Democratic Representatives Sit In for 'Common Sense' Gun Regulations

Jun 22, 2016

Democratic members of the US House of Representatives staged a Sit-In on the House floor Wed. demanding measures on gun control, more than a week after the deadliest shooting in the U.S.

Their seated protest comes days after four pieces of gun control legislation were blocked in the Senate Mon. 

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-17th District) was among several Illinois representatives sitting on the carpeted chamber floor, in front of the Republican House Speaker’s empty podium.

Bustos called the proposals “common sense” measures that are long overdue.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill., 17) sat in on the House floor Wed. alongside fellow democratic legislators demanding tighter regulations on firearm sales.
Credit Jared Smith / Communications Dir. for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

“The American public is crying out for this. I think when you have five and six year old children who were slaughtered while they were going to their elementary school, if that wasn’t enough not enough to do something, I don’t know what in the heck is,” Bustos said, referring to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 that left 20 children dead.

“Every time we have a mass shooting, we stand up and have a moment of silence and nothing is done, we haven’t even been given the courtesy of debating these issues that are so important,” Bustos said.

The measures, that include a ban on sales to terrorists, were proposed in the days following the shootings at an gay nightclub in Orlando.

The group of Democratic lawmakers is demanding that Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan keep the House in session through next week to call up the legislation for debate and a vote.

The protest was led by Rep. John Lewis, of Georgia. Lewis is known for his involvement in the Civil Rights movement organizing protests, including sit-ins. He also marched from Selma with Martin Luther King, Jr.