Senate Democrats led by Chris Murphy of Connecticut ground the Senate floor to a halt Wednesday, vowing to speak as long as necessary to force the Senate to take action to address gun violence. Democratic senators stage ‘filibuster’ to demand action on gun bills:
“I am prepared to stand on the Senate floor and talk about the need to prevent gun violence for as long as I can. I’ve had #Enough,” he tweeted. For hours, Murphy and other Democratic senators took turns demanding the Senate take up a variety of gun control measures, though it is not clear any of them would have the votes to pass.
Murphy listed off mass shootings and talked about expanding background checks for gun buyers and banning gun sales to people on terror watch lists. He said the failure of Congress to pass such measures has been particularly disappointing to him and other residents of Connecticut, where a shooter gunned down 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.
“I can’t tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of those little boys and girls who were killed in Sandy Hook and tell them that almost four years later, we’ve done nothing, nothing at all to reduce the likelihood that that will happen again to another family,” Murphy said.
Democrats have renewed their push for legislation to toughen gun laws since the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Florida Sunday that killed 49 people, plus the shooter and injured 53 others. They have focused on a measure proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that would allow the attorney general to ban gun sales to suspected terrorists, including those on watch lists, if there is “reasonable belief” the weapons may be used to carry out an attack.
* * *
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also weighed in, tweeting, “Some fights are too important to stay silent. Preventing gun violence is one of them.” She urged Murphy to “Stand strong.”
The filibuster is continuing. The Political Animal Blog is live blogging the filibuster. Live-Blogging Sen. Chris Murphy’s Talking Filibuster on Gun Violence.
You can watch it on C-Span. U.S. Senate: Democrats Take to Floor to Debate Gun Control. A number of news sites are live streaming it as well.
From Chris Murphy’s Senate page. MURPHY DEMANDS ACTION TO CLOSE TERROR GAP & EXPAND BACKGROUND CHECKS.
UPDATE: Sen. Chris Murphy ended a marathon filibuster after nearly 15 hours, announcing Republican leaders had agreed to hold votes on Democrat-backed measures to expand background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from acquiring guns. Senate Democrats end filibuster, say GOP agrees to hold gun-control votes.