Gun bill filibuster in the offing
March 26th, 2013
10:15 AM ET
10 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."

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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. jinx9to88

    2014 elections is right around the corner and there are whole a lot of voters that want to see some kind of gun reform than there are that oppose any type of reform. So get a look at these three senators, I am guessing 2 of the three stooges will be gone.

    March 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Dallas

    The State of Texas owes America an apology for electing this sham of a human being as our U.S. Senator. If it were possible to recall Ted Cruz, myself and hundreds of others would be in line to support this effort. He continually embarasses our state with his inane ravings and rantings and his total disrespect for his fellow senators. Always bellowing about what he's against, never a word about what he's for other than a return to failed policies and dim witted ideas.

    March 26, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. rs

    But if we're going to point to one factor, is it wiser to blame the AR-15 than PG-13?
    Sure, let's attack the First Amendent to augment the Second one.

    Question- Films, TV shows, video games are sold and available world-over. Why does the United States have the highest rate of gun deaths in the civilized world?
    Can't be the guns, right?

    March 26, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. rs

    Cruz, Lee and Paul are proof the GOP is done. If these are their "best and brightest" (oops, I almost called them "young guns"!), they might as well become a social club, and give up on politics.

    March 26, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    I would love to introduce these gentlemen to the 2nd Amendment, as well as the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Amendments, which begin to define what a "well regulated militia" means. In those days, the phrase "well regulated militia" was introduced by George Washington's State of the Union speech, asking Congress to create legislation for a national "well regulated militia", which ws taken to mean "well trained" and "well behaved".

    They don't seem to understand that the 2nd guarantees that citizens cannot be prohibited from participating in the national militia. That it will be comprised exclusively of citizens and shall not be comprised of hired mercenaries with no allegiances.

    March 26, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. Peace

    Trio wacko birds still making their noise. You fools, Second Amendment is NOT Second Commandment. Get over it.

    March 26, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. libertyfirst

    I'm confused? Wouldn't his have to pass the House anyways? If so, they should just let it fail their where that chamber still cares about preserving the BORs.

    March 26, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Pete

    I believe all three will be defeated in midterms just on this radical stance alone,a tea party one as well..Have the government investigate how much gun lobbyist have put in these threes pockets than censure them for bribery,plain and simple because they're not in step with what real Americans want,more strengent gun control...Quit playing nice to these republican idiots who are being controlled by the tea party and corporate America not their constituents that voted them there..And make them read the Constitution,its outdated and its meaning is as usual is misinterpreted by many an ignorent republican as well..

    March 26, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Boring. You need to debate and vote. Even if it is the wrong vote........we have to stop acting like stupid children, who have no ability to come to a decision.

    If people are so crazy stupid, they can't understand that violence is a people problem, and NOT a gun problem.....and if they would go so far as to infringe on the Constitutional rights of our citizens, in their stupidity, then let them. If the country has gotten THAT stupid, then we deserve to go belly up!

    March 26, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. sonny chapman

    The Second Amendment doesn't stand alone. There are other rights in the Constitution & Bill of Rights that carry the same weight as the Second. The right to safety & pursuit of happiness free from the fear of sooooo many dangerous weapons in the hands of soooo many. ALL of these RIGHTS are not without some limitation. The First Amendment doesn't allow you to yell FIRE in a crowded Theater as Free Speech or Human Sacrifice as Freedom of Religion. It's the basic Constitutional problem of BALANCE.; and these guys ain't balanced.

    March 26, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Tom1940

    Rightly so! The firearms laws on the books now are doing the job. Critics in the aftermath of Sandy Hood agree that proposed legislation would not have made a difference to the outcome of that situation. School security and mental health initiatives may. This is the areas legislators should concentrate on – not on more firearms control. As someone said – obesity is like blaming the spoon, knife or fork for the problem.

    March 26, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. gc

    If liberals so want to live in utopia perhaps they should move to North Korea or China. Every Where you turn someone is trying to take away the rights of law abiding citizens. You can call the few poiticians who actually stand for something all the names you want but they are the only thing right in the Republican Party. I will bet that every country that was taken by a dictator, communist or facist was glad that they curtailed the rights of the citizens and that every citizen understood in the end it was their inability to stand against those governments that in the end approved their reign. I am a constitutionally protected owner of multiple weapons and have had my background checked more times then I can count. For each of you who salivates over the day that you end gun ownership, millions of us want you to know that we will refuse to bow to any law which takes our Constitutional rights away from us regardless of who votes for it. All your do good, excuse the actor because it was societies fault liberals are the reason I need my guns to protect me against the animals you so love to coddle. Stay out of my home, stay out of my life and stay away from my constitutional rights!

    March 26, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Sniffit

    "What is it about "a well regulated Militia" that Senators Paul, Lee and Cruz do not understand?"

    What they don't understand is how they get their PACs and campaign outfits to bankroll donations from the NRA and gun industry without kowtowing to the gun industry's demands.

    March 26, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Rick wrote:

    ... If people are so crazy stupid, they can't understand that violence is a people problem, and NOT a gun problem.....
    Yeah, but, the NRA's position is that a crazy person should have access to as many guns and ammo as they want.
    "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun."

    March 26, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC


    If liberals so want to live in utopia perhaps they should move to North Korea or China.
    If people want to live in a free and open, gun toting society, then I suggest that they move to Iraq or Afghanistan.

    March 26, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. ritmocojo

    I'm with you 100% there on the apology thing. But if Teaxas[sic] never apologized for "W", what makes you think Teaxas is going to apologize for Joseph McCarthy II? Instead, how about we the people decide to have Teaxas et al(the South) secede from the Union?

    March 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Rick 7809

    The difficulty with these three "gentlemen" is they only interact with like minded folks. They talk to the tea party, are interviewed by Faux News, on the radio with Rush and Sean, and are supported by the NRA. They do not interact with anyone that has a "non-aligned" opinion. Their world view is distorted because, obviously, everyone they talk to agrees with them. There is an entire segment of the population that is tired of the violence and want to see any attempt at regulation, even though it may take years, to have even a minor impact on the problem. The real issue is lack of positive public discourse. No politician will take a risk at even sounding like they respect another opinion because of ramifications to their re-election. These guys are just playing to their base and sooner or later, it will come back to bite them.

    March 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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