Today the U.S. Senate overcame a Republican filibuster and voted to begin debating legislation to reduce gun violence in America. The legislation would crack down on illegal weapons trafficking, strengthen school safety, and eliminate the loophole that allows individuals to purchase guns at gun shows without clearing a background check.
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined 67 of his colleagues in voting to move forward with the process.
"As President Obama said during his State of the Union address, the victims of gun violence and their families deserve a vote on legislation to help prevent future tragedies. Today, by proceeding with this debate, we are taking an important step toward giving them that vote," said Whitehouse. "The legislative package we'll be considering is a good starting point, and I will continue working to strengthen the bill by fighting for amendments to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. I have repeatedly pushed for a stand-alone vote banning high-capacity magazines, and I was pleased to hear Majority Leader Reid say today that we will be having that vote."
The Senate is expected to begin considering amendments to the legislation next week. Majority Leader Reid today singled out amendments to reinstate the ban on military-style assault weapons and to limit the capacity of ammunition magazines as votes that we "have to have."
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Whitehouse supported all four gun violence proposals approved by the Committee.