The Senate killed a bipartisan bill designed to boost hunting and fishing protections, Politico reports. It was a victim of a long-running war over amendments that came in the shadow of gun politics. The sportsmen's bill was a political boon for sponsor Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC). It died in a 41-56 procedural vote yesterday, needing 60 votes to advance. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) accused the GOP of wanting a slew of amendments designed to kill the bill.
Having a free-flowing amendment process would have forced red-state Democrats in tough reelection bids to take potentially tough votes on tweaking gun laws. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) called for loosening gun restrictions in the District of Columbia, such as overturning its ban on semiautomatic firearms and repealing certain registration requirements. Democrats who are among the chamber's most ardent gun-control advocates had their own demands. The second-ranking Senate Democrat, Illinois’ Dick Durbin, filed an amendment to toughen penalties for straw purchasers and traffickers of firearms. Connecticut Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy wanted to bar perpetrators of domestic violence to own firearms.