The Senate on Thursday ended a GOP filibuster on a new gun control bill, clearing the way for debate to begin on a hugely emotional issue that has dominated headlines since the tragic December shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The vote was 68-31.

It’s a big win for Democrats in that 16 Republicans crossed the aisle to even consider the gun legislation, but the vote is only the opening move in what could be a drawn-out floor fight that will center on a deal unveiled Wednesday by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that would require background checks on all commercial gun sales and end the so-called “gun show loophole.”

Two Democrats - Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska sided with the Republicans and voted to continue the filibuster.

Read more at Politico.