WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have brought gun control legislation to the Senate floor amid a threat from conservative Republican senators to use delaying tactics to prevent formal debate from even beginning.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took the first procedural step to begin debate on Monday. He said Republicans owed relatives of the massacre of school children in Newtown, Conn., a vote on gun proposals, adding, "Shame on them."

The Nevada Democrat spoke shortly after receiving a letter from 13 conservative Republicans saying they would try to block Senate debate on the bill. The letter said gun curbs would violate the Second Amendment's right to bear arms, and the group indicated they would force Democrats to garner 60 votes to proceed — a difficult hurdle in the 100-member chamber.

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