POLITICS
08/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Mayors, Columbine Father Go After GOP Gun Amendment

Mayors across the country stepped up their opposition to a GOP gun amendment scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Wednesday.

The amendment would allow a person with a concealed-weapon permit in one state to carry that gun across state lines, even if the other state has tougher laws. It's sponsored by South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune.

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund, which represents 450 mayors, placed ads in local newspapers Wednesday morning targeting Ohio GOP Sen. George Voinovich and the bipartisan North Carolina pair of Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, and Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican.

Colorado's Democratic duo of Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall got a message in their local paper from the father of a Columbine victim, reading, "We respect the right of law abiding Colorado citizens seeking to carry a concealed handgun. We are only asking that Congress respect Colorado's right to reasonably determine who from other states may carry guns on our streets."

The mayors' ads feature column after column of saluting police officers and demands, in the case of Ohio: "DON'T LET THE U.S. SENATE GUT OHIO'S PUBLIC SAFETY LAWS."

The Ohio ad is also addressed to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, but he's a certain no vote, so the missive singles out Voinovich.

"Senator Voinovich: we appeal to you especially, because as Governor you always stood up for reasonable, common sense restrictions on concealed carry permits. We ask you to continue to support public safety by opposing this effort to gut the laws Ohio has on the books."

Thune's gun amendment has already led to some bad blood in the Senate, with an unusually harsh letter sent from Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) to Thune.

A GOP aide called the mayor's ad into question, noting that one mayor who is listed as opposing the amendment is in fact in favor of it. The group did not ask each mayor to specifically sign off on the ad, but did give each a chance to opt out.

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