When Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and John Thune, R-S.D, crafted legislation to enable gun owners to carry concealed weapons from state to state, they named it the “Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.” But in the view of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, it would be better named the “Armed Vigilante Act,” pointing to the recent case in which armed neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman fatally shot teenager Trayvon Martin during a confrontation. Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder, has said he was defending himself from a brutal attack.
Judiciary Committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., picked up on the Zimmerman theme in an April 17 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who chairs the Judiciary Committee, asking that this “dangerous” legislation never see the light of day in the Senate.
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