UPDATE: 2 a.m. EDT — Sen. Chris Murphy tweeted early Thursday that after a filibuster that lasted over 14 hours, the Senate was ready to vote on the gun control legislation. “The fight is far from over,” the Connecticut lawmaker said in another tweet, thanking everyone who supported him.
U.S. Democratic senators led by Chris Murphy, D-Conn., are staging a filibuster Wednesday in an attempt to force the Senate to take a vote on the gun control legislation.
The Senate floor was brought to a halt with the Democrats stating that they would speak for as long as necessary to push the Senate into taking up a variety of gun control measures. The move follows Sunday's deadly Orlando shooting at the Pulse nightclub that left 49 people dead and dozens injured.
“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,” Murphy tweeted.
Murphy suggested expanding background checks for gun buyers and banning people on the terror watch list from buying guns, after listing the number of mass shootings the U.S. has seen in recent years. The lawmaker reportedly highlighted how the Congress’ failure to pass any stringent measures has disappointed him and the residents of Connecticut where a gunman shot 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school in 2012.
“The failure of this body to do anything, anything at all in the face of that continued slaughter isn't just painful to us, it's unconscionable,” he said. “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.”
Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that Murphy's filibuster had delayed legislative action on guns and other issues, although there were reportedly no votes scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
“Sen. Murphy’s effort today prevents the Senate from processing any amendments, including amendments he supports, as well as efforts proposed by Republicans to help prevent terrorist attacks here at home,” Stewart said.