CQ Politics: At least 11 House Democrats accidentally voted for pro-gun legislation for national parks


Those 11 were Reps. Adam Smith of Washington, Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Joe Courtney of Connecticut, Gregory W. Meeks of New York, Shelley Berkley of Nevada, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, Hank Johnson of Georgia, Melissa Bean of Illinois, Patrick J. Kennedy of Rhode Island and Diana DeGette of Colorado.

“It was a mistake,” said DeGette’s deputy chief of staff, Kristofer Eisenla.

Meeks said he sided with the NRA “by accident.”

Kennedy said he voted the way he did because he was concerned about slowing down a bill that the White House wanted to see finished before the Memorial Day recess.

“I didn’t want to hold up the bill,” Kennedy said. “I’m not in favor of guns.”

Actually, Kennedy could have had it both ways; Democratic leaders set up the vote in a way that would have let House members oppose the gun proposal and still pass the unrelated credit card bill (S 627) to which the gun amendment had been attached by the Senate.

That amendment would allow national park visitors to openly carry loaded firearms, changing current policy permitting guns in parks only if the weapons are stowed away or disassembled.

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