From the morning memo, in case you missed it:

How badly do the Senate Republicans want to avoid any more discussion about the controversial issue of gun control in this crucial election year? Consider this:

The Senate rules allow each member – regardless of their majority or minority status – the ability to “compel” a committee vote on three bills a year.

Sen. Diane Savino, an IDC member, recently used this parliamentary maneuver to circumvent the chamber’s leadership in a push to get her medical marijuana bill to the floor for a vote.

Sen. Daniel Squadron, a Brooklyn Democrat, had hoped to do the same with his bill to ban .50 caliber sniper rifles (with an exemption for any weapon used for hunting) – a measure that was left out of the 2013 SAFE Act.

But in an act of what he deemed “parliamentary jiu jitsu” by the Republicans, Squadron’s bill was blocked.

Squadron requested a motion for consideration on his bill by the Codes Committee, on which he is the ranking minority member.

But when agendas for next week (when the Senate will return to Albany after a nearly month-long absence) were released, the senator found to his dismay that his bill had been “snatched” from Codes and given to the all powerful Rules Committee, which is controlled by the leadership.

As long as the bill is in Rules, Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos can keep it bottled up, because it’s the last stop before a full house vote on the floor, and both he and his co-leader, the IDC’s Jeff Klein, must agree on what moves and when.

Squadron’s office noted that this week alone, there are 18 18 bills on a committee agenda because of motions for committee consideration. The senator’s .50 caliber sniper rifle bill appears to be only bill blocked by pulling it to the Rules Committee for indefinite safekeeping.

Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif did not deny that allegation, saying:

“Under the Senate’s rules, the Committee on Rules may refer a bill to itself at anytime. We have exercised that prerogative here.”

The Senate Republicans have taken a beating from the conservative grassroots for allowing the SAFE Act to come to the floor and letting it pass. Several conference members have since launched on-line petitions calling for the act’s repeal – a quixotic and merely symbolic quest, since the governor clearly considers this a big win and has no intention of revisiting the matter.

But the issue of gun control is a tricky one – especially in a number of closely divided Senate districts that will be in play this fall as the battle for control of the chamber plays out yet again.

Clearly, the Republicans don’t want to do anything that might reignite this debate and inflame activists on either side.