Gun Control
Background checks for gun sales were at record levels at the end of 2012, according to FBI statistics. Reuters/Max Whittaker

Any attempts by Democrats to impose more restrictions on guns as Congress debates gun control will be met with a filibuster, three Republican senators promised this week.

As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid works on a bill to bring to a vote next month, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas said they will filibuster the legislation when it hits the Senate floor.

The trio made the plan known in a March 22 letter sent to Reid. The majority leader plans to expand background checks, impose harsher penalties for gun traffickers and straw purchasers, and improve school safety. But the senators, like gun rights advocates, argue that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to defend themselves.

“The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ right to self-defense,” the letter read. “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. We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.”

Following the mass murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December, President Barack Obama has been pushing Congress to pass tougher gun laws to prevent such incidents from recurring.

However, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are divided on how to tackle gun control in America. Republicans are opposing stricter gun laws while Democrats argue for them.

“I am prepared to use any procedural means necessary to ensure that Congress does not pass any laws infringing on the Second Amendment,” Cruz said in a statement, adding that he looks forward to working with his colleagues and others to “protect our constitutional rights.”