MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy seized the floor unexpectedly on Wednesday morning, trying to force a Senate vote on two gun safety measures.
One bill seeks to ban gun sales to people on the terrorist watch lists, and the other is to require background checks for gun shows and online purchases.
“I’ve had enough,” Murphy said.
Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken were two of 35 Democratic Senators joining the filibuster.
“We are looking at, first of all, a dangerous loophole that allows terrorists to buy firearms here in the United States,” Sen. Klobuchar said.
The filibuster Democrats cited reports that 23 million people got background checks last year before buying a gun.
Two-hundred-and-forty-four were found to be on the terrorist watch list, and 223 — 91 percent of them — were approved to buy a gun.
“Does that not suggest that we aren’t coming close to doing everything in our power to combat terrorism and address gun violence?” Sen. Al Franken said.
The 15-hour filibuster exploded on social media, with more than half a million tweets with the hashtag “enough.”
Republicans promise two votes on gun safety legislation, but called the spectacle a “campaign talk-a-thon.”
“Our responsibility in the senate is to make a choice: work on serious solutions to prevent terrorist attacks, or use the Senate as a campaign studio,” McConnell said.
Republicans say what Democrats are proposing would not have prevented the Orlando massacre. They say it was not a random act of violence, but a calculated act of terror.
There will be a vote Monday and Tuesday on the two gun bills. Considering that both did not pass after the Sandy Hook Massacre — when children accounted for most of the fatalities — the bills are not expected to pass again.