Senate Opens Debate On Gun Control Legislation
Four months after the Sandy Hook shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., lawmakers are ready to move forward with a gun control measure. Earlier today the Senate opened debates over whether or not to vote on the adjusting gun laws, bringing the legislation one step closer to approval
From NBC News:
A new gun control law cleared a major Senate hurdle Thursday, with 16 Republicans voting with most of the chamber's Democrats to begin the process of moving one of President Barack Obama's top domestic initiatives through a long, legislative slog.
Senators voted 68 to 31, with a handful of Republicans joining most Democrats, on a procedural measure to begin consideration of a proposed gun law that would expand background checks for gun sales, and strengthen mental health and school safety programs.
The vote is just the opening step, though, of a debate that could stretch out for weeks and encounter any number of obstacles – namely, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives – before reaching Obama's desk.
Several Senate Republicans threatened to sabotage the legislation, and were forthcoming with their plan to invoke a 30-hour hold period before the Senate can even look at the amendment.
Despite bi-partisan clashes over the issue, Republican Senator Pat Tommey is optimistic that his political peers can reach middle ground. "I think we'll get it together," he said.
Toomey and Democrat Joe Manchin, teamed up to spearhead the deal, which attempts to not only protect innocent victims from gun violence, but keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill.
The main conservative argument is based around 2nd Amendment rights."This bill is a clear overreach that will predominantly punish and harass our neighbors, friends, and family," noted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Among those sharing in McConnell's views are members of the National Rifle Association. In a statement released yesterday the NRA said it was "unequivocally opposed" to changing gun laws.
The Obama administration further raised its voice on gun control following the Newtown massacre in which more than 20 children were killed by gunman, Adam Lanza.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla