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Connecticut Lawmakers To Continue Push For Gun Control

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls for his Senate colleagues to approve gun control legislation in the wake of the recent shootings in Orlando.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls for his Senate colleagues to approve gun control legislation in the wake of the recent shootings in Orlando. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation will continue their demand for action on gun control with a press conference in Hartford Friday morning.

The event comes on the heels of a day-long sit-in by Democrats in the House of Representatives, demanding votes to expand background checks and prohibit people on no-fly lists from buying guns.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Sen Chris Murphy, U.S. Rep. John Larson (CT-1), U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. Friday in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. They will continue to call on Congress to enact "commonsense gun reforms" in the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Larson, DeLauro and Esty all took part in the sit-in that ended Thursday, with Blumenthal and Murphy joining in solidarity. The protest continued for several hours after the House session was ended, with Democrats demanding that House Speaker Paul Ryan take action to stem gun violence. Ryan called the move a "publicity stunt." Despite ending the sit-in led by U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Democrats vowed to continue fighting for a bill when the House re-convenes on July 5.

Last week Murphy and Blumenthal led a 15-hour filibuster to demand that the Senate vote on measures that would expand background checks and deny guns to people on the no-fly list. The Senate held a vote on the amendments Monday, where they were defeated .

On Thursday the Senate voted to allow further consideration of the Collins amendment, a bipartisan bill that would prevent people on the no-fly list from purchasing guns. Though the measure was not defeated outright, it would still need 60 votes to pass. Blumenthal and Murphy both said they would continue to press for an up-or-down vote on the measure.

“The fact that we are having votes is progress – demonstrating bipartisan, majority support for common-sense gun violence legislation in the Senate and showing that the vice-like grip of the NRA is beginning to crack," Blumenthal said. "But that grip can only truly be broken by the voters. The American people are rising up – we saw it during the House sit-in, during the Senate Filibuster, and in the outpouring of support we have seen for these efforts.”

“Unlike Republicans in Congress, the overwhelming majority of the American people want to stop terrorists from buying guns and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people," he continued. "Over the last two weeks, Republicans’ professed devotion to keeping Americans safe from ISIL has been revealed to be nothing but bluster and bravado – ringing especially hollow today as it’s been made clear no issue is more important to Republicans than their fealty to the gun lobby. We will continue to press for a true vote on the Collins amendment and other crucial legislation to address the ongoing epidemic of gun violence.”

“The NRA made it a top priority to pass the motion to set aside the Collins amendment and they lost. Plain and simple," said Murphy. "Today’s vote represented the largest defection of Republicans from the gun lobby in the modern history of the anti-gun violence movement, and it signals that the ground is shifting under our feet on this issue. Yes, Leader McConnell should have just moved straight to an up or down vote on this bipartisan, commonsense measure, but today’s vote is a signal that the gun lobby’s grip on Congress is slowly slipping away.

“Between the Senate filibuster, the House sit-in, and this vote, we have helped create a massive uprising of support in favor of laws to make our nation safer from gun violence, and while I know we are far from the finish line, this has been a momentous last eight days for this crusade," said Murphy.

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