Dem senator calls GOP filibuster threat on gun legislation an 'outrage'

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Boxer's statement Tuesday afternoon is a response to a letter Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.) sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatening to filibuster efforts to bring a new gun bill to the Senate floor.

"It’s an outrage that a small group of Senate Republicans want to stop us from even debating how we address the epidemic of gun violence in this country that claims the lives of more than 31,000 people each year," Boxer said in a statement on Tuesday.

Cruz, Lee, and Paul have been some of the most outspoken critics of calls by other lawmakers to introduce new gun laws as a way of reducing gun violence. Their letter comes after Reid said he would soon bring a new gun control bill up for a vote. The three senators argued in their letter that the gun control bill infringes on Second Amendment rights.

In her response, Boxer suggested that the GOP senators' threat is just in order to satisfy opponents of new gun laws.

"While a strong majority of Americans support common-sense gun safety measures, these Republicans would rather placate the leaders of the gun lobby than allow a vote on legislation to protect families and children in our communities," Boxer added. 

The White House has urged Congress to pass a number of new gun laws, including universal background checks and legislation limiting the size of bullet magazines, but the legislation Reid plans to introduce does not include those two measures. Instead, the proposals will be offered as amendments to the Senate bill.