Dem Senator Filibusters for Action on Guns

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Three days after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, a Democratic senator launched a filibuster to force a vote on gun control legislation.
     Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., kicked off the filibuster shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday , vowing not to cede control of the Senate floor until the body considers legislation that would prevent people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns and expand background checks.
     “I’m prepared to stand on this floor and talk about the need for this body to come together on keeping terrorists away from getting guns through those two measures, for frankly as long as I can because I know that we can come together on this issue,” Murphy said on the floor.
     Since the filibuster began, Sens. Cory Booker, D-NJ, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and others have joined Murphy in his quest, interrupting debate of a Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill the Senate took up earlier this morning.
     “Our hope is that by holding the floor today, by saying that we will not move on CJIS bills until we resolve these issues, will provide the impetus for our sides to come together and find that common ground,” Murphy said.
     While there are many ideas for what form the new gun control legislation would take, Democrats have latched on to a proposal to change laws to prevent people on an FBI terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons.
     Democrats tried to pass a similar measure during last December’s budget reconciliation vote, but it failed due to a procedural issue.
     Republicans have criticized the idea by saying such legislation would deprive people who are placed on the list improperly their right to due process.
     While Murphy talked Wednesday, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., came to the floor to raise this issue and question whether the watch list Democrats talk about in their calls for the measure even exists.
     “I would just like to ask if you can explain to me what ‘the terrorist watch list’ is,” Sasse said on the floor. “I’m familiar with the terrorist screening database, there are a series of lists that fall from the database but I don’t think there’s any such thing as ‘the terrorist watch list’ and I certainly don’t understand what due process rights would apply to this list.”
     Murphy told Sasse there is one “consolidated” list that pulls from other databases, including the No Fly List, and assured him legislation from Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., would use this “amalgam” of lists and give people the ability to contest their placement on the list.
     As the filibuster stretched into its fourth hour, it was still underway, with Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., speaking about the contributing factors that led Omar Mateen to carry out the attack in Orlando.

%d bloggers like this: