that every instance of reported crime
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by a gun control group, of improper firearm use by individuals with a conceal carry permit, every one of those is true. it can be debated. but let's assume that it is true. over an entire year, there would be one -- one -- improper use of a firearm and to put that another way, concealed carry permit holders would be 15 times less likely than the rest of the general public to commit murder. the point i'm making, mr. president, is criminals commit crimes. that's what they dovment they're criminals. criminals kill people. what we're trying to do here is allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from criminals when they travel across state lines, striking the right balance between federal -- the constitution, which protects an individual's second-amendment right and state laws. we aren't preempting state laws. illinois and wisconsin, have -- they preclude or prevent anybody from owning a concealed carry permit or having a concealed
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carry permit in their states. this amendment doesn't even apply to them. nobody could carry a concealed carry weapon in either one of those states. it recognizes the rights of all states. most states have place and time restrictions. my state of south dakota, for example, you can't carry in a place that serves alcohol, you can't carry on schools, you can't carry in courthouses. so to suggest that somebody is going to transport a whole bunch of guns -- which would be a violation of federal law to start with because there are laws against trafficking -- into an area of a statepublic school or someplace like that, these are just wild exaggerations and scare tactics that aren't based on any evidence. the evidence we have -- the data we all have suggests the contrary. mr. president, i yield such time to the gentleman from wyoming, as he may consume. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. today i rise in support of the thune amendment of the thune amendment to me is very straightforward. it does not restrict state concealed carry laws.
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it does not create a national concealed carry permit. it simply allows law-abiding individuals. law-abiding individuals who lawfully carry concealed firearms across state lines while following the laws of the host state. just like a driver's license -- and this is my wyoming driver's license -- just like a drivers license, the thune amendment is a license for self-defense across state lines. this means my concealed carry license from wyoming, i will not be limited to wyoming. just like a regular driver's license, just about the same -- photo identification issues. the only difference is this one from wyoming says "concealed firearm permit" and it has on it a picture of a handgun. well, today we are hearing the same arguments against the thune amendment that we heard from the people who wanted to ban assault weapons. during that semi automatic assault weapons debate, we heard all of the scare tactics.
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we heard there would be blood all over streets, terrorists would be able to purchase uzi's and ak-47's. the lives of law enforcement law enforcement will be in danger. this is simple plt not the case. -- this is simply not the case. a study for the department of justice found that 40% of felons had not committed certain crimes because they feared that the potential victims would be armed. the national institute of justice conducted a survey that found that 74% of criminals who had committed burk burglaries or violent crimes said they would be less likely to commit a crime if they thought the victim could be armed. in states where concealed carry permits are issued, it is a fact that the crime rates go down. let's take a look at illinois and florida. illinois does not allow concealed carry permits. the number of murders last year in chicago -- 511.
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since florida passed their concealed carry bill and signed it into law, violent crime has dropped by 32%, and murders in florida dropped 58%. mr. president, criminals do not get licensed to carry guns. criminals do not fill out the paperwork, go to the courthouse, get fingerprinted and wait weeks to receive their concealed carry permit. criminals issue their own concealed carry permits. in the district of columbia, crime rates are high because the criminals have the advantage over the victims. the gun laws in the district outlaw law-abiding citizens from self-defense while people walk home from work or from the store. they know it is highly unlikely in the district of columbia that the victims will be carrying a gun for self-defense.
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mr. president, this is a commonsense amendment. it makes sense for law-abiding gun owners all across the country. i would urge my colleagues to vote in support of the thune amendment of thank you, mr. president. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i have 13 e unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. theft approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask that these requests be agreed to and printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i now ask that the senator from new jersey being recognized for nine minutes and then after an intervening speaker on the other side of the aisle, the senator from california be recognized for five minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lautenberg: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. lautenberg: mr. president, i rise in strong opposition to the amendment that's being offered because it would override our safety laws, gun safety laws in my state and other states across the country. the thune amendment is an outright violation of states'
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rights. this -- the fact is that this vote isn't about the second amendment. it's not about gun rights. it's about respecting local communities and letting them make their own decisions about how to keep their streets, their homes, and their businesses safe. mr. president, as this dangerous amendment gets pushed to a vote, we are seeing opposition grow across this country. in addition to newspaper editorials, we're seeing governors and mayors and local law enforcement calling on the senate to vote against this amendment. this placard shows the wide manufacture ranging groups opposing this amendment. groups opposed to the thune amendment -- over 450 mayors, people who have responsibility for those in their community, major cities chiefs association, international association of chiefs of police, state legislators against illegal guns, national network end to
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domestic violence. in a letter to the senate, the international association of police chiefs implored congress to "and i quote -- "act quickly and take all necessary steps to defeat this unacceptable legislation." that's from the international association of chiefs of police. they know what to do about concealed guns, and they will decide within their own communities. but the thune amendment doesn't just steal states' rights, their right to create their own laws. it abolishes state laws that are on the books right now. the thune amendment throws state laws out the window. for the 35 states that have chosen to keep criminals with misdemeanor convictions from carrying concealed weapons, this amendment abolishes their laws. for 31 states that have chosen to keep alcohol abusers from carrying concealed weapons, this amendment abolishes their laws. the thune amendment would force
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our states to accept the weakest standards in the country and it brings about a race to the bottom. mr. president, many of us represent states that do not want lax standards on who can walk around our communities with a weapon hidden in their garments. to make matters worse, the thune amendment not only overrides the states' concealed weapon law, it could also override a state's assault weapons ban. that means if we ban them in my state, someone gets the concealed weapons permit, they can bring an assault weapon into our state. this means even if a state has a ban on assault weapons, under this amendment someone could legally enter that state wahiden uzi or assault weapon and travel around it. think about it, if your state's residents are not permitted to carry a particular weapon, but
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someone can come into our state with a weapon that now is prohibited in our state, mr. president, that's one of the reasons why more than 450 mayors across this country expect -- present their alarm about this thune amendment. as these mayors explained in a letter to the congress -- i quote it -- "each state ought to have the ability to decide whether to accept concealed carry permits issued in other states." i don't want it in new jersey, and i think that people across this chamber will say, "no, i don't want it in my state as well." now supporters of this amendment like to claim that only law-abiding citizens get their hands on conceal weapons permits. but that's not true. in alaska, for example, criminals who have repeatedly committed violent misdemeanors
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are permitted to carry concealed weapons. and in alaska, criminals who have repeatedly committed sex offenses are permitted to carry concealed weapons. according to a news study during the two-year period between may 2007 and april 2009, people holding concealed handgun permits killed at least seven police officers and 44 other innocent people across this country. and just recently, we've seen several gruesome examples of senseless murders committed by people holding concealed weapons permits. a few months ago, a 28-year-old concealed weapons permit holder went on a murderous rampage in alaska. first he shot and killed his mother. then he gunned down ten others, including two young mothers and a father and an 18-month-old girl. a few weeks later another concealed weapons permit holder went on a killing spree in
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binghamton, new york. this gunman drove a car up to a citizenship service center and barricaded the back door with his car so that the innocent people who were inside would be trapped as he proceeded to kill those who were in his -- to shoot at those who were in his sight. the gunman sprayed gunfire throughout the center. he killed 13 people, wounded several more before taking his own life. the next day another conceal carry permit holder destroyed more life. in pittsburgh police officers arrived at a house to quell a domestic conflict. 2002 officers were ambushed and killed by the gunman who held a concealed weapons permit. minutes later the gunman shot and killed a third officer who arrived at the scene. mr. president, the special interest gun lobby is hanging its hopes on the prospect that this chamber will abandon common
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sense and pass the thune amendment. but this gun lobby's dream is really a nightmare for our country. it violates states' rights and it will make it easier for gun traffickers to move firearms. if the thune amendment becomes law, traffickers could now load up a car, smuggle -- take guns across state lines legally as long as the driver has a concealed weapons permit in any state. mr. president, history will record that this senate was asked to decide today whether to put families further in danger or keep them safe or whether to savage state laws or honor them and whether to usurp states' rights or preserve them. i hope that my colleagues will do the right thing. i urge my colleagues to vote "no, no, no, no" on the thune amendment. thank you. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota.
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mr. thune: i yield ten minutes to the senator from oklahoma, senator coburn. mr. coburn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: i think a little bit of history is really important for us now. let me give you a quote of what thomas jefferson had to say. and it's important for us to hear him. we recognize his wisdom in lots of what he did for us as one of the founders of this country. and here's what he said about guns: "gun control laws disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. such laws only make worse for the assaulted and better for the
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assailants. they serve rather to encourage rather than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." now granted that was in a different day and a different time, but his words ring true. to those who are opposing this amendment, who truly believe we ought to have a total ban on firearms in this country, i recognize that as a legitimate position for some of those people. but what i find both disingenuous and also curious and funny at the same time is the number of my colleagues who now come to the floor to state, to preserve states' rights when 95% of their roets in the last congress and this congress and the congresses that preceded
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that voted to take away those very same states' rights in every other area of freedom in this country. the second amendment -- we just had a hearing on a supreme court justice, and she got it wrong on the second amendment. the second amendment is written into our constitution in the bill of rights. the 14th amendment -- and it's important, a history lesson here -- why was the 14th amendment even brought up to congress? the historical debate shows during reconstruction, freed black slaves were losing their right to own a gun simply because they were black, simply because they were a freed slaves. and many southern states passed laws taking away those. the due process of the 14th amendment came about so that we could preserve the right of
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individuals to own arms and defend themselves. what i find ludicrous in the debate is any discussion of assault weapons ban or assault weapons, first of all, you can't conceal one. that's number one. number two is we had the senator from new jersey mention it's illegal to own an uzi in this country. so you're already a criminal. you're already a felon. you're already one of those individuals jefferson was talking about when you claim to say that we're going to step all over state law. you know, we had a vote in terms of honoring states' rights, in terms of the national park bill on guns. 29 of my colleagues, 13 of which now are defending states rights
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stepped all over states rights with their vote against the coburn amendment when it came to allowing people to have supreme their state law in terms of national parks. so, nobody comes to the floor a purist, but i will tell you that the vast majority of people who are debating against this on the fundamental principle of stepping on states' rights have a voting record that 98% of the time they don't care about states' rights. they care about the federal government. and i have an offer. any member who wishes to vote against this bill, this amendment, if you will all endorse the enumerated powers act and see that we pass it through congress, then you can
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demonstrate your fidelity to the 10th amendment, except nary a one of those who are opposing this amendment has endorsed the enumerated powers act in this congress or the last congress. so that the arguments ring hollow when we talk about the 10th amendment, because the actions, the true action would be to recognize the limited powers of the federal government to enforce the 10th amendment, and we wouldn't be having this debate at all. but states' rights are convenient only when it comes to something we don't like. they're rarely utilized to tpraoul defend states' rights. the final point that i'll make is that you have to follow the laws of the state that you're in. that's respecting states' rights. for every incident and tragedy
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of somebody who had a concealed carry permit, we can give you 10,000 tragedies of those where gun control allowed the criminals to have guns, but the innocents not. so i hope the american people will look at this debate and say, number one, there's a fundamental right in this country, which the supreme court will get right in this next session, that is guaranteed to us as part of our liberty. it was inculcated -- inculcated into everything that our founders did,. knowing it to be true, it was written into our constitution. and many of the rights that we have today, that we cling to so dearly were never even considered by our founders but have come about as a result of what the judicial branch has
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said. so if you're going to use states' rights as a position to defend your vote against this bill, what i would suggest is that your constituencies look at all your other votes on states' rights and see if there isn't some real big dissidence with that position, because you will find it in every case. with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i'd ask that i be yielded 7 minutes rather than the 5. i've cleared that with senator durbin. just two more minutes. not to the debate, just to our side's time. mr. thune: mr. president, how much time is left on the other side? the presiding officer: 8 minutes and 35 seconds. mrs. boxer: 8 minutes? i would then go to 6 minutes if i could instead of 5.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: i agree with the senator from oklahoma on one thing. i hope the american people are watching this debate. i truly do. because we're talking about a radical proposal that is opposed by democrats and republicans in my home state, i have never seen the phones ringing off the hook. i ask unanimous consent to place in the record a statement by the california police chiefs association as well as a phrer by governor arnold -- as well as a letter by governor arnold schwarzenegger, a republican letter. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: the police chief's letter is tough and strong. the california police chiefs association is strongly owe potioned to the thune amendment. the legislation would require california to honor concealed carry permits granted by other states even when those permit holders could not meet the standards required by california law. the thune amendment would empower gun traffickers and threaten the safety of our
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police officers. and if there's one thing we should do for our police officers, is not make their lives any tougher than they are. we recently lost four police officers in oakland, and i can tell you that the whole community suffered along with those families. and when my police chiefs talk about this -- and i'm quoting -- "a trafficker holding an out-of-state permit would be able to walk the streets of any city in america with a backpack full of loaded guns, enjoying impunity from police unless he was caught in the act of selling a firearm." this is one of the strongest letters i've ever seen from my police chiefs. and this debate isn't about the right to own a gun. that has been settled by the supreme court in the heller case. it's about allowing our own states to determine our own laws. and i totally get why some more rural states with fewer people
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would have different laws on conceal and carry than a state of 38 million people in my home state of california. leave us alone. leave us alone. you want to have conceal and carry with very few requirements, fine. we have conceal and carry with many requirements, and it is working. some states don't have any limit on the number of weapons you could carry with one conceal and carry permit. so someone could come into my state, go into one of my schoolyards and open up duffel bag full of legal weapons. we have 3,300 gun deaths each year in my state. let me repeat that. 3,300 gun deaths each year in california. each one of them has a story. of tragedy behind it. a lot of them are kids.
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so don't come down here and tell my state what we should be doing. i i support your state. you should support my state. and that's exactly what governor schwartzenegger says. he says, we have a right to write our own gun laws. 34 california mayors and 400 mayors nationwide oppose the thune amendment. as do the international association of police chiefs. you know, we have a lot of two, do here. we've got to work on health ca care. we've got to work on energy independence. we've got to work on bringing down the deficit. we have to work on bringing down the debt. we have to work on educating our kids. but oh, no, we are spending hours, mr. president, on an
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amendment that is offered that tells our states that their laws are not to be respected when it comes to conceal and carry. do you know there are some states that allow a spousal abuser to carry a conceal and carrconceal-and-carry weapon. do you want that spousal abuse, maybe in a stage of rage, to walk into another state with a duffel bag full of weapons? and my senior senator as she read this -- and she's a pretty good expert on this -- says you could have an assault weapon in there. is that what we want? it's ironic, as we deal with the health care issue, do you know what it costs to try to sew up somebody and heal somebody who's been a victim of a gunshot wou wound? we are training our doctors who go over to iraq and afghanistan in our cities.
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so all my colleagues on the other side who come here and talk about big brother -- big brother going into their states and telling their states what to do, this is the case of big brother. clear and simple. if i need to protect my people in california, i want to leave it to my people in california. i don't want to come in and tell them that they have to live with other state laws that are weaker. it's just wrong. it flies in the face of states' rights. it flies in the face of common sense. and, again, supreme irony is it's coming from folks who say they love our states, they respect our states, the federal government has too much power, but i say it's big brother. the presiding officer: senator, your time has expired. mrs. boxer: i hope we will vote against this because this is not what we need in america: more
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gun deaths and more police being put in the line of fire. i yield the floor. mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: how much sometime left on our side? -- how many time is left on our side? the presiding officer: nine minutes. mr. thune: mr. president, i yield myself five minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, the senator from california has made some comments -- actually, both senators from california talked about assault weapons. and assault weapons, the senator from california pointed out, it's very difficult to conceal an assault weapon. it's not going you're going to be running around, and obviously when you get into the state of california, those weapon are illegal. and i think it's fair to point out again that any state can impose restrictions on the people who come into their state with the conceal carry permit from another state. so state laws still trump when it comes to manner, place, where guns can be carried. and states can also say to this issue of multiple guns being
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brought in that there's only -- that the permit only applies to one gun. obviously that's an issue that a state can -- can rule on. secondly, the -- the issue of multiple guns i would think would fall under the rubric of trafficking, which is a federal offense. it is illegal. people who have committed crim crimes, that's illegal under federal law. they can't get guns in the first place. or at least they're not supposed to be able to get guns. it's a federal crime if they do. people who have history of mental illness, all these issues are addressed in federal law, which provides a floor against all these types of things that are being suggested. much have been -- much of what has been suggested here really is scare tactics. it's fearmongering. there's no basis on which to make many of the arguments. they're totally speculative, that somehow this amendment is going to lead to all kinds of people, thugs and -- and gangsters getting guns and then transporgt them someplace else in -- transporting them someplace else in the country. i will tell you, i don't think that there are too many criminals -- and by the way, criminals commit the crimes. the senator from new jersey
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talked about the thousands every year that are killed by guns. most of them are killed by criminals. there may have been an exception or two. somebody had a conceal carry permit. but relative to the general population, it is minuscule. and if you think about the number of crimes that are committed every year by criminals, what we ought to be doing is focusing on criminals, the people who commit crimes. criminals are not going to go down to the courthouse in sioux falls, south dakota, and say, i want to get a conceal carry permit, or anywhere in this country, for that matter, because almost every state, with three exceptions, by law do a background check. so in order to own a gun or possess a gun, you have to go through a background check. and -- and so to get a conceal carry permit, you also have to go through a background check. i don't think that most criminals are going to be going down and say, i want to get a background check 10* that i can get -- check so that committee get a gun so that i can haul it and commit a crime in another state. that's just ludicrous. think about the logic of that. obviously anybody that has a
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criminal check, th record, the d check is going to reveal that. so that means there's going to do what they usually do and that is get those firearms illegal willing, commit crimes, felonies, because that is what criminals do. mr. president, i want to just mention some of those who have endorsed this amendment. the n.r.a. has endorsed this amendment, gun owners of america. i have a letter from them endorsing this amendment. citizens committee for the right to keep and bear arms has endorsed this amendment. the owner-operator independent drivers association, which, as i've pointed out, represents a lot of the truck drivers across the country. this is a real issue for them because they're traveling across state lines in -- in interstate travel on a regular basis and this is something that they've advocated on behalf of for a long time. the passenger cargo security group, which, of course, represents a lot of the association -- those who fly cargo in this country has endorsed it. go crowd has endorsed this amendment.
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and the pink pistols group has endorsed this amendment. so a number of groups, organizations out there who've endorsed the amendment who believe, like i do, that it represents a balance, a commonsense approach that balances the styl right that people in -- the constitutional right that people have in this country to keep and bear arm. the second amendment right, it's in the bill of rights, all of the other rights apply across state lines, or all of the other amendments in the bill of rights. and it seems to me at least that this one should too too. subject to restlaiksz are imposed -- subject to restrictions that are imposed by the individual states. this does not preempt any of those. every state has different restrictions that apply and restrict the -- the place and the manner in which firearms may be transported into their states. and so what we're simmerly trying to do here -- and so what we're simply trying to do here, mr. president, is clarify this patchwork of different regulations and laws and requirements that different states have all over the country so that people, law-abiding citizens, not the criminals that are being referred to here who commit the crimes in this country, but law-abiding
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individuals who want to defend themselves against those very criminals have the opportunity to do so by being able to possess a firearm if they have a conceal carry permit. and as i said, every state is a little different about how you go about getting one of these permits, but every state has its own requirements. and all of the states, whether the -- the presiding officer: the senator has used five minutes. mr. thune: -- with a couple of exception haves a background check as a part of that. i reserve the balance of my time. the presiding officer: the senator durbin 245z minutes and 14 seconds remaining. mr. durbin: mr. president, around washington this morning, hundreds of lobbyists strapped on their suits and ties and went to work waiting for the thune amendment and his theory and their theory on keeping america safer by putting more guns on the street. across america today, thousands of law enforcement officials strapped on their guns and their badges and went out on those mean streets to risk their lives to keep us safe. would you listen to the group that has endorsed the thune amendment? do you know what's missing?
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not a single law enforcement group supports john thune's amendment. the men and women who are risking their lives for our safety every day do not support his amendment. they oppose it. and do you know what y they oppose it? because they realize that there are different standards in different states for conceal carry and in some states almost no standards at all. they realize that in 17 states, you don't need to even prove that you know how to fire a gun safely. and under thune's amendment, those people can go into states that require a test or even a test on a firing range. 31 states that require it, they can carry a gun without any evidence that they know how to use it. there are also some 35 states that prohibit people convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes from carrying conceal firearms. that means that 13 other states can send their people in with convictions for these misdemeanors, they can carry a firearm legally under john thune's amendment. and let me say final, they realize that that i too that ifn
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to be a drunk driver in that state, 17 states, drunk drivers, you can still get a conceal carry permit. doesn't matter how many times you've been convicted for d.u.i.'s. whether you're a habitual drunk a reasonable doubt, an alcoholic, you can still get a conceal carry permit in 17 states. senator thune wants those people to be able to drive into your state where you say, frankly, you can't have a conceal carry permit if you can't handle alcohol. he wants them to be able to come into those states and to have the right to carry a firearm. will that make us safer? the men and women in uniform who went out this morning -- the presiding officer: senator, your time has expired. mr. durbin: -- right now who are throughout protecting us say no. and that's what we ought to say to the thune amendment, "no." mr. thune: mr. president, i would point out what i pointed out earlier and that is that this does not apply to the district odistrict of columbia. but i also want to come back to the basic point and that is how did we get here today, why are
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we sneer well, we're here supposedly talking about the defense authorization bill. but last week, the democrat leadership decided to put a hate crimes amendment on the floor as the first amendment to the defense authorization bill. unrelated, ungermane, nongermane to the underlying defense authorization bill. now, the hate crimes bill, it could be argued cramps a lot of state laws because a lot of state laws have their own laws with regard to hate crimes. but we decided here, democrat leadership did, that it was more fortunate talk about hate crimes legislation than it was to talk about defense-related amendments. well, my view was, they're going to offer a hate crimes amendment to the -- on the floor of the united states senate, what better way to prevent hate crimes than to allow the potential victims of hate crime to defend themselves against those very hate crimes. and so i was going to offer this amendment, this conceal carry amendment, as a second-degree amendment to the hate crimes amendment that was put on the floor last week by the democrats. the leader filled the tree preventing us from doing that and so we worked it out to have
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this debate and to talk about this amendment today. but it ties in very closely to the hate crimes amendment, the legislation that we had on the floor of the united states senate for the last week when we should have been talking about defense authorization issues. but that being said, i'll come back to my basic, fundamental point. this is a commonsense amendment that strikes a balance between the constitutional right the people in this country enjoy under the second amendment to keep and bear arms and which has been supported by the supreme court, i might add, and the rights of states under federalism to restrict that according to tier ow their own s and laws, and every state does that differently. this does not preempt those. the states of wisconsin and illinois prevent conceal carry permit holders and so anybody -- there isn't anybody in any state in this country that's going to be able to travel through illinois or wisconsin and have -- and carry a gun because they just don't allow it. so it respects the rights of the individual states but it does allow law-abiding citizens in this country to exercise their constitutional right under the
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second amendment, and that right should not end at state lines. state borders should not be a barrier to an individual's right to defend themselves. and i believe this -- the studies are very clear, as i've said earlier, mr. president. when you talk about all -- they're all talking about, speculating about all the crimes that are going to be committed. people, conceal carry permit holders, if you look at the da data, are 15 times less likely than the rest of the public to commit murder. criminals, mr. president, commit crimes. not law-abiding citizens. not people who go down to their courthouse to get a conceal carry permit so that they can defend themselves against the very criminals who routinely break the laws and possess firearms illegally so that they can commit crimes. this is a reasonable, commonsense balance which i believe strikes the right balance between the constitutional second amendment right that citizens in this
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country enjoy and the states' abilities to restrict that right and any conceal carry permit holder who has a conceal carry permit in their state of residence that travels to another state, has to abide by and is subject to the laws that are enacted by that individual state *78 state. so, mr. president, i hope my colleagues will vote for a commonsense amendment that allows people across this country that are law abiding citizens from the very criminals who break those laws and 
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morning business. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. demint: thank you, mr. president. i would like to return to the issue of health care in america and the reform of our health care system and how we help americans find health insurance that's affordable to every family. it's important as we talk about this that we get the facts out on the table and i'm glad to see that this has become an issue that is front and center. i know the president has called for a press conference tonight to talk about his vision of health care. and i would like to set record straight on a number of things that have been said here that i think are politically motivated, obviously, that don't represent the truth.
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my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and including the president, have talked about republicans representing the status quo on behalf of big special interest. accused us of representing the big insurance companies when, in fact, the voting record in this senate has proved the exact opposite. when the president was in the senate and when we, as republicans, proposed health reform, which we did many times while the president was a senator, the president and my democratic colleagues voted with the big insurance companies. we had one proposal that would allow small businesses to come together to buy health insurance for their employees at a lower price. the big insurance companies opposed that, but the democrats voted with the big insurance companies and against the reform
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proposals. i put forth a proposal that would have allowed individuals in this country to shop for their health insurance in any state in the country just like other products and services to have a competitive national market which so many on the other side have called for. the big insurance companies that have state-by-state monopolies opposed that bill. but barak obama and the democrats voted with the big insurance companies and against americans to buy health insurance anywhere in the country. republicans are not standing with special interest. look at proposals that have been put on the table in the house and senate by the democrats which the president will be advocating in his speech tonight and let's see what party is representing special interests. first of all, the abortion industry, planned parent hood,
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other -- parenthood, other organizations that make their money performing abortions, their interests are clearly represented in this bill. this proposal that the president is advocating would require that health insurance plans cover elective abortions in this country, which means the taxpayers who are morally opposed to abortion would be forced to subsidize insurance plans that pay for abortion. i ask my colleagues who is representing special interests? who is representing the abortion industry in this debate? what about who loses their health care coverage in these new plans that have been proposed? the independent lewin group has looked at these plans that have been proposed by my democratic colleagues in the house and senate and concluded that 80 million americans who have health insurance now that they like will lose their health insurance under this current proposal.
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but who's protected? who won't lose their health insurance? it's unio union members who are protected in this. does that have anything to do with politics, that the average american is going to lose their health insurance, but the unions that support the democrat party are protected. who -- who is standing up for special interest in this health care debate? let's talk about the plaintiffs' attorneys. one of the biggest problems is what doctors call defensive medicine, running all kinds of unnecessary tests so that they avoid all of these expensive lawsuits. we've talked for years about reforming this -- the health care system to eliminate these wasteful lawsuits, these frivolous lawsuits that cost so much money and every doctor and hospital has to have these huge
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liability policies to -- because of the lawsuits that come every year. you would think a health care reform proposal would have some lawsuit abuse reform in it, but who is protected? what special interests are protected in this health care proposal? the plaintiffs' attorneys. there is absolutely no tort reform. no form of abusive lawsuits in this plan. so i ask my colleagues who is representing the special interests here? the big insurance companies. the abortion industry. the unions, the plaintiff's attorney. all of those are represented and protected in this so-called health reform legislation that does nothing to help individuals access affordable, personnel policies for themselves. when the president was here in the senate i personally, every
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year, proposed major health care reform. i proposed that individuals who don't get their insurance at work at least get to deduct the cost of that insurance from their taxes like we let businesses do. president obama voted against that and so did my democrat colleagues. i proposed that individuals be allowed to buy health insurance anywhere in the country so it would be more affordable, more competitive. barack obama voted against that and so did my democrat colleagues. republicans proposed small businesses come together and buy health care less expensively so they can provide more hence to their employees -- more hence th insurance to employees and president obama voted against that. which party is standing for the status quo?
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real health care reform has been proposed in this senate many times by republicans but the truth of the matter is this: the democrats do not want individual americans to have access to affordable health insurance. what they want is a government takeover of health care. the president has made that clear by his own voting record. as he tolds the press conference tonight i'm sure the crowd will be loaded with dependly reporters but there a few questions i would like him to answer. if the major provisions in this health care bill he is promoting do not take effect until 2013, which they don't, why this mad rush to pass a bill that's over 1,000 pages that no one in this body has read, request the mad rush to pass it before we go home for the august break? i can answer it for him. because if americans find out
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what's really in it, they're not going to support it. i is a second question: you said your health care bill will cut costs and not increase the deficit but the independent analysis of the nonpartisan congressional budget office contradicts those claims saying it will raise costs and increase the deficit by $240 billion. the policy does not support the promise. a third question: the president has repeatedly said the health care bill will allow americans who like their current plans to keep them but as i just said, an independent expert group, the lewin group analyzed this legislation and concluded that it will force over 80 million americans to lose the health insurance they have today. question number four: the
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president said the other day speaking at the children's hospital, opponents of the plan are content to perpetuate the status quo. how does that compare with your record, mr. president, when you were in the senate? what health reform did you propose? why did you vote against every health reform proposal that could have increased access to affordable health insurance for all americans? and just a "yes" or "no" question, will you guarantee that pro-life americans under your plan will not be forced mrs. boxer: mr. president, we just heard the senator from south carolina urging members to vote against the health care bill. he talks about the truth about the health care bill. mr. president, we don't have a
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health care bill before the united states senate because we have two committees who are working on this. one already reported out a bill, the "help" committee which stressed prevention because we all know if you look at the major costs to our families they all encompass, 70% of them, five major diseases. i think we know what they are: heart issues, pulmonary issues, cancer issues, stroke issues. we know what they are. putting prevention first which is not something we've ever done is going to save money, is going to make our people healthier, is going to work. and there are many other aspects of the help bill that are very good for our people but i really
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have to say when the senator from south carolina gets here to the floor and starts attacking democrats i think people is to understand that senior senator was quoted in the press as saying that essentially we can break barack obama obama if we destroy his push for health care. he said it will be his waterloo. now i just have to say i support my colleagues right to say what they want. they willing judged by what they say, they will be judged by what's in their heart and they willing judged on how they act but we are here to take care of the american people not to bring down a president or raise up a president. our job is to represent the people who sent us here. it is not to break a president. it is not to play politics with one of the most important issues facing our country.
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and good for this president for having the courage to step forward and point out that the current status quo on health care is disastrous. yes, we're going to address it. we're going to make sure the people in this country if they like their health care, can keep what they have, keep their insurance; if they don't they have a chance to buy into other options. that will be their choice. and we will stress prevention, now. we will have healthier families. i want to point out there's been a recent study that says if we do nothing, if we do nothing, if we by down this opportunity we have to do something to better the health care in this country but if we turn away from that
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and do nothing, mr. president, in california, by 2016 californians will have to spend 41.2% of their income on health insurance. think about that -- and that's not the worst. pennsylvania, senator casey told me, would be over 50% of people's incomes. how are we going to sustain that? who can sustain spending 40% of your income on premiums? 50% -- it isn't going to happen. people will have to walk away. people will get sicker. we cannot afford the status quo. that's why i is this charthat'st here that says "no" equals the status quo.
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"no" equals the status quo. it's no, no, no. no, let's not do this. no, let's not help our president. no, let's not address this issue. scare tactics, throwing around words "government-run health care." i want to say to my friend from south carolina and unfortunately he's not here, government-run health care, does he want to bring down the veterans health care system? just try that one with your veterans. that's a government-run health care system. veterans get free health care. does he want to bring down the health care our military gets every single day run by this government? of course not. they're getting the best care in the world on the battlefield and it's done because taxpayers pay the fate. that's a government -- pay the
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freight. that's a government-run heck. does my friend want to bring down medicaid? i hope not that would be tens of thousands in his state including many children. how about schip -- that's a government-run health care that helps poor kids. does he want to bring it down? why don't he try to do that and see where the votes are. last but not least, medicare. medicare is a single payer system, government-run, very low overhead costs. our seniors love medicare. does my friend want to bring down that government health care system? this is ridiculous. there is no plan that is moving forward that is a government takeover. yes, we keep veterans health care going, the military health care going, yes, we keep schip
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for the kids, yes, medicaid, yes, veterans. but we don't expand that but to say we want to make sure as we go out to the american people and tell them we're going to save them from enormous premium increases, that there will be an option, a choice, that they can make to buy into public plan or a public interest plan. some say it could be a co-op -- we don't know the details but to have my friend say "vote "no,"" but we have a plan, he is for the great big stop sign because "no" equals the status quo and, mr. president, no action is in itself a hostile act. employer-sponsored health care
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premiums have more than doubled in the last nine years. two-thirds of all personnel bankruptcies are linked to medical expenses. let me say thatgain: two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies are linked to medical expenses. the u.s. spends more than twice as much on health care per person than most industrial nations and it ranks last in preventable mortality. it ranks last in preventable mortality and we spend twice as much as any other nation. status quo is "no." no change. is that what we want to see continued? increases in premiums for businesses, for individuals, getting to a point where it is 40% or 50% of a family's income? that's not sustainable.
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where will they get money for food, for clothing, for shelter? the other problem we have is 46 million americans have no health insurance including one in five working adults. what does that mean? it means that the people without health insurance are waiting for a crisis to occur. they don't take any preventive steps. they don't see a doctor until late in the process, in an emergency room. it means we are picking up the bills. when people go into an emergency room and they can't pay, who is picking up the tab -- those of us that have insurance. that's how it goes. so i am just hoping the american people weigh in on this debate as they have begun to do. i was told since i was a young person that you need to try hard when there's a problem.
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try hard. be constructive. don't call other people names. you may disagree with them, respect them. don't try to bring them down. don't try to break them. make your arguments. put forward an alternative. but i've looked at the course of history, and history says to people who do nothing, they haven't contributed very much. and in this case because the status quo was unsustainable, they are really hurting our people. hurting our people. more than half of all americans live with one or more chronic conditions, and the cost of caring for an individual with a chronic disease accounts for 75% of the amount we spend on health care. and now i have those five chronic diseases in front of me. they are: heart disease,
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cancers, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. those five are responsible for more than two-thirds of the deaths in the u.s.a. now that's information that's important, because when you look at this, many of these can be prevented and treated in a way so that they don't wind up costing so much and hurting our families. so we have an extraordinary opportunity before us. and i think you're going to see the parties showing who they represent. do they represent the forces of the status quo that are going to scare people? or do they represent the forces of change, positive change? and i think history will show that those who stepped up to the plate here and were constructive here are going to be the ones
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that people say she tried, he tried. he fixed a lot of problems. not all of them, but we started moving in the right direction. our families deserve change here. our families cannot sit back and absorb the kind of increases in health care premiums that they've seen in the past. we know how to fix it. if we work together, we'll be able to fix it. i want to take a minute to thank the republicans who are working so constructively with our democrats. you don't hear them speaking much on the floor as you did the senator from south carolina, who, as i say, was quoted as saying he wants to make health care president obama's waterloo. he wants to break him on this. the ones -- the republicans that you don't see here on the floor
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talking like that are the ones who are sitting with the democrats, working day after day, night after night, working to solve this problem. so i hope that people will remember when you hear these scare tactics -- government-run health care. we don't even have a bill yet and they're saying it's bad government-run health care. not one bill that i've seen is government run. not one. but i challenge my friends if they don't like medicare, it's government-run. why don't you try to repeal it and see how many senior citizens come to your office. if my republican friends don't like government-run health care, take away the health care from the veterans because it's government run. take away health care from the military, privatize that. take away medicaid. take away schip from our kids. they're not going to do that because they know that these
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programs work. are they perfect? of course they're not perfect. do we have to continue to make them better? yes, we do. but we need to come together on this. we need to find that, that sweet spot that we look for in legislation. and i want to again thank those republicans who are meeting with the democrats. you know, be courageous. stake with it. don't play politics. don't try to bring down this young president. try to work with him. don't threaten this is going to be a waterloo. don't talk about government-run systems when that's not in the bill. don't frighten people. because at the end of the day, this is our moment if we work together. i certainly reach out my hand and compliment those who are willing to work across party lines, because we cannot sustain the health care system as it is. we can make it better. we can make it affordable.
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we can keep choice in there. we can turn to prevention. and that's what i hope we will do. we will work hard, but i think we can do it with the help of some courageous folks on the other side of the aisle. thank you very much, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee is recognized. mr. alexander: mr. president, i ask to speak as if in morning business. and will you please let me know when i finish nine minutes. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. alexander: thank you, mr. president. i was listening with respect to the senator from california. let me state the position of the republican senators on health care reform. our leader, mitch mcconnell, the senator from kentucky, stated yesterday. he said to the news media outside in the hall in answer to a question, "this isn't about winning or losing. this is about getting it right." health care is very personal to every one of us, to every one of
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our families, and to all of the american people. and our goal on the republican side, and i'm sure for many democrats as well, is to start with cost and make sure that we can say to the american people that we want to make sure that you can afford your health care policy and that when we finish fixing health care, that you can afford your government. and so far that's not been the case. we have offered plans which we believe will reach that goal. my own example: last year i joined with senator wyden, a democrat; senator bennett, a republican, endorsing their plan. it's not perfect, but it is a very good plan and it has a completely different approach than the bill that came out of the senate health committee or that's coming through the house. and i believe it's a better approach. but the point is there were 14
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united states senators there on that plan today, eight democrats and six republicans. why isn't it being considered? it doesn't have a government-run program in it. why shouldn't we talk about that, when we've seen the failures of the largest government-run program which we have today, which is the medicaid program, into which we dump low-income americans and force them to take their health care that way in a system that 40% of america's doctors won't serve because in general they're paid about half as much for their services as they are if they serve the 177 million of us who have private health insurance. so the wyden-bennett bill is constructed along the idea, let's rearrange the subsidies that we already give to the american people for health care and give it to everyone in a way that will permit them, all the american people, to afford a health insurance plan that's
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about the same plan that congressional employees is. and so instead of dumping 20 million more people into a failed government program called medicaid, which is not only disserving nose low-income people, but bankrupting states literally, we would say to low-income americans, here, take this money and buy a private insurance plan of your own just like the rest of us do. now what is wrong with that idea? if 14 of us think it ought to be considered. yet, it's not been given the time of day. senator coburn and senator burr have proposals. i've endorsed their proposals too. it's the same general idea. senator gregg has a approach, senator hatch has a proposal. not given the time of day. we've had very friendly discussions, but they don't qualify as bipartisan
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discussions. i would give the senate finance committee members great credit for trying to work in a bipartisan way, but they're working in a bipartisan way to do a better job of going in the wrong direction, because they're working on expanding an existing government plan that's failed -- medicaid. they're working on creating a new government plan for people who lose their health care under the theories that have been proposed. and don't think they're not. i would hope that the president would see what is happening and say, whoa, let's slow down. i've stated what i want. i put my neck out. i said to the american people, if you've got a health care plan, you can keep it. but, mr. president, under the plans that we see today, you're going to lose your health care. you have a very good risk of losing your health care, and ending up if you're poor, your only option is a failed government program that none of us would join if we could possibly avoid it.
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now, in wouldn't we stuff 20 million people into a program that we don't want to be in when we could give them the opportunity to be in a program like the one we are in? that's what we should be doing. that's what we should be doing. so we're saying on the republican side, to our democratic colleagues, we know you have the majority. we know you're the president. but we've got some ideas that we think the american people would benefit. we've only got one chance to pass this, to change this big system we've got, and we better make sure we do it right. and if you don't take our advice, we would say respectfully, why don't you listen to some others. you've got the mayo clinic. the mayo clinic, the senator from california just said, why are they talking about government programs? because the mayo clinic, often cited by the president and by many of us as the kind of high-quality, goods results, low-cost health care that we'd
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like to have more of. the iowa clinic, marshfield clinics, other clinics say these health care plans are headed in the wrong direction, and one reason is they would create a new government plan which would eventually drive the mayo clinic and these other clinics out of the market which means they wouldn't be serving medicare patients. why would we do that, mr. president? i think we should take our time and get it right. if the mayo clinic is saying we're headed in the wrong direction, if the democratic governors are saying that, if the congressional budget office is saying we're adding to the cost and adding to the debt, wouldn't the wise thing to do be able to say, well, maybe they have a point. the governor of tennessee, a democrat of my state, who knows a lot about health care, medicaid, says congress is about to bestow the mother of all unfunded mandates. medicaid is a poor vehicle for expanding coverage, says the
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democratic governor, a former health care executive. it is a 45-year-old system originally designed for poor women and children. it's not health care reform to dump more money into medicaid. here's the governor of washington, a democrat. as a governor, my concern is if we try to cost-shift to the states, we're not going to be in a position to pick up the tab. governor bill richardson of new mexico, a democratic governor, "i'm personally very concerned about the cost issue, particularly the $1 trillion figures being batted around." the governor of colorado, a democrat, "there is a concern about whether they figured out a revenue stream that would cover the cost, so said governor jim douglas of vermont. so said governor brian schwitzer of montana who said the government is concerned about unfunded mandates. if they want to reform health
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care says the governor, another democratic governor, they should figure out what the rules are and how they're going to pay for it. instead of standing up on the other side and saying the republicans are saying no, the republicans are saying yes, we support the bipartisan wyden-bennett bill. we have offered the gregg bill. we have the hatch bill. take our proposals and consider the ideas because they don't involve government-run programs. they don't dump low-income people into a medicaid program where you won't be able to see a doctor. that's like giving someone a bus ticket to a route with no buses. and we already do it with 60 million people, so why should 2003 do it with 80 million people, which is the suggestion we have. so we want to work with the president and with our friends on the democratic side to come up with health care reform this year. we want to be able to say to the
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american people, we want a plan that you can afford for you. and when we finish fixing it, we want a plan -- a government that you can afford. and if the mayo clinic and the democratic governors and the congressional budget office are saying we're all headed in the wrong direction, then why don't we start over and work together and try to get a result that we can live with for the next 30 or 40 years? we can only do this once, mr. president, and we need to do it right. mr. durbin: morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, once every 20 years we take up critical issues like health care reform. many of us believe that this particular moment in history is perhaps the only opportunity in our public career to tackle an issue of this magnitude. we know that overwhelmingly the
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people of america want us to do this. many people like their health insurance policies particularly if they don't use them, but most people understand that the health care system that we have in this country is broken. we've got to -- we have to fix what's broken, and we have to preserve those things that are good about the current s i have heard a lost speeches on the other side of the aisle about the situation we currently fairks the debate that's under way, and i think what recently happened in the senate "help" committee is a good indicator of a good-faith effort by the democratic majority and senator dodd to try to come up with a bipartisan republican-democratic approach. over the course of over 60 days of hearings, the senate "help" committee had filed over 800 amendments, considered over 400 amendments, adopted 160 republican amendments in the course of 61 hours of straight
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hearing, and at the end of the day when the roll call was taken, not a single republican senator would support the bill. i think senator dodd made a good-faith effort, and i think we should continue to. now the finance committee staking up the same bill. it will be -- is taking up the same bill. it will be a lot better bill if it is a bipartisan effort, if we try to do in an expeditious way. but if it becomes a standoff where there are no republican votes in support of it or they won't negotiator or vote or they all vote against it it won't be what the american peement want to see. yesterday on the front page of "the washington post" it had headlines about some of the comments being made about some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. the headline read "g.o.p. focuses effort to kill health bill." not to modify or improve, but to kill health bills. from the perspective of republican leadership, that's what our health care debate is
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about. many of them just want to stop health care reform. it's been 15 years ago since we made our last effort to provide quality, affordable health care coverage to every american. the republican national committee chairman, michael steele, today suggested that the president should take another eight to ten months to formulate a plan. it's already been eight months since barack obama won the 2008 election on a platform of reforming health care. it's been six months since he took office. yet on the other side of the aisle, their chairman says, let's wait eight to ten months more. well, it may fit in perfectly with a strategy to delay this debate as long as possible, but it doesn't fit in with the strategy of solving the problem. tonight president obama will be speaking to the american people, answering questions from the press on health care. tomorrow a trip to cleveland. he'll be visiting the cleveland clinic and some other facilities
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to talk about health care reform. we're just a couple weeksway from an august recess. we'll come back in september and by then i hope we can roll up our sleeves and get to work. the american people want us to. they understand the problem. health care spending per person has increased rapidly over the past ten years, rising over 40%. the people of the united states spend over $2 trillion on health care each yeemplet that's more than twice as much per person than any other country on earth, and our health results don't show that that money is being well-spent. many countries spending a lot less get better results. we're f money. it is being taken out in fraud and profit taking. it is money that doesn't make us feel any healthier. it is money that we have to pay from paychecks that struggle with it. the average annual premium for family coverage in illinois during the george w. bush presidency and those eight years went up $5,000.
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the average annual premium enter up from $600 a month to over $1,000 a month. the employer share rose by 72%. the workers' portion rose by 78%. at the same period of time workers' wages weren't going up, just the cost of health care. people know this. they sense that it is getting out of hand. nearly two-thirds of all of the personal bankruptcies filed in america, two-thirds of them are related to medical expenses. over 46 million americans have no health insurance and 14,000 americans lose their health insurance every single day. if you hear about the 47 million, 48 million americans without health insurance, you say that it is a darned same but the poor will always be with us and we can't solve any problem, senator, sadly some neighbors, maybe some family members may find themselves in that
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predicament soon if we don't address health care reform. those lucky enough to have health insurance, and for the record, members of congress have the same health insurance as the government. members of the staff and the congress are in the same health insurance plan. it is a good plan, don't get me wrong much but it is the same one that federal employees are entitled to, and i think that's a fair way to approach it. even those of us paying for health insurance are paying a hidden tax. we pay up to $1,100 per year per family just to subsidize those who are uninsured who show up at the hospital and still get treated. they get treated, they can't pay for it. their expenses are shifted to others who do pay. that includes those of us under health insurance. about $1,100 a year. at this point we have 2.3 million more people losing health insurance every year across america.
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it's something that should concern us. but let's get down to specifics. because i think if my friends on the other side of the aisle would join us on this side of the aisle and talk to americans families -- american families about what they're going through, we would get a better understanding of why this is so important and why we can't weight eight months, -- wait eight months 10 months or more. we have to do it and do it decisively. there is a fellow who lives in my district in liberty, illinois. he has been an insurance broker for 11 years. he sells all kinds of insurance. he will sell health insurance to family members. but he shies away from it when it comes to the general public because it is too complicated to explain. there are too many tricks and he doesn't want to get into the business of trying to defend these policies to his clients. if his clients are denied
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coverage for health care based on some fine print they don't understand, even though he had nothing to do with it, he feels bad about it. so he discourages the sale of private health insurance to his clients. medicare, he said, is just the opposite. now, we've heard people come to the floor day after day on the other side of the aisle criticizing government health insurance. i have yet to hear the first republican senator call for eliminating medicare. medicare covers 45 million americans, seniors and disabled, with affordable health insurance. it is a government-administered program. i have yet to hear the first republican senator to say we should do away with it. it's a program which saves a lot of people. some of whom retire before they reach the age of 65 and run into medical problems an pray they can be eligible for medicare and not lose their life savings. it happened to a member of my family, my brother. luckily for him medicare kicked in at right moment and saved his
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life savings and might have saved his life. he's 77 now. for 12 years medicare is helping to pay his bills. mr. apak said that my mom has medical insurance and never had a supplement medicare claim denied. his own health insurance has had a high deductible. $7,000 a year, his deductible on his health insurance for his family covering his wife, himself, and his 12-year-old son. last year his wife was told she needed a routine mammogram. basic preventive care. they didn't know how much it would cost. they did what consumers do, they knew they had to pay $7,000 for a deductible, they called and asked, give us a ballpark estimate for how much it will cost for a mammogram.
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is it $200 or $2,000? no one would tell them a price. mr. apak, an insurance broker said, it is like walking into a restaurant and ordering a meal and hoping you can afford it. in the end mrs. apak dieded it was too risky to go into -- for this test and not know how much it is. that is not a good outcome. preventive health care can avoid more serious expensive care. while his premiums increased 32%, mr. apak applied with the same insurer and wanted to switch to a higher deductible. this man is an insurance broker. he got a letter from his insurer and the letter asked him, are you sure about all of the answer us that gave us? do you want to stand by all the answers? then he got a phone call from the insurer and the phone caller asked, are you sure there isn't
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something that you failed to tell us? and he named a date eight years earlier and the person from the insurance company said: isn't it true that you had a prescription in your name filled that day eight years ago? well, finally, he remembered -- mr. apak remembered. he he had been in a car accident that day. he wasn't hurt badly, but he was a little sore and his doctor said, here's a prescription for pain medication. take it if you need it. he filled the prescription. eight years area that prescription -- later that prescription gave his insurer pause about keeping him as a customer. we talk about preexisting conditions, we talk about unknown cost in the current system. to think that they can go in your past an find a prescription that you filled eight years ago and call you back and say -- are you sure that you haven't failed to disclose something here? that's what the current system is. the health insurance system full of tricks and traps. those on the other side of the aisle who say we don't need to change it and one senator from
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south carolina said let the market work, which means basically hands off. mr. steele who heads the republican national committee said let's wait eight to 10 months before we get into it don't understand what real families are facing on an every day basis. mr. apak knows that he's luckier than some who live around him. one of his neighbors pays $15,000 a year for himself and his wife and child. he met with a real estate company, last year the 50 employees decided to switch to part time so no one would be laid off, their income is down 50% from a year ago and their health insurance premiums went up 5%. in the professional opinion of this illinois insurance broker, we need a better system, health care coverage that is affordable, simple and fair. that is the challenge we face in the senate and it's a challenge we can't ignore. the finance committee is trying to work out a reasonable way to
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deal with this challenge. we know that the providers have to be in on this conversation. if we are spending more than twice as much as any nation on earth per person in america for health care, then we obviously need to ask if there can be savings. some of the companies -- the health insurance companies, united health care just reported their earnings, if you follow that in the business pages of the paper, another big record-breaking profit. far beyond expectations. health insurance companies are doing well. pharmaceutical companies have been some of the most profitable companies. there are providers in the health care system doing extremely well. we need to bring costs down within the system without compromising quality. that is, i think, the challenge that we face. i know that they tried in the "help" committee adopting 161 republican amendments and couldn't find a single republican senator to support the final bill. tonight the president is going to renew the challenge. the challenge to all of us to not this miss -- miss this once
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every two decades opportunity to deal with health care. i fear if we do we will find ourselves in an unsustainable position much the cost of health care is going to continue to go up at expense and levels that we cannot handle as a nation. we have to make sure that we have some basic things and get them right when it comes to health care reform. we've got to reduce costs for families, businesses, and the government. we've got to protect people's choice of doctors, hospitals, and insurance plans. if you have an insurance plan that you like, you ought to be able to keep it. and assure affordable high-quality health care. we've got to make sure that health care insurance companies are not denying coverage for preexisting conditions, health status or medical conditions. we have to limit the caps on coverage so that a very expensive chronic disease doesn't blow the top off -- of the health insurance policy. we have to put a limit on out-of-pocket expenses. we have to guarantee equal
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treatment for men and women, black, white, brown, young and old in different geographical locations. the insurance companies have said that they will look into this to make sure that they bill women a little more fairly than they have in the past. i wonder if it has anything to do with our debate. we have to make sure that the basic health insurance plan in america has the kind of coverage and protection that is quart for every family -- adequate for every family. we have to bring down the costs. we will provide tax incentives and help for low and middle-income families. we have to make sure that people are paying fair premiums and finally we've got to make sure that we support small businesses. of the 47 million uninsured, the vast majority of those working for small businesses and their families. senator snowe, senator lynnon and others have introduced the shop bill that would give small businesses across america the same benefit option as federal employees have in their program.
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it would pool small businesses into purchasing pools to lower their costs and to make sure that their employees and small businesses have the same benefits when it comes to health care coverage. i encourage my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, you've got to get beyond no. you've got to get to the point where you work with us to try to change the status quo and bring real health care reform.
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little more than two hours.
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>> mr. president. >> senator from south dakota is recognized. >> this is a very simple amendment to allowing the tools to protect themselves while at the same time protecting states' rights. my amendment would allow an individual to conceal a firearm across state lines if they either have a valid permit or if under their state of residence they are legally entitled to do so. my amendment does not create a national concealed permit carry system or standard. my amendment does not allow and vegetables to conceal and carry within states that do not allow their own citizens to do so. my amendment does not allow citizens to circumvent their home state's concealed permit law. if an individual is prohibited from carrying firearm under federal law my amendment would continue to prohibit them from doing so. when an individual with a valid concealed and carry permit from their home state travels to another state it allows their citizens to conceal and carry
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the visitor must comply with restrictions of the state that they are in. it is carefully tailored amendment would ensure a states border is not a limit to an individual's fundamental right and will allow law-abiding individuals to travel without complication throughout the 40 states that currently permit some form of concealing and carry. law-abiding individuals have the right to self-defense especially because the supreme court found police have no constitutional obligation to protect individuals from other individuals. the seventh circuit explain it is most simply in the 1982 that was versus tepito decision and i. quote there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or mad men, end of quote. responsible colin ownership by law-abiding individuals provides a constitutional means by which individuals may do so and responsibly conceal realtors have repeatedly proven they are
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effective in protecting themselves and those around them. reliable empirical research shows states with concealed carry all enjoy lower crime and violent crime rates than those that do not for example for every year a state has a concealed carry all the murder rate declines by three per cent, rape by 2% and robbery by 2%. additionally research shows minorities and women tend to be the ones with most to gain from being allowed to protect themselves. the benefits of concealing and carry extent to more than just the individuals that carry the firearms. since criminals or on able to tell me is and who is not carrying a firearm by looking at a victim they are less likely to commit the crime when they feel they might come in direct contact with an individual who is armed. this deterrent mr. president still strong a department of justice study found 40% of felons hadn't committed crimes because they feared the perspective dictums were armed.
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additionally research shows nonrestrictive conceal and carry laws are passed only does it benefit those who are armed but also others are around them like children. in addition to the empirical evidence there are anecdotal stories as well. recently a truck driver from south dakota, a long-haul trucker ten years ago on a trip to atlanta stopped at a truck stop in georgia. he shared this story recently. it's a more dated story but a man suddenly jump on the hood of his truck, shows a gun and start demanding all the cash this driver has three working on instinct he pulled out a firearm he always keeps and showed the gun to the perpetrator who jumped off and ran away as soon as he saw it. that story while one that may not make it to the crime statistics or the newspapers is the type of story individuals my amendment will help law-abiding individuals to travel from state to state either for work or
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pleasure and so it is straight forward mr. president, the amendment as i said simply allows those who have concealed carry permits in the state of residence to carry firearms across state lines respectful of the law that pertains there are individuals precluded from having guns he'll carry and in those states this amendment would not apply. obviously we are as i said before respectful of the states' rights and state law that have been enacted with regard to this particular issue. but i might say we have a national reciprocity understanding national reciprocity concealed carry understanding with all the other states in the country and so the other 47 states were a fan concealed carry any of those residents of those states who have concealed carry permits can carry in the state of south dakota.
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there's ten other states who also fit into the category and i believe if you check the records and look at the data it is pretty clear that the states of enacted national concealed carry reciprocity agreements have not seen as has been suggested by opponents of this amendment any increase in crime rates. this is something that i believe mr. president is consistent with the constitutional right citizens in this country have to keep and bear firearms, and we have as i said 40 states currently today who have some form of a concealed carry law that allows other individuals and states residents of their states to carry. this simply extends the constitutional right across state lines recognizing that their right to defend oneself and the right to exercise that basic second amendment constitutional right does not and at state borders or state lines and so mr. president i hope that my colleagues here in the senate will adopt this
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amendment. it is a common sense approach to allow more people across the country to have the opportunity to protect themselves when they are threatened and as i said before the statistics bear out fact when that is the case, when people have that opportunity and states that have enacted concealed carry laws have seen crime rates particularly violent crime rates go down. mr. president, i reserve the balance of my time. >> the senator from illinois. >> mr. president i rise in opposition to the food amendment. the senator from south dakota tells us this is a very simple amendment read he tells his amendment is consistent with self-defense and the reduction of crime. the senator from south dakota cannot explain why 400 mayors, the international association of chiefs police, the major cities, police chiefs association and bipartisan association on a state legislators against illegal guns oppose the
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so-called very simple amendment. here's why they oppose it. the film amendment provides if the state gives a person a permit to carry concealed weapons that person is free to carry concealed weapons and 47 other states and the district of columbia. those other states would be required to let this visitor carry a concealed loaded weapon in their state even if their laws in the state wouldn't allow a person to carry a gun. let's be clear about the effect of this amendment. there are 36 states with laws governing who can carry concealed weapons in the state including which out-of-state permits the state will accept if any. the states already have laws under the thuna amendment those laws can be ignored so if the thuna amendment becomes all people who are currently prohibited from carrying
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concealed guns and the office 36 states are free to it is absurd we are considering this amendment. today we know nothing about the impact this amendment is actually going to have across america. how many senators from the 36 states that already have laws governing concealed carry have had a chance to talk to the state law enforcement officials about this amendment and what it means? apparently those who support this amendment want to move a very quickly. we had scheduled a hearing supposed to take place tomorrow on this amendment before the senate judiciary subcommittee on crime. but the senator from south dakota didn't want to hear from a hearing for the committee. he asked the senate to take up this measure today before the hearing date. now here are some of the reasons this amendment is so troubling. as my colleagues know, we
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system. a government in washington and a national government and in each state and the district of columbia, state government and local control states have adopted different standards in their state with regard to the state will permit to carry concealed weapons. each state has considered this issue and decide what is safe for their residents. elected representatives elected by the people have made the decision state-by-state. some states have very rigorous standards of you want to carry a concealed weapon for example a number of states will allow you to if you were an abuser of alcohol, if you've been convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes or if you have not completed a training course to show the you know how to use a gun the states have established that standard. if you want to go back into these states you better not be a habitual drunkard or in a position where you've committed
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these misdemeanor crimes and have to prove by test and sometimes on the range you can safely use this gun than you want to carry. an iowa you can't have a permit to carry a weapon if you are addicted to alcohol or if you have a history of repeated acts of violence. in pennsylvania individuals convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes such as impersonating a police officer cannot have a concealed carry permit. south carolina and the person who's a member of a subversive organization or habitual shocker cannot carry a handgun. california, you can't carry a firearm for ten years after being convicted of misdemeanors including assault, battery, stalking, threatening a judge, dictum or witness. other states in contrast have minimal or no concealed carry standards beyond the baseline of the federal law which applies to all states. for example and number of states
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including georgia do not require any firearms training for a concealed carry permit. in 2008 a spokesman for the georgia bureau of investigation told the newspaper, quote, a blind person can get a permit in georgia. since all you have to do is pass a background check, and if quote. two states, alaska and vermont do not even require a permit to carry a concealed weapon. those states like anyone carry a concealed weapon under the thuna amendment people from those states with virtually no standard for concealed carry those people could visit states where they established standards from the safety of their residence and under the thuna amendment legally carry a gun. in other words, the visitors can ignore the law of the state, that the elected representatives and people in that state have enacted. some states do little oversight of the concealed carry permits
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they've issued. in the year 2007, south florida sun sentinel newspaper found 1400 people in florida have active concealed carry licenses even though they have received sentences, criminal sentences for major crimes including assault, sexual battery, child abuse and manslaughter. so even in the states with its established standards for concealed carry many of them are not keeping an eye on it. there is no oversight and as a consequence, people may be illegally carrying in one state which has lacked standards and of attaining@@@@rr grrrr
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lawyer would be exception, we are one of two states that don't but for the other states do we really want people travelling across the border who don't meet the basic requirements of knowing how to use a fire arm? don't meet the basic requirements in terms of their own criminal background? is so important everybody carrying a gun everywhere or do we want to respect state rights? states' rights to determine what is safe in their own state. what we want to overrun a state standard to protect questionable concealed permit to carry folders with lower standards or tolino standards. it's not necessary for us to pass this amendment.
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to give individual states the ability to recognize each other's concealed carry permits the senator from south dakota said his state welcomes all people who have concealed carry permits but that was their decision. they made that decision in their state. states are free to form concealed carry reciprocity agreements with other states. 12 states already have decided to honor a concealed carry permits issued by every other state obviously including south dakota. however, 25 other states look carefully at each of the other states and make this decision selectively. they've decided that some states have acceptable standards and some do not. 11 states in the district of columbia have chosen not to grant concealed carry reciprocity to any other state. they want their own a law to govern the protection of their own people. the thuna amendment is a direct assault on those states that have chosen not to allow reciprocity. they are california,
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connecticut, hawaii, iowa, maryland, massachusetts, nebraska, new jersey, new york, oregon, rhode island. overall the thuna amendment would override a selective reciprocity or no reciprocity laws of each of the 36 states i've mentioned. there are good reasons the state might want to be careful who they allowed to carry concealed weapons within their borders. let me just tell you succeed as. of what has happened with concealed carry. washington state president clinton granger of today concealed carry permit despite his history of drug addiction and schizophrenia. in may 2008, granger was enough light at a public festival, fired a shot that one person and the fate, second in the rest and then lodged in a third persons leg. cincinnati resident geraldine be easily obtained and ohio concealed carry permit even though she had been previously
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fined for unlawful transportation of a firearm. in august 2007 she shot and killed a panhandler who asked for 25 cents at a gas station. in moscow idaho, president and arian nation member jason hamilton was given a concealed carry permit even though he had a domestic violence conviction. and may 2007, hamilton went on a shooting spree killing his wife, police officer and a church and wounding three others. according to the violence policy center from may 2008 to april 2009, at least seven law enforcement officers were shot and killed by concealed carry permit holders. these are law enforcement officers and concealed carry permit holders were engaged or pardon me, charged in the shooting deaths of at least 43 private citizens during that time. in light of incidents like these it's perfectly reasonable for states to decide what the
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standards will be for concealed carry. the thune amendment would override this authority in the states and basically say visitors from states with a concealed carry law don't have to meet the state standards where they are visiting. the thune amendment is troubling because it leaves law enforcement agencies in the dark about the concealed carry population on the area and many states law enforcement plays a key gatekeeper role and oversight role of the concealed carry population. under the thune amendment that's impossible. the first person who drives them out of state under the thune amendment may carry a gun and the law enforcement officials wouldn't even have knowledge of it. when you look at the thune amendment along with the amendment offered this year by center in san the repeals the d.c. government's local gun law received disturbing trend we see members from that side of the aisle leading an organized effort to strip state and local governments of their ability to
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keep their own communities safe. there is no justification for this. the supreme court decision in heller made it clear although the second amendment right is to be respected in terms of rights of individuals that there was still authority to deal with this issue concealed carry. justice scalia and the heller opinion specifically discussed bill lawfulness and prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons. congress should not require one state law to trumpet another. new york shouldn't have to let visitors on its city streets, be governed by the law of alaska when it comes to carrying guns and it should be up to the state to decide who will carry weapons within their borders. this is not a good amendment. america won't be safer if the thune amendment passes. it hasn't gone through a hearing in the senate. the senator decided to call the day before the hearing was set. i got state law in 36 states and you leave law enforcement with
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no knowledge of who is carrying concealed weapons in their states' it puts guns in the hands of dangerous people can easily miss use them. this amendment is opposed by law enforcement organizations, mayors and state elected officials. i've received letters in opposition to what senator phil calls a very simple amendment from the international association of chiefs of police, major cities please state associations, u.s. conference of mayors, collection of 400 mayors called mayors against illegal guns, chicago mayor richard daley, a group of state attorneys general including my own, a bipartisan association of state legislators against illegal guns and many others. the amendment has been criticized and many newspapers including usa today, miami herald, philadelphia inquirer, "new york times," "washington post" and "baltimore sun." this amendment should be defeated. i urge my colleagues to reject
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it. >> senator from south dakota. >> let me just if i might point out some of the statistics and i will also add in response to the comments from my colleague from illinois that the amendment does not apply to the district columbia. and with respect to the issue of federalism i think it's important to know back in 2003, there were 70 co-sponsors in the senate for a piece of legislation that allowed retired law enforcement officers and current law officers to carry across state lines. obviously an infringement on the notion of federal laws of the senator from illinois has raised and i also would point out we do know the impact so we don't what the impact of this is going to be any suggestion about what impact could occur are very hypothetical. we do know is there are a number of states that have already enacted national concealed carry reciprocity agreements and in those states we also know what
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the impacts have been in the impacts have been there's been less crime rather than more. studies have shown there is more the things it done use by victim's than crimes committed with firearms in fact researchers have estimated that there is as many as 2.5 million defensive use of firearms in the united states each year a lot of those go unreported because no shots are fired there's lots of examples and i've got a list of them here i can go through anecdotally, too and these are those reported by the press where the defense if use of firearms with a concealed carry permit has actually helped prevent crime. there are countless examples of those that have been documented and reported by the press not to mention the estimated 2.5 million defensive use of firearms in the united states each year. now, there are estimated to be about 5 million concealed carry permit holders and the united states today. assuming every instance reported
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by gun control groups of improper firearm use by individuals with a concealed carrying permit is true, something that can be debated but assuming it is true over an entire year for every 140-20-0857 permit holders there would be one and proper use of a firearm. put it another way concealed carry permit holders would be 15 times less, 15 times less likely the rest of the public to commit murder. now there are some states who have in large states frankly of issued concealed carry permits and probably one of the largest states is the state of florida. they've had a concealed carry permit law in effect on the stand for going back to 1987 and yet if you look at the 1.57 million concealed carry permits people have invested florida carefully than 167 of
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those revoked. that's less than one-tenth of 1%. as of 2008 utah which allows both residents and non-residents to acquire concealed carry permits the and 134,398 active concealed handgun permits over the past year they've had 12 revocations 4.009% because of some type of violent crime but none of those crimes incidentally mr. president involved the use of a gun. during the 1990's and through the decade of the 2,000 so far independent researchers have found 11 cases where a permit holder committed murder with a gun. so i would simply point out to my colleagues, mr. president, the points being made by the senator from illinois they are largely speculative if you go back to 1991 the number of privately owned guns has risen by about 90 million to an all-time high over the same time frame the nation's murder rate has decreased 46% to a 43 year
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low and title defeat could total violent crime rate has decreased to 35 year low. it is at a time as i said since 1991 the number of privately owned guns is increased by about 90 million to an all-time high and also as i said before, the number of permits issued across the country is about 5 million nationally and mice to the south dakota has about 40,000 but it's a small percentage of the overall number of americans who could access or could get a concealed carry permit who do and most of them have a reason. most of them will be people like truck drivers going across state lines and some examples i just mentioned there are lots of people who travel. i can think of for example as another perhaps case and which i have two daughters in college. my oldest will graduate next year currently she is on the safe confines of a college campus but it's currently where she attends call for it to the college several states away from iowa state of south dakota. when she's out of college next
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year i fully expected we've discussed this she may get a concealed carry permit in the state which she presides and have a firearm in order to protect herself as i think a lot of women in the country do particularly those living large cities and she would be living in a large city. when she comes to south dakota she of course trebles several states and during the course she crosses two states where she would be illegal to have a firearm in her position in her car to protect her as she travels those fastest across several states. and so there are lots of examples i think of people who for law-abiding citizens for purposes of self-defense simply want the opportunity in a legal way to transport the firearm and they have concealed carry permits. they've gone through their states' background check and by the way, all but three states and to issue concealed carry permits require background checks. so the same thing in order to buy a firearm.
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the suggestion that all these people are going to be able to get firearms the federal law prevents some of the very its symbols of the center for malae mentioned from having access to firearms in the first place and of course the background checks with exception of those states as a practical matter those states which are the hampshire, rhode island and delaware go for the background checks. they don't have it as a requirement to get a permit but the background checks will be conducted and background checks will be conducted you're going to find of this criminal behavior in the background mental illness, all those things which under federal law would prevent that person from possessing a firearm in the first place. so i would come as i -- i reserve the balance of my time. the senator from louisiana is here but i assume mr. president you want to recognize someone from the other side. >> mr. president. >> senator from illinois. >> i yield six minutes to the senator from new york. >> the center of new york is recognized. >> some would recognize a permit
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to conceal a gun in one state should provide authority for a valid concealment in another state. i strongly believe what a gun laws are right for new york are not necessarily right for south dakota and vice versa. states should be able to make decisions and pass reasonable constitutional safety standards based on their public safety requirements, traditions, population, crime rates and geography. it's wrong for the federal government to overrule a state's ability to enact reasonable constitutional gumballs designed to pnájj$jjjjjjjjjjb$jjdjj$dbjjd
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permit. at an animal, new york should be allowed to opt out and have an exception. this standard would disagree concealed carry permitting standards moving to a new national lowest common denominator. this bill would even allow individuals ineligible to obtain a permit in their own state the means to shop around for a lower standard and other states that offer permits to out-of-state residents. undercutting laws that would otherwise render the applicant and eligible. a study by the brady center to prevent gun violence using fbi crime standards statistics demonstrates relaxing conceal and carry laws may have an adverse affect on a state's crime rate. between 1992 and 1998 the violent crime rate in states which kept strict conceal and carry laws fell by average of 30 per cent whereas violent crime
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rates dropped by only 15% in states with weak concealed carry laws. a second concern is lack of acceptable safety standards in all states. according to "the washington post" and at least two-thirds of states, some form of safety training is required to receive a permit. abusers of alcohol prohibit from getting a permit and those convicted of certain misdemeanors are prohibited. in many states statutory requirements are minimal and do not go much beyond the federal brady law requirements for purchasing firearms meeting some people get conceal and carry permits despite criminal convictions for violent or drug-related misdemeanors assault or even stocking. it is not completely evident what a national overrule state conceal and carry laws blight due to local crime rates but trends and the national crime suggest state and local governments understand what works in protecting their citizens.
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our cities and put people at risk by enabling anyone with an out-of-state permit, including gun trearvetion to carry multiple handguns whereever they go. new york's strict requirements as to who can carry a weapon have stricted to the city's unparalleled safety. our efforts, our entire mission, would be severely undercut by this bill. in a city where 0% of all guns used in crime come from out of state, it is easy to see how senate bill 845 would pose a danger to new yorkers by greatly increasing the availability of illegal handguns for purchase. illegal handguns for purchase. new york is have the lowest crime rate of the 25 largest cities in the country and of the tudors 61 cities with more than a hundred thousand residents york's crime rate banks to a 46. mayor bloomberg such a bid this to using innovative policing
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strategies and focus in on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. this with the washing impose added that similar success in reducing crime in big cities across the country is sitting york committees in los angeles on trial earlier killings this year than in the last four decades of. this is part of a larger share and in many big cities across the country. our local and state elected officials of long prison officers face across the country such as the international association of chiefs of police and major cities to association are speaking out in opposition to this amendment. mayors against illegal guns, a bipartisan coalition of 450 mayors including mayors of our cities like new york city, albany, rochester representing 56 million americans have also sent is strong opposition to this amendment. i stand here today with law enforcement and the cities and states across this country. they know what is best in
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keeping their communities safe. common-sense gun laws focus on training, keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people reducing crime and we should be supported their efforts, not taking the standards. i strongly believe in our constitution and the second amendment americans tried to defend themselves, however i also strongly supports this is his city's rise to provide basic constitutional and reasonable regulation of firearms. i urge my colleagues in the senate to set up for our local communities and the common-sense down save a loss. >> to yield the time? >> mr. president, i yield to the senator from louisiana as much time as he may consume to memphis senator from louisiana is recognized. >> mr. president, i rise in strong support of the seventh amendment 1618ma craddock co-sponsored by senator sam along with dozens of other
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senators on a bipartisan basis and i urge all of my colleagues to support this amendment. this second amendment is a valued constitutional right and they got course particularly in recent years have expressly recognized that. of course, the supreme court in the landmark keller decision role that the individual rights, the individual rights and possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation is a protected fundamental constitutional right. even the very liberal ninth circuit court base in california ruled that this item right to keep and bear arms is deeply rooted in this nation's history and traditions. and has long been regarded as two palladium of liberty. and also said that nothing less than the security of the nation, the defense against both external and internal threats
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stress on the provision. not that is why this amendment is of particular. as a fundamental right and what does that mean every day terms? it means to the ability of citizens particularly those moral level in our society like women to protect themselves. people like to fontanel in louisiana who told me when my family and i go out at night it makes me feel safer just knowing i am able to have a my concealed weapon. it is personal safety and security, it is a fundamental ability to protect oneself and one's family and once property and so, in fact, is a fundamental right and if we have a reasonable laos and reasonable for mending my shouldn't suva two now have that freedom, have that right and have the security
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when she visits other states which also allow concealed carry. this isn't just anecdotal quote. this is also back up by chronological studies -- criminal logical studies. settingç trends on concluding that allow citizens to carry concealed weapons to tears when crimes. one state concealed handgun laws went into effect in a county murders fell by 8.5%. and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by five and 7%. in the 1990's they found that guns were used for self protection about 2.5 a million times yearly. and that number of cars doris these tiny numbers and amoco evidence of a limited very tiny numbers of improper use of guns
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by folks with concealed carry permits. responding to the study is robert self-described as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country than he could not dispute the methodology and the soundness of the senate. it it was clear he could not disputed and he agreed with it and sell our amendment will simply allow law-abiding americans to exercise their of and so right to self-defense by using the full faith and credit clause in our u.s. constitution. and as we do this, as we protect that fundamental individual right, we also protect states' rights and think it's very important to address some of the arguments with regards to states' rights may buy the other
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side. we do not mandate the right to conceal kerry in any say that do not allow the practice and there are some states illinois and wisconsin that fallen to that category. we do not mandates concealed carry rise in those states and. in addition our amendment does not establish national standards for concealed carry. it does not provide a national carrier permits. it simply allows citizens were able to carry in their home states to also carry and other states but only if those other states have a concealed carry permits. then we also respect the law of those other states in terms of where guns can be carried in the red they cannot be carried so we explicitly respect of that state law by requiring that state laws concerning specific types of location in which farmers cannot
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be carried must be followed by then visiting individual and that is very important. so finally we absolutely protect and enshrined current federal law in terms of background checks and people with criminal problems or mental problems who cannot carry guns so if under current law individual is right for a federal law from carrying a firearm we absolutely protect and enshrine that. let me say that again -- and under current federal law and individual is prohibited from carrying a gun that is fully protected. mr. president at the end of the day this is really again in a fundamental debate about what is the problem in terms of violent crime. is the problem really law abiding citizens who follow the law, would take all of the time
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and all of the trouble and needed to get concealed carry permits come and go to background checks, the law forms, and do everything that is required by their home state -- is that class of people of the fundamental cause of violent crime? and is the dominant 99.9% fundamental problem in the violent crime irina people who don't follow the law who ignore the law and ignoring concealed carry law and ignore those requirements as well as every other law on the books unfortunately including laws against murder and armed robbery and other violent crime. clearly in the minds of common sense americans here is a latter category where the problem, not the former and this is a six and that evidence in the history bears that out. so it concealed carry is a
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useful and essential two will for law-abiding citizens to be able to protect themselves and stop and deter violent crime. is not a significant source of violent crime whatsoever. we have a the numbers that appear that out, we have some states that allow reciprocity now. it can states allow reciprocity enter their state law? have they seen incidence of problems with concealed carry permits from other states? know, have they seen spikes in a violent crime because of this reciprocity? no. so afghan mr. president because this is a fundamental right, because it goes to the peoples security, because it chronological and other studies are on parricide indo show any spike in violent crime by this but, in fact, show krems
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prevented and deterred by concealed carry, i urge all of my colleagues to support this important reciprocity eminent. one groups of the country who respect to the second amendment and find that a fundamental and a partner right are certainly supporting this amendment. the national rifle association, the nra is a strong supporter of this eminent. i think them for that, i think them for their leadership and also specifically scoring this amendment in terms of member votes. gun owners of america, another leading gun rights second amendment group is a strong supporter of this amendment as specifically is pushing for passage and scoring members' votes. and the owner operator independent drivers association, the passenger cargo security group in any other groups around the country won strong supporters of this amendment because the second amendment is
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a fundamental right because concealed carry does work, because of iran's crimes and the tears crimes and is now seven and mcginley and in any meaningful way to the crime problem. and dennis b. what like with a lot of gun control and debates, this comes down to a pretty fundamental question. to think the big problem with regard to a violent crime is the law-abiding citizens, the ones who take the time, go to the trouble filling out forms involving all the rules for concealed carry? i don't. one or do think the fundamental problem with 99.9% problemk@rr
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>> mr. president, i yield 10 minutes to senator schumer from new york. >> senator is recognized to make thank you mr. president and i would like to thank all of my colleagues who are working with us on this amendment, the senator from california who has been such a leader on these issues and will speak after me and she and i were commenting that this is probably the most dangerous piece of legislation to is the safety of americans when it comes to guns since the repeal of the assault weapon ban which she led the charge on to
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pass. i like to thank my colleague from new jersey senator lautenberg has been a leader on gun issues and then such a great job, mr. menendez, senator gillibrand, senator durbin was so many others working with us today on this issue. now today we are here to say in that we urge all of our colleagues thought to oppose this legislation. , the legislation would do nothing less then take state and local gun laws and tear them up. it would take the carefully crafted gun laws in york and tear them up. it would do the same in 47 other states. and the great irony of this amendment is two that that program lobby has always said that let the states decide and now they're doing 180-degree
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turn and saying to the federal government decide. and impose the lowest common denominator mine comes to carry out concealed weapons on all of the states except illinois and wisconsin which don't have any carry laws. in reno the gun lobby is strong camino that are many members on both side who believed strongly in individuals' rights to carry arms. but this legislation goes way beyond the previous pro gun laws that we have voted on the session. it is a bridge too far, it threatens the safety of millions of americans particularly in urban and suburban areas. it directly threatens the safety of millions of new yorkers. and let me illustrate -- our neighboring state of vermont, i have great respect for it, and
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it is two senators. it is a rural state with ended has a strong libertarian beliefs. and it has a very lenient concealed carry law. the vermont law says that if you are 16 years of age you can apply for a gun licence and you automatically get a concealed carry permits and you get the gun. you simply have to, that is all you have to do. can you imagine if this past, what would happen? no gunrunners would go to vermont women get a gun license, get a concealed carry permits and they could bring 20, 30, 50 guns concealed in a backpack, in a suitcase and bring them and sell them on the streets of the
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south bronx or central brooklyn, bring them to central park were queens and our local police would have their hands tied. so one of the points only to make my colleagues about this amendment is in danger is not only the citizenry but our police officers. today at about this time the mayor of the city of new york and a police commissioner will be speaking out against this proposal and our police commissioner is particularly upset because his job is the safety of police officers. a police officer of stop someone in a car and now have the safety and sanctity of mines to no wobble that if that person has a gun in their car it has been approved by the new york city
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police department. there are people that needed guns for self-defense or other purposes. after this law passes the have no such peace of mind, no such statement. in fact, they have no way. imagine you are a police officer and saw someone they could be from 47 different states with 47 different requirements were and you are responsible to figure out if the person has a gun in his car and the right to carry a gun in his car. it is impossible to do. in our large urban areas. and in that reason mr. president each state would have carefully crafted its white was in the way that makes the most sense to protect its citizens. clearly larger urban areas like new york merit a different standard than rural areas like
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wyoming. to get the ability of local police and sheriff's to determine who should be able to carry a concealed weapon but makes no sense, it could reverse the dramatic success we have had in reducing crime in most parts of america. and that is one thing and want to stress. one of the things i'm proudest of modern parent has done over the last 20 years the federal, state and local with is greatly reduce crime. my city of new york gained because people were no longer afraid to come to live in new york. and if you ask the experts, not me, not senator thune or any of us who have political beliefs that might differ but asked the police experts, what is one of an top reasons why that we have been able to reduce crime in our cities? is that we have had reasonable laws on guns.
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and we have allowed our larger urban war crime-ridden areas to have stricter laws that our rural areas. i understand it in my state of new york sentence on a way of law and a large breasts the state and i respect that. the heller decision is a decision that i welcome and talked about the right to bear arms in the constitution. and believe in it even before heller. wall but this is what i like to say to my friends on the other side of the aisle and in the nra. no amendment is absolute. you are right when you say why should the first third, fourth, fifth and sixth amendments be expanded as far as we can the second amendment scenes with a pinhole? malicious. you're right. but similarly no amendment is absolute to. most of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle support laws preventing the spread of
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pornography, but that is an infringement of the horsemen and put a reasonable one because there is a balancing test most of my friends on both sides of the aisle was support libel laws and somebody said someone very defamatory but a citizen they should have the right to sue and, of course,. that is a limitation on the first amendment. and you don't really against it. well, the concealed carry loads of the state's are reasonable limits on the second amendment. and to believe this settlement should have no limits the course will for this amendment. the data out ask you the counter question and that some who are pro-gun ask those of us who believe in more than control. how is it that the second amendment should have no limits but the first, third, six, seven and eight should? of course, reasonable limits in a balance does exist and if
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there is a balancing test that makes sense it is the one of allowing each state to come up with is concealed carry long. me some my colleagues, this is an amendment i don't think anyone can be proud of. i understand the power of the gun lobby. i understand it that we have given police and represent different states, but we are not trying to say what south dakota should do, why should south dakota say when new york or california to do? what is spoken and have great respect for the sponsor of this amendment and we were speaking in the gym yesterday and he said one of the problems he hears about and the senate was truckdrivers in the cab of his truck carries a gun and his son to carry a gun. and why should that truck driver when he crosses state lines from south dakota and north dakota or
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minnesota be limited? and i can understand that argument that this amendment goes way beyond that. it doesn't talk about one weapon, it doesn't talk about a person who has been granted license because he needs a for protection as the commerce is across state lines. is unlimited and based on one ever will lowest common denominator state would do. wamp this lot is going to make the gun traffickers and snow numbers -- to the senator's time has expired canada and think the president and ask unanimous consent the rest be added to the record. >> without objection. >> mr. president, which is a couple of quick observations. first, and to correct the record the state of south dakota has reciprocity and doesn't have national reciprocity which i
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think is then the point i'm making and that is anybody who has a concealed carry permits in one state is so confused by the patchwork of laws we have that they can determine which is legal and not in a think that is a very serious problem repeople light truck drivers or individuals who want to protect themselves and they travel across the country in an ad that in terms of the arguments made about the types of individuals that have access the '90s is a gun-control act prohibits individuals from even possessing a firearm it is under indictment or been convicted of a crime punishable unlawful user and it adjudicated two mentally ill or committed involuntarily to mental institution subject to court or the standing of domestic violence or has been convicted of domestic violence the misdemeanor. my amendment does nothing to change federal law. but in the middle not allowed to possess a firearm may certainly not be allowed to concealing
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carry one and the might add with regard to the issue about taking multiple guns and transporting and our federal laws that prevent trafficking in firms already and do nothing to address that but we allow those individuals law-abiding citizens to have permits in their home states into is to defend themselves and they traveled around the country and have the opportunity to do that by the senate earlier this is a big stake in hand permits for over 20 years and has agreements with the multiple states and no evidence whatsoever in the city florida that there has been any suggestion of increased crime rather suggest the opposite and i was saying from newark that if someone who has concealed carry permits troubles of the city of new york any concealed carry permits in south dakota and goes to new york in central park it
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will be in much safer place. i would yield 10 minutes to the gentleman from south carolina. >> with my colleague deal for a question? to mcneill the time to the center. >> i would have been two later on the center of the works time. >> i would ask consent of the given 30 seconds to ask a question to make is there objection? >> i would object to that the mr. president campus senator from south carolina has been healed the time to commend the senator from south carolina can and thank you. i have a choice of this debate went down the son of liberal versus conservative until one i got to understand during the confirmation hearing a lot of the judge that senator feingold is one of the strongest gun and guys in the senate side had to recalculate -- we calibrate were as san on this issue in terms of
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time to pigeonhole people. of the point of the amendment and shouldn't be on the defense bill. i think we all agree with that and we're talking about the defense authorization bill to protect our troops and provide equipment and give a pay raise and now you're talking about guns in hate crimes but i don't know how we got here is a body but we're here and you have to pick an amendment to talk about that makes sense to most eminence would like to be talked about would be something fundamental to our country and i think most americans are a little bit right to be an issue like this for a lack of a better +n)@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ r
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people who go to the exercise of getting a concealed to carry a permanent of the ones who probably want to have a gun because they seem to understand their responsibilities that goes with owning it so the idea that this make us less safe by allowing reciprocity nationwide makes no sense to me. i think of all the people we need to worry about the crown crimes and awfully people with
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permits are probably class on the list. americans do object to of guns being used in the commission of crimes and a lot of states have enhanced punishment that if you use a firearm in commission of a crime when you're incarceration time can go up. in other words, we want to deter people from using a gun and the commission of a crime but the most americans agree with those laws. at the city of richmond was one of the first cities in the nation to have enhanced punishment for the use of a weapon. it is true that some people dismiss use weapons and some is use a car, but as a fundamental right under our constitution according to our supreme court and to possess a gun. this amendment makes sense and every level to me that if i go through the process and of getting concealed carry permits in south carolina with a and go to another state that has a
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similar law with that automatically get the benefit of that long. so i don't know the law is a man carrying a gun was in the central park in new york. i notice that if you got a permit to carry a gun in south dakota for south carolina and you go to new york you don't have any greater right then york. and i also understand that whatever federal restrictions on gun ownership that exist on not changed by this. so this is pretty common sense to me. that of someone whom goes through the process of getting a permanent to carry a weapon in their own state they to sugo to another state, that automatically get the benefit of the state's law when it comes to conceal kerry and don't get any more, they don't get any less committed maybe less than i would have in south carolina but because we are a group of people who traveled around the is it
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among ourselves this federal legislation allows us to go from one say to the next and get the benefit of a law that makes this when it comes to conceal kerry but the precondition is you have to have that permit in your own state and go to the rigors of getting that. so anybody who says this makes america less so say what makes no sense to me. whenever gun crimes are being committed out there that are not being committed wasn't overwhelming general rule of the people who have gone to the process of getting a permit to carry a weapon. said to me this makes sense and i want to congratulate my friend from south dakota the two dozen men that i think most americans would agree with. you have allowed the american public to be able to travel and get the benefit of whatever law exists in the state when it comes to carry a weapon, no more no less. and assignments that somehow
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people are going to start hearing a bunch of weapons across the border makes no sense because whenever federal restrictions by their own up arms trafficking still stands. so at the end of the day this legislation will help people who follow the law and a big gun laws, help them be able to shovelful of the country without tripping themselves up and getting in trouble when they don't mean to get in trouble. and if you did not have this, it is a mess. what we're trying to do is provide some clarity and to gun ownership in america who are not in his inability to commit a crime quite frankly it is the other way. and if everybody had the same attitude about gun ownership of his people to get a permit the country would be okay, we're not changing any law that regulates trafficking of firearms in not allowing criminals to get access to guns. we're simply allowing people who go to the process of getting a
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permit in their own state to travel to any state in the union that has a similar law to benefit a lot and that will make life better for them, and will make life better in terms of legal compliance and i think it is a proper role for the federal government to play. it does in his heart second amendment rise, it doesn't change them in a way that makes america less safe. it allows people who are going to do the right thing to do was to do the right thing with some knowledge as to what the right thing is. so senator soon as of the country a great service and i think we will have a big vote will cross party lines and you don't have to agree with my right to carry a weapon and lawfully. imminent use that same right for yourself with that is kind of what may is the country say the. great. the ability for one citizen to understand that even though i would make that choice allowing me to make edgewise possibly i
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will allow a to do that, that is what makes this a special place so that i yield. we commend the senator from california -- illinois kim and mr. president, how much time is remaining. >> 27 minutes. >> mr. president, a lead to save the record and have many more democrats seeking time and talent to alert those were coming to the floor that they're going to have to exempt the time, we didn't have all the time we hope for and ask each speaker to try to breed their timing. i yield to senator feinstein and 15 minutes and hope that she would yield back the sizable portion of it. >> and i told you i will do the best i can. thank you mr. president. obviously our right to speak in opposition to this amendment. if passed this amendment would require states like mine california to allow people with a concealed weapon permits from other states to carry a
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concealed gun or guns even if they fail to meet california's stringent requirements for obtaining a permit to. with her in the center of south dakota said that 5 million people across this nation have speed and permits, we counted 25 and came to 4 million but let's say four or 5 million do hold a week concealed weapons purvis in the u.s. so this is no minor shift in policy. it, in fact, would be a sweeping change and i think with some family consequences. i believe this is a grave threat to public safety. i do not believe enhances public safety and i believe it is completely undermines the right to state government to protect public safety. this amendment essentially over trans this tennis and regulations that many states have enacted to prevent the
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concealed weapons from falling into the wrong hands. of this is not a philosophical debate. is a matter of life and death. my home state californium says a very high bar for those who wish to obtain a concealed weapon permit. it does not honor permits granted elsewhere. what, in fact, only 40,000 permits have been printed in california. we have 30.2 million people, contrasted this with florida become estate of about half that number 18 million people has 580,000 permits. and georgia has 300,000. california, the most populous state, has 40,000. california's strict rules ensure that felons, the mentally ill and people who have convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses are considered a threat to others
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are automatically disqualified. those who do meet the qualifications do not automatically receive a permit to. in order to obtain a concealed weapon permit in california an applicant must undergo fingerprinting but passing through federal background check, complete a course of gun training run, be considered a person of good moral character by the local sheriff, and just as an burnley demonstrate a good cause for needing a concealed weapon permits. this gives local authorities discretion to decide who should obtain a concealed weapon permits. this amendment will force california to honor permits issued by all other states including those which allow minors, convicted criminals and people with no fire arms training will to carry concealed
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weapons. only the time and place requirements and the state would remain intact with under an the thune amendment and by this i mean that the state of south carolina had a provision of the two could not carry a weapon into an office building that was government owned that that would remain in the state to which the gun or guns with them kerry. this isn't just bad policy, it is extremely dangerous policy. it this thune amendment is designed to undermine the rights of states to determine their own rules and regulations for concealed weapons permits. here we have people who believe in states' rights that when it comes to something they really want to are willing to pounce on states' rights and destroy them. california standards and i admit are tougher than most but many
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other states with routinely deny concealed weapon permits for various reasons. eighteen states prohibit alcohol abusers from obtaining concealed carry permits. twenty-four states prohibit a person is convicted and misdemeanors from carrying concealed weapons. 19 states require complete -- completion of gun safety programs. the thune amendment obliterates the use public safety standards. it is important to note maine eight states voluntarily honor concealed weapon permits to carry in any of this a. and other 29 states recognize permits issued by states with similar or equivalent concealed weapon permit standards. but 13 states including california to not to recognize
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in the out of state permit. these days have any choice about what is best for their citizens and that twice on to be respected. this amendment says that the use of california shares, please, a gunner and people don't matter. but the views of those who promote guns do matter. i cannot say that. if this amendment were to pass it would possibly among those with the concealed carry permits to bring one more assault weapon into our state. which has an assault weapon ban. we have consulted with the congressional research service and here is what they say about this and i quote -- the amendment would appear to have a pre-emptive attack on stay reciprocity los regulations because it would appear to require the states which have
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more stringent eligibility requirements for concealed carry to recognize the premise of other states with the eligibility requirements aren't less stringent -- this is a torrent quote and it continues. it could be argued that the language of this amendment is broad enough of such that it would allow certain firearms that are banned from purchase or position in one state to be brought into that state. for example, one could legally purchase, possess and carrying a concealed permit for a fire arm that is banned in states like california, connecticut, hawaii, massachusetts, new jersey and new york -- and that is not my statement, that is crs said it places in jeopardy the states and the assault weapons and control of this nation.
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i don't know whether that was intended or not, yet so it supercede state assault weapon bans perrin woof and i believe they will be brought into california will should this legislation pass. and particularly those days of which california is one our border states where we see the movement of guns back

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