Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have made it crystal clear: they plan to filibuster any gun control legislation that Harry Reid brings to the floor.
The senators drafted this letter to Reid:
Dear Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation 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.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ rights to self-defense. It speaks to history’s lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times, and history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries.
We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.
Donovon Slack at Politico reports the White House response:
White House press secretary Jay Carney suggested Tuesday that GOP Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul are out of step with the public on gun-control measures.
The three lawmakers have threatened to filibuster “any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.”
Carney said he hasn’t spoken with President Obama about the threat, but the White House position is clear.
“Filibusters of efforts to move forward with common-sense measures to reduce gun violence would be unfortunate,” he said. “We have worked with Congress, with the Senate, to try to advance the elements of the president’s plan that require legislative action and these again are common-sense measures.
“Closing gun-show loopholes, that’s an idea that has something like 90 percent support in the United States, by some polls has a majority of support among gun owners in America, support among Republicans and independents. We ought to be able to do this. But it’s hard and we’re continuing to work with Congress to get it done.”