WASHINGTON - Georgia's two Republican senators today said they welcome debate on comprehensive gun control legislation, breaking from more than a dozen conservative colleagues who have vowed to block any gun-related bill brought to the Senate floor.
"I don't think I'm going to support that," U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said of the effort to stall various gun bills. "I just don't think it's the right thing to do."
A day after 13 Senate Republicans signed a letter threatening to filibuster any "legislation that would infringe on the American people's right to bear arms," Chambliss and Sen. Johnny Isakson bucked the trend. Isakson told CBS News he believes the full Senate should consider comprehensive gun control legislation that recently passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"We have not seen the final draft of the legislation that was produced ... last night, but I think it deserves a vote up or down," Isakson said, adding that he'll be meeting with family members of Sandy Hook Elementary School students who died in the December massacre.
Isakson was the first senator from Tennessee, Georgia or Alabama to voice an opinion on whether to hear gun legislation since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., opened debate on the Senate floor Monday. None of the 13 letter signers hails from the tri-state area.
The bills before the Senate would expand background checks, address gun trafficking and prescribe harsher penalties for illegal purchases.
Among the 13 Republican protesters are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.