Gun bill filibuster in the offing
March 26th, 2013
10:15 AM ET
2 years ago

Gun bill filibuster in the offing

(CNN) - A trio of Republican senators say they will block any gun control legislation that they consider a threat to Second Amendment rights.

Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas plan to oppose a bill that "would infringe on the American people's constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance."

Their comments came in a letter obtained by CNN and addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, dated March 22. The letter, first reported by Politico, is expected to be delivered on Tuesday.

Reid formally introduced legislation on Thursday that calls for an expanded background check system and tougher laws on gun trafficking. In addition, he'll permit amendments to the bill, so senators can vote on a ban against semiautomatic firearms modeled after military-style weapons and a proposal to limit magazine capacities. Both proposals have support from liberal Democrats.

The Senate will debate the bill when the chamber returns in April after a two week recess.

Whether or not the three senators' opposition comes in the form of Paul's high profile talking filibuster earlier this month is unclear, but both Cruz and Lee were instrumental in helping the Kentucky senator carry on the near-13 hour stand-off.

Paul, Cruz and Lee–all first term senators elected with strong tea party support–cited fears of government oppression in their letter, saying the Second Amendment protects citizens' right to self-defense and speaks to "history's lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times."

Proponents of the proposed gun legislation say the new bill does not interfere with the Second Amendment. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a leading voice in the gun control push, argues the legislative agenda is not about trying to get rid of guns, but about the public "wanting to be safe on their streets."

"This is about the public having the right to buy arms and the right to protect themselves and the right to use them for sport or hunting," Bloomberg said Sunday on NBC. "But also, it's about the public's right to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. That's in everybody's interests.

The senators' three-paragraph letter doesn't mention the word filibuster but appears to be a clear warning that the conservative firebrands will vehemently stand against any "vehicle for any additional gun restrictions"


Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Mike Lee • Rand Paul • Senate • Ted Cruz
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Canuck

    America's gun fetish is simply bizarre.

    March 26, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    " ... or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance."

    Oh! I LIKE the government surveillance stance, guys. So wonderfully paranoid and deliciously black ops. Quite befitting the Three Stooges and their Soapbox mantra.

    March 26, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The gop fools will be out in 2014 and 2016 teahages like bachmann don't belong in our government!!!!

    March 26, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Bill

    IIf this is the face of the "new" GOP, then the democrats are sleeping very soundly at night. Ted Cruz?? He has been a senator for all of two months. He is idelaogue of the worst kind, but fits right in the Whig party. Oops, I meant the GOP.

    March 26, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    I cannot wait for some terrorist group, drug gang, or some other organization operating outside of the lines to endorse these fools. It would be horrific if the next time "the joker" shoots up a movie theater that he thanks these "bunkerheads" for allowing him such easy access to such powerful arms and weapons.

    March 26, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Huey, Dewey, and Louie want to make sure that there are no limitations or responsibility attached to the Second Amendment, but they will do everything to make sure the rest of the Constitution is gutted to their satisfaction.

    March 26, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I find it puzzling how they can always state what they're against, but can never say what they're for.

    March 26, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    Then appropriate the money to make sure the existing laws are enforced. Fat chance they want that, though.

    March 26, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. rs

    What a shock ANOTHER Republican filibuster! I suppose the GOP just needs to make itself even more hated by sane Americans by supporting the rights of crazy people to buy high-powered military specification weapons and to dismember our children.
    Face it people, by not at the very minimun supporting full background checks for all firearm sales the GOP (and their owners, the 4% of Americans who are NRA members) are saying: "we support the weapons industry being able to sell weapons to common criminals and terrorists".

    The GOP- they are what is wrong with America!

    March 26, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. conniesz

    Let's vote! In the real world the gun nuts don't get an infinite number of votes per person, just one. So while they can skew results on the internet in real life they have no actual power. Every single state should have a referendum about background checks on the very next ballot – universal background checks are supported by the overwhelming majority of real (as opposed to virtual) people. Let's vote and be done with it and show these gun freaks just what a real minority they are.

    March 26, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    I pity–they do not care people–that is GOP guys way–remove them.

    March 26, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Brink

    Keep those filibusters coming. The more they filibuster, the more they turn the people against them. Maybe the next election will accomplish something that's been needed in the country for the last thirty years. The need to replace the current crop of nit-wits, with a group of people with common sense, and purpose.

    March 26, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. WouldYouLookAtThat

    Rudy NYC

    I cannot wait for some terrorist group, drug gang, or some other organization operating outside of the lines to endorse these fools. It would be horrific if the next time "the joker" shoots up a movie theater that he thanks these "bunkerheads" for allowing him such easy access to such powerful arms and weapons.
    ---------------------------------------------------

    Like the muslim brotherhood, the new black panthers, and the communist party??? Oh, wait... they've already endorsed your president. The AR-15 is not 'powerful' by the way. If you want to live in a gun-free society, move to China.

    March 26, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Canuck wrote:

    America's gun fetish is simply bizarre.
    -----
    Calling it "gun fetish" is probably both an understatement and an overstatement, but mostly an overstatement. I say that because the vast majority, over 90%, of Americans want stronger "common sense" gun controls and regulation. It is a very small miniority, perhaps as large as 1-2%, that want the things that the NRA voices. But that small percentage is so enthusiastic with their beliefs of little or no gun regulaiton that for some it has almost become a form of religion.

    The NRA would cause you to think that their numbers are larger what they seem to be. While they may count a few million members, the number of actual households in that membership probably does not exceed one million.

    March 26, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Bootstomper

    Ted Cruz = Joe McCarthy.

    March 26, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. rs

    Just about the time one might pity the GOP for having kooks like Bachmann, and Palin and Akin grabbing the attention of the country with their wack-a-doodle statements, making the GOP look foolish. The GOP runs out and hugs Crazy Wayne La Pierre- the ultimate anti-American lunatic. And look! Tweedle DUMS (Paul), and Tweedledee (Cruz) decide its is time once again (it has been what 3 days since their last filibuster?) to support the NRA, deny something more than 90% of Americans want- AND DO NOTHING AGAIN! I guess someone had to give McCain, McConnell and Graham a break from all that NOTHING they do!

    March 26, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. PaulG

    Like it or not, these guys are protecting our individual rights, including the right to keep and bear arms as they should be protected in a republic. Our country is not about mob rule, the constitution was carefully crafted to protect individual rights. God bless the patriots.

    March 26, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. rs

    "America's gun fetish is simply bizarre"
    _______________________________
    Actually I think it is pretty accrurate for the GOP. They think they are the "Party of Life" or some sort of "Party of God", but in actuality- they are do have a fetish for things that kill, and wedded to the idea that everyone- the street thug, the drug lords, the insane, the psychotic, the terrorists all have to be able to get their hands on them just as east as strolling into WalMart and they work with their handlers from the NRA and ALEC to systematically undo any logical laws that try to curb gun violence in America- never mind the 3,500 already dead since the Ne town Massacre last December.
    These are deeply sick individuals.

    March 26, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Calidip

    YES! Fight the good fight! We have enough infringements on our 2nd amendment rights! I say no more!

    March 26, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Tampa Tim

    The three stooges, Larry Lee, Curly Cruz, and Moe Paul.

    March 26, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. YBM

    Entertainment is powerful. This is why Adolf Hitler had his propaganda filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, and why all modern regimes have at times created their own propaganda films. It's why the ancient Greeks saw fit to censor the arts and American localities traditionally had obscenity laws. We worry that a child witnessing one parent continually abuse the other will learn to be violent, as children learn by example. Yet often forgotten is that while a person can model behavior seven feet away from the television, he can also model it seven feet away through the television. We've transitioned from a pre-TV America where boys sometimes brought real guns to school for target shooting to a TV-addicted America where boys bring toy guns to school and get suspended. And, of course, the reasons for this societal sea change are complex. But if we're going to point to one factor, is it wiser to blame the AR-15 than PG-13?

    March 26, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Thomas

    Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas.
    Can you imagine Paul as President and the other two ," Lee and Cruz as his VP and Secretary of State .
    Paul looks like a sleazy Priest with two pallbearers.

    The Best and the Brightest ? I think not .

    March 26, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. California Gary

    These guys are every bit as inept and clumsy as the original "Three Amigos" from the movie. They continue to shoot themselves in the foot and make fools of themselves.

    March 26, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. Sniffit

    "Yet often forgotten is that while a person can model behavior seven feet away from the television, he can also model it seven feet away through the television"

    Studies consistently show your "conventional wisdom" to be nothing more than an assumption you think makes sense but that doesn't play out in reality.

    March 26, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. Lisa P.

    What is it about "a well regulated Militia" that Senators Paul, Lee and Cruz do not understand? Every right has it's responsibilities. Submitting to a background check is not exactly burdensome to someone with legal intentions and nothing to hide. The Founders were creating a government, not a lawless armed mob.

    March 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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