Senate overcomes filibuster, votes to open debate on gun bill
April 11th, 2013
11:40 AM ET
2 years ago

Senate overcomes filibuster, votes to open debate on gun bill

Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to overcome a Republican-led filibuster against tougher gun laws, clearing the way for a major congressional debate on a package of proposals sought by President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre.

The procedural vote followed a breakthrough by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, on broadening background checks to include private purchases at gun shows and on the Internet.

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Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Senate
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    This is so stupid Filibuster–it is a threat to law making ang bribe to lobby guys. Reform this filibuster. Pass such laws curbing filibuster. Pass Gun-Ban laws. Period. USA needs.

    April 11, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Guest

    The debate is welcome, however, any liberal effort to infringe on our rights will be swiftly met with opposition. Now, if the left is making proposals to prevent psychotic criminals from stealing weapons and murdering people...I'm sure everyone will show some genuine interest. Crime control, not gun control, for example: commit a felony assault, rape, murder, etc. with a firearm – automatic death penalty. Provides future reduction in crime, decreased prison costs to the tax payer, reduced waste of judical resources since repeat offenders ...well, there wont be repeat offenders, scratch that.

    April 11, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. al

    It's about time. Of course republicans wanted to do the usual and filibuster as there are too many of them too scared or too inept to actually govern and make a decision.

    April 11, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Ron Jeremy's stunt double

    Blame the guns, blame Bush, blame the GOP, blame the schools.....just blame anything. But whatever you do, accept no personal responsibility for your own actions. That is but a part of Obamas fundamental transformation of America.

    April 11, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Larry in Houston

    WoW !! My My !! 'ol Joe & "Toomey" well Joe, I didn't vote for you, because I haven't lived in your state for almost 10 years now – But let me put it this way Joe – I would have voted for you, IF I were back there living in my old home state, ( even though you dis-agree with some of Obama's policies) I guess after 48 years, I had to make some type of change. The only thing is you'll never get the earmarks for the 'ol homestate" like Byrd did. It will take you 10 life times to do it – (if that) but here's the good thing : You'll be a "Lifer" in the Senate – You will forever get their Votes – They need somebody who will listen to them, and hopefully bring resources into the state. LOL -

    April 11, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. plain&simple

    A debate will take place.....does anyone actually know what that is anymore? No really,thank God for small wonders!!! It's nice to live in America again.

    April 11, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. noteasilyswayed

    Time to see who's bought and paid for by the NRA and gun manufacturers. Background checks should be a no-brainer and
    even La Pierre used to advocate for them in the past.

    April 11, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. AzPatriot

    There is no debate, I have one they are not getting it. Discussion closed. Let's open a debate in congressional pay, I bet that filibuster won't be over turned.

    April 11, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Joi Gibson

    This should be interesting. I am glad the filibuster was overcome. No Senator should block a debate. That is not fair to the American people.

    April 11, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. ST

    Let the debate begin and let people listen carefully what is in the mind of senators who are against tougher gun-laws. We do not want to hear "it is our right". That has been heard million times. We want to hear full explanation/reasons of why not.

    April 11, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Snarky MacFee

    While I do not agree on messing with the 2nd amendment, I REALLY cringe at attempts by our "leaders" to pee on the 1st amendment. Debate is necessary, compromise is necessary, I am sick and tired of these lay-abouts stopping the work of goverment because they dont like it. Didnt their parents ever teach them about working with others and hearing out people, and being adults and taking their jobs seriously? Get a work ethic, Congress and GROW UP!

    April 11, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Vince

    There is no reason to block a discussion on the Senate floor. Filibustering just because you don't like the content of a discussion is undemocratic.

    April 11, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. Van Krunk

    Welcome, welcome debate. Now we can put the anti gun NUTS to rest forever. (insert smiley face here)

    April 11, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. Tim

    It's a bit sad when the fact that even TALKING about potential legislation to require background checks becomes a big deal. It's a tribute to the system that the fillibuster was blocked.

    If a group of NRA paid for GOP Senators was even too afraid to talk about gun registration, then it must be a very good concept......

    April 11, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. spock500

    Ironically, the concept/principle of the "filibuster" sounds un-"Constitutional."

    April 11, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. Dave1157

    It's about time. Whether you're for or against new legislation, there is no excuse for our elected officials refusing to allow debate on proposed legislation. That's called, "We may not have enough votes to block this, so we'll just make sure it never even gets discussed." That's not democracy. If they were truly interested in democracy, they would welcome debate on any topic, and then give each piece of legislation a simple up or down vote.

    Invoking a filibuster to prevent debate (or to prevent a final vote) is the same as blocking a national election because your side may lose. My mom was allowed to say "this is not up for discussion." But we should never accept that from our elected officials.

    April 11, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. Cameron Drake

    Give me universal background checks, and give me a registry. The kooks claiming a registry is just a means for the government to "take their guns" are a bonkers minority who have too many conspiracy theories. The 2nd Amendment will always protect your right to legally own a gun. So let's get smart people. Putting laws in place to make owning guns safer for everyone is a good thing.

    April 11, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Guess wrote:

    Any liberal effort to infringe on our rights will be swiftly met with opposition.

    Sir, a ten (10) year ban on assault weapons were passed by the Clinton administration in 1994 and NO one's guns were confiscated and NO one's second amendment rights were infringed upon. Furthermore sir, NO Americans were prevented from defending their homes as a result of this legislation and NO Americans died as a result of this legislation. A matter of fact, lives were saved as a result of this legislation. let's face it, as responsible Americans, we MUST find common ground and be responsible so that all our citizens are protected from gun violence, terrorism or what threats there are out there. Please try to be sensible and resonable for a change. Please!

    April 11, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Henry

    The gun control "compromise" in the senate would require background checks at gun shows and in internet sales. However, it would except private transactions between friends and family. Let's call this what it is: A Smoke Screen. The Dems want to say that they helped pass gun control and some of the conservative Repubs what to say they understand common sense actions need to take place so both parties agreed to pass expanded background checks. But, if I walk into a gun show and become buddy buddy with the dealer, and he sells me the gun on his smoke break outside by his truck, didn't I just circumvent this little law?

    April 11, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Kathy from KBL

    I'm tired of a select few righties holding the forward progress of ths country. The killing in this country has to stop. If the righties don't like, they can move.

    April 11, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. Joe M.

    Good, we'll get to see that there are numerous Democrats that object to the bill – not just Republicans. A filibuster would have let those Democrats off the hook and given Obama a talking point to pretend that only the GOP was standing in his way.

    April 11, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. rb1948

    If the Republicans are so sure they're right, why are they afraid of a vote? We need to know which of them are lackeys of the NRA anyway. That will help the voters in 2014.

    April 11, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Background checks are in place now. No one who fails is prosecuted. What will change? Internet gun sales require FFL already, straw purchases are illegal, gun show loophole is a myth. Feel good politics here...

    April 11, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Murf

    There is NO issue that cannot stand the light of a debate. Each senator and congressman has one vote. If you agree with a bill and/or amendment, you cast your vote YEA. If not, you vote NO. That is how our system of government works. As far as the gun debate is concerned, every American has the right to own a gun. But with that right, comes responsibility. Part of our legislators' responsibilities is to make sure that we, their constituents, are protected and having background checks done on people who wish to exercise their right to a gun is not only reasonable, it is warranted. No law or measure is going to insure 100% compliance. However, to stand pat and avoid trying to achieve a solution to the problem is reckless and dangerous. As far as the slippery slope argument goes, I would argue that we are already there. That slope is called inaction and inertia and it is costing too many Americans their lives.

    April 11, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. No, No

    Republicans doing what they do best....trying to stop everything that gets proposed. Their tactic on all issues is to do nothing.

    April 11, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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