Sen. Thune's Measure to Expand Gun Rights Meets Defeat

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," July 22, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Gun control supporters scored a victory this afternoon, gun control supporters. John Thune had an amendment that was narrowly defeated in the Senate. It would have allowed a person with a concealed weapon permit in one state to carry a weapon into another state.

Here now with us is Republican Senator John Thune.

Senator, you're one of the good guys. The guys on my program have been fans of yours for a very long time. We're going to disagree on this, but I want you to hear me out.

I believe in the Constitution as an originalist. The Bill of Rights was a Bill of Rights that the federal government would never ever do to people, and to the states. It did not regulate what the states could do. It regulated what the federal government could do.

Aren't you kind of — isn't this a game that you play and gun lovers like me say, "Oh, that would be great," but it's really one you don't want to win, isn't it?

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SEN. JOHN THUNE, R-S.D.: Well, I think for most gun owners who have concealed carry permits in this country, there are about 5 million of them, Glenn, around the country.

BECK: I'm one of them.

THUNE: And in a lot of states, you can't transport your firearm across state lines.

BECK: I know that.

THUNE: That impacts a lot of folks, truck drivers and whatnot, who want to defend themselves when they're driving interstate.

And I think that — what we're trying to do is strike a balance here, to say this is a constitutional right, it's a Second Amendment right, and it doesn't end at the state line, at the border of a state. If you do transport it into another state, you have to abide by the laws of that state. And most states have enacted some restrictions with regard to concealed carry permits.

BECK: Sure.

THUNE: But it ought to be something that isn't confined to state lines. Second Amendment right is a right that shouldn't have conferred to a border of a state.


THUNE: And I think most people would agree with that.

BECK: How — oh, I know they would. I know I'm in the minority on that and I'm a gun owner and I'm a member of the NRA and I'm a concealed weapons permit holder. So, I mean, I love guns.

But let me ask you this: How much does your head explode when you hear Chuck — or when you hear somebody like Michael Bloomberg say this? Can we roll the audio, please?


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Criminals will be able to obtain concealed carry permits and walk the streets carrying handguns. They will be able to walk into bars and restaurants with guns. They will be able to go to the movies with guns, and they there will be nothing that our police officers can do about it.


BECK: I went to the movie this weekend with a gun and, surprise, surprise, I didn't kill anybody. In what state can criminals get a concealed weapons permit?

THUNE: That would be news to me. Every state has a background check. There are, I think, three exceptions to that, at least a requirement. And those exceptions are New Hampshire, Delaware and Rhode Island. But as a practical matter, they all conduct background checks when anybody applies for a concealed weapon permit. And, obviously, nobody can get a gun without going to a background check.

BECK: Harry Reid is running for re-election. Is that the only reason why he supported this? Because he was a little teed off every time anybody asked him, he said, "I'm supporting it and that's all I'm going to say about it."

THUNE: Right. Well, and, I think, in his state, it's an important issue to a lot of his constituents and, I think, in the past he's been a supporter of the Second Amendment. This probably put him in an uncomfortable position because most of his caucus was opposed to it. But we did get 20 Democrats voting for it, Glenn.

BECK: That's good. Good. Senator, I thank you very much. I appreciate your time. We'll be back in just a second.

THUNE: All right. You bet. Thanks, Glenn.

BECK: You bet.

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