Sen. Murphy filibusters calling for vote on gun control - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Sen. Murphy filibusters calling for vote on gun control

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Sen. Chris Murphy. (C-SPAN2 photo) Sen. Chris Murphy. (C-SPAN2 photo)

Connecticut lawmakers took to the U.S. Senate floor to said they won't rest until some common sense gun violence laws are passed.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said he was prepared to speak on the Senate floor for as long as it took to come up with legislation. 

Murphy called for legislation that would "prevent individuals on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List from purchasing guns – and to expand background checks." He said he wants to keep guns out of the hands of known or suspected terrorists. 

For more than 10 hours, the Democrats led by Murphy have been filibustering on the Senate floor. At least 23 other Senate Democrats have joined Murphy.  

"The second amendment is not an absolute right," Murphy said. 

Forty-nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on Sunday. During his speech, Murphy said he has "had enough" after the shootings in Orlando and Newtown where 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

"Our heart breaks collectively in this country for the citizens of Orlando and as I’ll speak in a moment, in particular in Connecticut. Our heart breaks for the people of Orlando because we know in a very real way the pain that exists there today, but we also know how that pain is really never ending, how the ripples of that pain are unceasing and unrelenting and they span generations," Murphy said during his speech. “They span neighborhoods. They span years. Newtown is still putting itself back together, probably will be for a long time, and Orlando the same."

Murphy said he wants action and technically the Senate Democrats are blocking Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from ending the debate on the legislation. 

“By acting, by coming together and finding a way to act on these two noncontroversial measures, I think we also send an important signal to the American public and to would-be murderers that we're serious about stemming this epidemic," Murphy said during his speech. “And so I’m going to remain on this floor until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together on these two measures, that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful bipartisan way." 

Murphy said planned to continue to hold the floor until Republicans were "willing to work with Democrats to take meaningful action to pass commonsense gun reform laws."

"It won't surprise you to know that for those of us that represent Connecticut, the failure of this body to do anything – anything – at all in the face of that continued slaughter isn't just painful to us. It's unconscionable," Murphy said. "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." 

The senator said he wants laws that "keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and make our communities safer."

"But this is a different moment today than it was at the end of last week," Murphy said during his speech. "There is a newfound imperative for this body to find a way to come together and take action, to try to do our part to stem this epidemic of gun violence, and in particular this epidemic of mass shootings that plagues this nation and no other industrialized nation in the world."

Hillary Clinton tweeted about the actions of Murphy. 

Blumenthal was one of the Senators that joined Murphy during his filibuster. 

"The laws enable people to kill people," Sen. Richard Blumenthal said. "Enough is enough, that is from a young person that lives in Danbury Connecticut and it summarizes the feeling of powerlessness and helplessness and fury that Americans all across the county feel." 

Blumenthal and Rep. Elizabeth Esty also called for "immediate Senate action." 

Esty even provided Murphy with food and Red Bull during the filibuster. 

U.S. Reps. Joe Courtney and Jim Himes also came to support their fellow congressman. 

 Reps. John Larson and Rosa DeLauro also lent their support for Murphy. 

Earlier in the day, Esty also addressed the Senate. She said a counter-terrorism response was needed.

“This terrorist attack was a hate crime," she told Congress. "And if we ignore that brutal reality, if we’re silent about it, then we disrespect the victims of this tragedy, their families, and LGBT Americans across this nation."

Esty said she's the sister of a gay man and called the attack personal not just to her, but to every American.

"It’s an attack on our families, our neighbors, our friends," she said. "It’s an attack on our diversity, our freedoms, and our values.”

A majority of Americans support universal background checks. Seven polls were conducted by Quinnipiac University following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School through November 5, 2015. The polls showed that 93 percent of American voters support "requiring background checks for all gun buyers." 

"Tougher gun laws won't stop people," William Clapp said. "You have to stop people with criminal backgrounds, not let them buy them."

However, others told Eyewitness News the current gun laws were not enough to stop criminals.  

"If you are on a no fly list that's a red flag right away," Bonita Treglia said. "They should not be able to buy guns." 

"I don't think the laws are strict enough," JoAnne McCormick said. Too many can get guns, too many criminals."

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