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Legislators’ Demonstrate to Spur Votes on Gun Control

2016 June 28

 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, more than 170 House Democrats led by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a former leader in the Civil Rights movement, staged a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives to try to spur votes on gun control legislation. 


Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) soon declared a recess, which meant that the cameras that stream to C-SPAN were turned off and could not broadcast the demonstration.  This led many of the Democrats to begin filming and streaming video from their phones, in violation House rules. Some of their footage ended up on C-SPAN and other news outlets and the hashtag #NoBillNoBreak was formed. 

Many of the representatives gave speeches inside and outside of the House, including Rep. Al Green (D-TX), who spoke at a press conference, and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), who declared his support for his fellow representatives

When Speaker Ryan attempted to hold procedural votes, the Democrats erupted in loud songs and protests to try to disrupt the behavior on the floor until the votes they requested on gun control were held. This finally came to a head when the House session was adjourned around 3am until after July 4.   

This demonstration mirrored a similar event that happened in the Senate only a week prior, when Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) held a talking filibuster for nearly 15 hours on the floor of the Senate to spur a vote on pieces of gun control legislation, four of which—S Amdt 4720S Amdt 4749S Amdt 4750 and  ...

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