BREAKING: Senate Dems Launch Filibuster On Gun Control

AP

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Wednesday embarked on a talking filibuster in order to push the Senate to address gun control in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.

The Senate is debating a Commerce, Justice and Science spending bill to which Democrats hope to attach a gun control amendment, and Murphy is seeking to block debate on the amendments “until we have figured out a way to come together on” gun control, according to Politico.

“Senator Murphy and Senate Democrats are holding the floor because they will not accept inaction or half measures in the face of continued slaughter. Congress cannot sit on the sidelines while killers freely buy weapons to brutally murder the people Congress is supposed to be protecting,” Murphy spokesman Chris Harris said in a statement.

“Until private sales at gun shows and over the internet also require stringent background checks and unless suspected terrorists on the no fly list are prohibited from legally purchasing guns, our lax gun laws will continue to allow terrorists and criminals to amass a weapons stockpile,” Harris continued. “Senator Murphy will remain on the floor demanding the Senate adopt these measures.”

On the Senate floor, Murphy said he was pushing for two measures, one sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that would keep people on the terror watch lists from purchasing firearms, and another that would require background checks for gun sales online and at gun shows.

He mentioned the deadly 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut to make his point that Congress has to act on gun violence.

“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,” he said. “And I shudder to think what it’s going to be like for Sen. [Bill] Nelson four years from now to talk to the parents of those that were killed this weekend in Orlando and tell them that four years after Orlando, eight years after Newtown, Congress has been utterly silent.”

“I’ve stood on this floor dozens of times talking about this subject, he continued. “And so this isn’t new to me, but I’m at my wit’s end. I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of the ongoing slaughter of innocence, and I’ve had enough of inaction in this body.”

Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) alternated speaking about gun control on the Senate floor, according to Fox 61 in Connecticut.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) also participated in the filibuster by asking Murphy questions about gun violence on the Senate floor. And Democratic senators are reportedly signing up for time slots to help extend the filibuster through the evening.

Referencing Murphy’s filibuster, an aide to McConnell told TPM “the only thing he’s blocking is any effort to vote on the amendments he says he wants.”

Watch the filibuster live via NBC News:

Lauren Fox contributed reporting.

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