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WASHINGTON — The Senate rejected an effort Wednesday to expand the use of firearms on some of the nation’s most frequently visited federal lands, handing gun control advocates a modest success.
The measure, backed by the National Rifle Association, represented one of two efforts Wednesday by gun rights supporters to take the offensive in Congress. Across the Capitol, a Republican-run House committee voted to make it easier for some veterans with mental difficulties to get firearms.
The rejected Senate proposal would have let people use guns for any legal purpose on lands managed by the Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees nearly 12 million acres that abound in lakes, rivers, campsites, and hiking trails. Currently, guns on those properties are limited to activities like target-range shooting and hunting.