Vermont Democratic Rep. Peter Welch voted against legislation approved by the U.S. House that's been identified as a top priority of the National Rifle Association.
The bill requires individual states to recognize a concealed weapon permit that's been issued in a different state.
The vote on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act was largely along party lines. Most Republicans supported the legislation and most Democrats opposed it.
Vermont is among eight states that don't require a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
That means under the bill, Vermont residents would automatically be able to carry concealed weapons in any of the 42 states that require permits.
Welch says the bill undermines local and state control of this issue.
“It really is the Congress taking away the authority of local jurisdictions and states to pass gun legislation and setting up a system where wherever the least restrictive law is, that essentially becomes the law of the land,” he says.
The bill also strengthened the national background check system — but Welch says the benefits of this provision were far outweighed by the changes to concealed carry laws.
The measure will now be considered in the U.S. Senate.