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Max Baucus Explains Why He Voted to Override Filibuster on New Gun Control Legislation

Max Baucus and Senate Democrats
Photo courtesy of Talk Radio News Service/Flickr

Today, April 11, the U.S. Senate voted to override an attempted filibuster over recently proposed gun control legislation known as the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013. Montana Senator Max Baucus joined with his Democratic fellows and a few Republicans to pass what is known as a cloture motion, a procedural motion that effectively quashed the filibuster. The vote was 68-31.

Other Democratic Senators in traditionally anti-gun regulation areas did not vote for the cloture and voted against the majority of their party. Namely Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. 16 Republicans, including Arizona Senator John McCain voted for cloture.

In defense of the motion, Baucus issued this statement:

The bill as it is written right now does not reflect the values Montanans have overwhelmingly shared with me.

Therefore I do not support the bill as it is today, and I would not vote for this bill. At the same time, Montanans have also sent a clear message that they are engaged in the issue and Montanans deserve an open debate where their voices can be heard. And there are good ideas on the table that have nothing to do with guns, like additional support for school safety, that deserve to be considered. So, I will not stand in the way of a debate moving forward.

I will not support passage of anything that puts the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Montanans in question. The bill as it stands today does not meet that test.

“Recent tragedies have shaken all of us, and everyone wants to do their part to protect our children and communities from violence of all kinds.

“The debate has sparked conversations around kitchen tables all across Montana. It is very important to me that all Montanans have an opportunity to be heard. So, I have been listening carefully with an open mind.

“I have also done a lot of thinking about my own personal experience growing up with guns. I remember my dad giving me my first .22 for my 13th birthday.

“I do not support the President’s top-down, one-size-all approach.

“Montanans are responsible gun owners. What works in other states doesn’t necessarily work for Montana.

“I have heard from thousands of Montanans. Their opinions run the gamut. They do not all fit into one box. I have listened carefully to all their concerns.

“As the debate moves forward I will continue gathering feedback from Montanans and taking my orders from them.”

Baucus currently has an A+ rating from the NRA. KGVO News has contacted the NRA to find out if anything has changed with Baucus’ rating after today’s vote.

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