House Democrats have staged a sit-down protest on the House floor, seeking a vote on gun control measures following the Orlando nightclub shooting.
A group of about 30 Democrats led by Georgia Rep. John Lewis demanded a vote on measures to expand background checks and block gun purchases by some suspected terrorists, before sitting down and "occupying" the House floor.
DEVELOPING: Democrats staging sit-in on US House floor over gun violence. https://t.co/8Dn1OVJib8 https://t.co/KYKvYvzbBlJune 22, 2016
The group demanded that House Speaker Paul Ryan keep the House in session through its planned weeklong recess next week to debate and vote on gun legislation.
Rep. John Larson of Connecticut said lawmakers were "calling for the simple dignity of a vote."
"Our country cannot afford to stand by while this Congress continues to be paralyzed by politics," he added.
House Democrats have staged a sit in so Republicans can't obstruct gun violence prevention. https://t.co/ud7REHnFDd pic.twitter.com/ITXyxj2cZBJune 22, 2016
Larson and other Democrats cited polls showing broad public support for expanding background checks for firearms purchases and blocking suspected terrorists from buying guns.
"Rise up Democrats, rise up Americans," Larson said. "We will occupy this chamber."
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the number-two Democrat in the House, said, "We will not be shut up. We will not be shut down."
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