Senate Dems block pro-gun amendment to water bill

Republicans introduced a measure to allow people to carry guns in certain outdoor recreational areas

By Jillian Rayfield

Published May 8, 2013 8:51PM (EDT)

In a 56-43 vote on Wednesday, Senate Democrats blocked an amendment that would have allowed people to carry guns at certain outdoor recreational areas, including lakes and campgrounds.

The measure was introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., as an amendment to the Senate's Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes projects by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Coburn had initially introduced a second gun-related amendment, which would have required federal agencies to register guns it owns, purchases or loses, though he withdrew it after sharp criticism from Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, of California. Boxer had sponsored the water bill.

“I would hope that this gun amendment would not get the 60 votes required, because I believe it is dangerous,” Boxer said before the vote, according to TPM. “Why would we want to have on a water infrastructure bill an amendment that allows people to come in with guns and go right to the heart of those critical water infrastructure projects, those dams, those reservoirs, those locks?”

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Barbara Boxer Oklahoma Republicans Second Amendment Senate Democrats Tom Coburn