Burr switches position, supports cloture to debate gun control bill

“I was pleased Sen. Reid agreed to unlimited debate and amendments; that has always been my threshold for voting to allow legislation to be considered," Burr said. "Given that understanding, the issue can receive a full and open debate, amendments, and an amendment process with multiple opportunities to stop, alter, or kill the legislation.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The Senate is now debating S.649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act, which would expand background checks on gun purchases, create new penalties on straw purchases and include new funding for school security.

The bill doesn’t include an assault weapons ban or limits on magazine clip capacity — although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised a vote on those provisions as an amendment.

Democrats have been pushing major gun reforms since December when a gunman killed 20 first graders and six school employees at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Conn. Family members of the Newtown victims came to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with senators to persuade them to pass gun control reforms. 

A group of 14 GOP senators, lead by Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas), threatened to filibuster any gun control reforms, requiring a 60-vote threshold, because they say it would violate Second Amendment rights. 

Burr was the only defection of the 14 senators.

This article was updated at 1:40 p.m. in order to include Burr's quote.