Marco Rubio pledged Thursday to join a group of Republicans led by Sens. Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), and Ted Cruz (TX), also Tea Party stalwarts, threatening to filibuster gun control legislation that comes to the floor of the Senate.
Rubio posted the following stateent on his website:
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’ right 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.
Paul, Lee, and Cruz had written earlier this week to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), pledging to “oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.” Reid has plans to bring a bill to the Senate that would increase background checks and penalties on straw purchases of firearms.
The White House is pushing hard on gun control; on Tuesday, press secretary Jay Carney said a GOP filibuster would offend families of gun violence victims. On Thursday, Barack Obama once again cited the massacre at Sandy Hook to bolster his plans for gun control.
Rubio wasn’t buying any of that:
We should look for ways to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill prone to misusing them, but I oppose legislation that will be used as a vehicle to impose new Second Amendment restrictions on responsible, law-abiding gun owners. We should work to reduce tragic acts of violence by addressing violence at its source, including untreated mental illness, the lack of adequate information-sharing on mental health issues, and the breakdown of the family.