Senate overcomes filibuster, votes to open debate on gun bill
April 11th, 2013
11:40 AM ET
5 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.


Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Senate
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. three cheers!

    Hey... I'm no fan of the GOP, but they get three cheers for stopping the fillibuster effort. I mean, I shouldn't HAVE to cheer them for actually debating and voting, but the threshhold is so low, that I want to give an affirming cheer on this. No matter how the debate ends up, at least the Senate can engage. Rock on.

    April 11, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. John

    Just think, if high capacity magazines and so-called "assault" rifles were banned years ago, JFK would still be alive. Oh, ok, maybe not. But heah, at least Chicago, the city with arguably the toughest gun laws in the country, is a safe place to raise your kids. Oh, ok, maybe not. Ummm, what's the point of these laws again?

    April 11, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Charlie

    Wait!! Isn't the real problem the killing of innocents????

    Why not just make that illegal?

    April 11, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. Andi

    Laws and penalties often prevent crimes!

    April 11, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. dh

    Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer: you cant have a gun shipped to your house unless you are a licensed gun dealer. unless you know a private individual thats very crafty in marketing his guns on the net. sites like craigslist and others do not allow you to sell guns on the sites.

    April 11, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. ellid

    Good. Let the arguments be made, pro and con.

    April 11, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. ART

    Oh thats to bad, was looking foward to seeing the GOP making even bigger fools of themselves especially Rand Paul and Ted ( CRAZY) Cruz

    April 11, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. John

    A lawyer once said, when you can't win your case based on the facts, ask for a jury and use emotion. Seems to me, if someone is using emotion to get you to do what they want, you might want to ask for the facts. The fact I want to see is how does each and every proposed gun law NOT violate the 2nd amendment?

    April 11, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. tony

    Blowing you way through a locked school security door is pretty difficult without a heavy caliber gun. So not having such in the general poplation would clearly have prevented Sandy Hook.

    April 11, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Rachel

    Background checks wouldn't have stopped James Holmes or Adam Lanza because they got the guns through another person. Enforce the current laws and do a better job when they go before the judge as opposed to giving them a slap on the wrist for starters. This is just another knee jerk reaction to try and do something that's not going to solve the problem.

    April 11, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. rs

    William House

    Just keep wasting our time on specious gun registration schemes as the middle class economy is flatline and the violence of the drug war goes unabated
    Yeah, wasn't it the GOP that was going to fix the economy and pass jobs bills when they won big in 2010. What happened? Oh, yeah, the passed a record number of anti-birth control and anti-abortion bills. I guess that's their idea of job growth.

    Meanwhile since Sandy Hook, 3,300 Americans have died from gunshot wounds- that means nothing, right?

    April 11, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Peace

    To all: who are saying the tougher gun-law will not work
    If all laws were rejected before made because some don't like them, there couldn't had been even a single law in place by now. Laws work when they are enforced. This one should not be different.

    April 11, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Yey, it's me

    Let's face it, no gun laws will prevent all gun violence but every gun law in America will save SOME lives. Perhaps Like the 26 lives taken so abruptly in Newtown or Aurora, or Oak Creek or Tucson. During the President's recent gun legislation push in Connecticut a week ago, the mother of one of the kids killed in Newton told the President that every night she goes to bed, she just hopes she could dream about her son so that she could see him in her dreams. I just hope gun advocates out there would try to empathize and have some compassion and understanding.

    April 11, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Cruz

    All I hear is, weapon confiscation and mass murder stop. In reality we should be talking on improving the rift between Americans, the second amendment is our right, but our fore fathers could not predict how much damage today's weapons can do. It's an amendment to be amended. Most gun owners are responsible and good Americans, but when you carry sings that say "come and get it" or " from my clod dead hands" it paints a troubling picture. A gun with a 16 round clip looks and feels right, with a 32 clip its bulky. If you need an assault weapon to hunt coyotes if you a farmer or to do your job? Fine apply for one. No one taking guns away! And we all agree that mass murder will not stop, but with regulations will not be as frequent as they are now. On a personal note, the second amendment is there to protect us from our government, so I ask, why are republicans going against what the people want? 91% of Americans want background checks. Our representatives should be representing us, not their own opinions or that of the NRAs.

    April 11, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Dave in Houston

    Criminals nationwide are applauding Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey, said Congressman Steve Stockman. Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey want to give the federal government the name and address of everyone who buys a gun. They want to turn our entire country into Chicago.

    Of the 1.5 million background checks conducted in 2010, only 13 criminals were caught and jailed but hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens were denied self-protection because of administrative errors and false matches, said Stockman. Background checks lead to confiscation from law-abiding citizens and more crime from criminals.

    The Manchin-Toomey anti-gun compromise reportedly would mandate background for gun sales at gun shows and over the Internet, despite the well-documented fact criminals don’t look to gun shows or Internet sales for guns.

    April 11, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. jkweb

    Cannot pass a budget over the course of 5 years but gun control is top priority? Why? More are killed with alchohol, hospital error, cigerrets, drunk drivers. There are tragedies in life. The Kymer Rouge killed over a million people and we stood by and watched it happen. I bet there were more than 20 kids killed there. So some kids are killed here with a few guns and the million owners must pay some price? There is more to this then gun control.

    April 11, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Liber-Hator

    Mental illness is the item that should undergo "Background checks". The problem is not guns, it is the number of mentally ill people that get them and use them as a means to an end. This is an erosion of the 2nd Amendment, and there is no doubt that the Government will simply make it more and more difficult for law-abiding Americans to acquire and hold guns. Anything that impedes the ability of American to this right, is plan and simply a violation of your constitutional rights.

    April 11, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Dave in Houston

    AZ Girl – out of the 1.5 million background checks done last year, only 13 criminals were caught. But hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens were denied self-protection because of administrative errors and false matches.

    Plus, who is going to pay for the checks? Just another tax on Americans who are already over-taxed.

    April 11, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Jim

    I think the best solution would be to give the NRA what they want by providing security in all public schools and events. To do this we simply impose a tax on all gun and ammunition sales that go directly to pay for this service. Therefore, the people who do not exercise thier right to own a firearm do not have to shoulder the responsibility of those that do. This works the same way that taxes are applied to tobacco sales, the implied tax that companies want to charge more for being overweight and other lifestyle personal choices. With freedom comes responsibility.

    April 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. John john the pipers son

    gun bills don't work. its time to remove ALL weapons.

    April 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Kip (Portland)

    I live in Oregon and we have background checks for purchases at gun stores and for all gun purchases at gun shows. We allow private parties (e.g., father giving a gun to his son) to transpire without a background check which I think is fine. So we have closed the so called gun show loophole in Oregon. If the Congress does that most gun owners are not too worried about it. The problem is not so much with what is being proposed but the fact that whatever we do today will be just more step in a continuing attack on gun rights in America and we all know that and deeply resent it. No one with any common sense to use President Obama's favorite term for hi ssheep like followers who drink the Kool Aid trust politicians with their Second amendment rights. Senator Feinstein and the Governor of Connecticut will tell you that this is just the beginning for them and they will not stop until all gun possession in America is eliminated in America. Senator Feinstein says on videotape if she could go door to door and confiscate all of our guns she would do that in a minute. The effort is being made to demonize guns and gun owners like smokers and cigarettes have been demonized. It is this relentless erosion of gun rights by the anti-gun people (Schumer, Feinstein, Obama, Brady, etc) that causes those of us who value the Second Amendment to not just automatically agree to each incremental step to the eventual elimination of our rights to own and use firearms. Everyone need to read the fine print in any proposal. the devil is always in the details. Senator Schumer's proposals would eliminate sales or gifts to family members, handling guns at gun shows, lending a gun for hunting, etc. That is well beyond what is rhetoric in generalities would suggest which is why all in the US Senate need to read every word of any proposed legislation.

    April 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. tony

    The only widely available machine that can kill several victims who are running away from you is a gun.
    The only widely available machine that can kill one or more victims seeking safety by locking them selves in their car is a gun.
    The only widely available machine that can kill one or more victims who merely happen to be driving nearby is a gun.
    The only widely available machine that can kill one or more victims from a passing nearby car is a gun.
    The machine that cannot protect a victim from being surprise shot at is a gun.

    April 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. R Smith

    Okay I'm on board with background checks, but trying to ban semi-automatic assault weapons seems a bit hypocritical when you take "Fast and Furious" Into consideration. It seems like it's perfectly okay to give drug dealers these weapons in order to track them, but it's not okay to let us continue to buy them. "Theoretically" if they where so dangerous in the first place they wouldn't have been handing them over to the cartels in truckloads.

    April 11, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Bob

    1. Background checks work. They thwarted Adam Lanza when he tried to buy a gun. He had to resort to getting the gun from mommy's closet.
    2. If the assault weapon ban had still been in place (gee, thanks NRA), Newtown wouldn't have happened because Adam Lanza's mommy wouldn't have had an assault weapon. The three different adults (at least) who tried to tackle Adam wouldn't have been riddled with dozens of bullets because that little wimp would have been reloading a pistol.
    3. Why should it be easier to own, operate, and transfer a gun than a car? Is a gun more useful or necessary for everyday life than a car for 99.997% of the population? Make people who want to own, operate, and sell guns wait in line at the DMV!

    April 11, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. rs

    I guess if Republicans want to filibuster, or stop any action on sensible anti-gun violence laws that's their choice. They can stand in the blood of schoolchildren with Wayne LaPierre, the ultra-radical NRA, and the weapons manufacturers. 90% of Americans demand action. At the next election, they'll get it when Republicans only get the votes of the few million NRA members.

    April 11, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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