Paul, Cruz threaten filibuster on gun laws

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19: U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) addresses a breakfast meeting of the 2013 Annual Legislative Summit of U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) March 19, 2013 at Capitol Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. Paul spoke on immigration and he announced his endorsement for a pathway for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States to become citizens.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

As Democrats gear up for a series of looming Senate battles on gun control legislation, conservative Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Ted Cruz, R-Tex., and Mike Lee, R-Utah - two of whom are fast shaping up to be the younger senatorial set's most reliable rabble-rousers - are threatening to filibuster any law that would make federal gun laws more stringent.

In a letter they intend to drop off with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., this morning, the three senators say they'll oppose "any legislation that would infringe on the American people's constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability toe exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance." They also say they'll force cloture on "any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions."

"The second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens' right to self-defense," the letter reads. "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."

In the wake of last year's shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, the Obama administration has joined with congressional Democrats to push a series of legislative proposals aimed at reducing gun violence in America. But any such bill faces steep odds given the Republican resistance to any new gun laws. By forcing a cloture vote in the Senate, Paul, Cruz and Lee are guaranteeing that Democrats will need 60 votes for any such piece of legislation - making the uphill climb even more precarious.