The United States Senate moved forward today to debate the gun control bill introduced by our Senator, majority leader Harry Reid. The motion to proceed followed the recent compromise on background checks. Senator Reid opened the debate with emotional reminders of violence including one shooting rampage here in Nevada. News 3's Sandra Gonzalez has more on the gun control debate.
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The U.S. Senate move forward Thursday to debate the gun control bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The motion to proceed followed the recent compromise on background checks. Weeks ago it would have seemed insurmountable that the senate would ever take up the substance of gun control. But on Thursday, it cut off a filibuster with a 68-31 vote and plans to take up legislation next week.
Reid opened up the debate with emotional reminders of violence including one incident here in Nevada. He was at the helm of the discussion bringing up both the massacre of Newtown, Connecticut and a shooting that left 4 dead near Carson City.
That shooting happened in September of 2001, of the four who died; three were members of the National Guard. Altogether, Reid says it took 85 seconds.
“In that few brief seconds that brief seconds that followed he fired nearly 80 rounds from an automatic weapon, spraying bullets in the parking lot into an IHOP restaurant that was packed for breakfast with customers,” Reid said.
Reid says the Carson City shooting is like many across the country that have left many wondering why? He says they deserve a thoughtful debate and deserve votes. Reid like other senators also brought up the most recent mass shooting, the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that left dozens of children and adults dead.
“That's why we need this debate. And the senate is going to give these family members, friends, and people who live in Newtown no matter how long it takes the ability to see how people stand on these issues,” Reid said.
The new gun control legislation launched a long debate that still has a way to go, but at least the compromise over background checks got it off the ground. While Senator Dean Heller voted in favor of moving the debate forward, he says he firmly supports the second amendment.
In a statement Heller said:
"I remain staunchly opposed to any proposal that would create a national gun registry or would infringe upon Nevadans' ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights. At the same time, I do think it's important to explore ways to keep guns out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill."
The debate could go on for weeks, and if a final bill passes the senate, it would face a skeptical reception in the Republican dominated U.S. House.