- Democrats call for an up-or-down vote to prevent those on no-fly-list from buying weapons;
- No fly -no buy;
- Universal background checks.
Rep. G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus issued a statement on the historic shutdown of the U.S. Hose of Representatives as 40+ House members stage a sit-in protesting that no meaningful legislation has been passed to prevent those on the government’s no-fly-list from being able to obtain firearms and especially semi-automatic weapons.
Butterfield Statement on the House Democrats’ Sit-In to Demand a Vote on Gun Laws
“Today, history was made. Dozens of House Democrats staged a sit-in on the House Floor to demand a vote on legislation to address gun violence. In the wake of the recent shooting in Orlando that claimed 49 innocent lives, Republican leadership has failed to vote even on commonsense legislation that would expand background checks and prevent dangerous firearms from being sold to suspected terrorists. Enough is enough.
“Now more than ever, the issue of gun violence should transcend party lines. It’s time for the American people to demand new gun laws to make our country a safer place for all. We must take action,” Butterfield said.
Alma Adams, (D-NC,12) made a statement on the House floor telling the National Rifle Association, “NRA – get the hell out of the way.” She said, “I’m proud to stand with you today” and she called on the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan to “do your job.”
Over the past two days, the Senate and the House have been unable to pass any measure on gun reform. The NRA has heavily lobbied Congress to prevent any bill from getting an up-or-down vote.
Democrats, spurred by frustration, rose to a call to action by Rep. John Lewis at 11:35 a.m., this morning, as over forty members of the House began a sit-in. Speaker Ryan called from a “time of silence” but as the sit-in took shape he ordered the House microphone cut off and the cameras turned off. Later, he issued a press release from his office saying the sit-in was “just a political stunt.”
Although no longer in the House, Sen. Bernie Sanders went to the House floor this afternoon in solidarity and offered words of encouragement to his former colleagues. During Sanders presidential campaign he has often called for stronger legislation to combat gun violence.
In the wake of the happenings in Orlando, FL, where 49 individuals were killed in a LGBT friendly nightclub, by what the FBI is calling an act of terror, both the Senate and House have debated bills to curb the sale of semi-automatic weapons to individuals on the government’s no-fly-list. So far, all measures have failed.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) have been instrumental in towing the GOP party line during these debates and have helped Senate leadership in preventing meaningful legislation on gun control from passing. And, both senators have received millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association during their respective campaigns. Over the past few days, the NRA has been aggressive in lobbying both sides of Congress over proposed gun legislation calling the right to buy semi-automatic firearms a fundamental 2nd Amendment right.