Gun Industry

The door for debate has been opened for a controversial gun control bill in the U.S. Senate after it cleared its first hurdle Thursday. The cloture vote for the bill was 68-31.

FOX News Radio's Rich Johnson reports from Washington:

Before the vote, Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal praised the families of the Newtown victims for turning the tide on the gun debate.

(Blumenthal) "They have shown that we can break the stranglehold of special interests and the NRA."

But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says his intention to vote no both on cloture, which allows the debate to go forward, and the bill itself, stands.

(McConnell) "This bill is a clear over-reach that will predominately punish and harass our neighbors, our friends and our families."

McConnell says the government should not punish people for exercising their Second Amendment rights.

In Washington, Rich Johnson, FOX News Radio.