Sen. Murphy continues gun control push after 15 hour filibuster - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Sen. Murphy continues gun control push after 15 hour filibuster

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Sen. Chris Murphy filibustered for nearly 15 hours on Wednesday. (CSPAN photo) Sen. Chris Murphy filibustered for nearly 15 hours on Wednesday. (CSPAN photo)
WASHINGTON (WFSB) -

U.S. Senate Democrat Chris Murphy continued his gun control pleas with other Democrats and survivors of gun violence from around the country.

He said he and his colleagues were joined by survivors of attacks in Charleston, SC, San Bernardino, CA and elsewhere to urge Congress to pass legislation to keep guns out of "the wrong hands."

In recent days, Democrats said they unveiled and pushed for proposals that would increase funding for the FBI's counter-terrorism efforts to track and stop terrorists, enhance a terror watchlist program and boost grants that give local police around the country resources to train against active shooters.

They are also pushing for passage of legislation to close a "terror gap" and prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms and explosives.

Murphy and his colleagues ended a nearly 15-hour series of speeches trying to force congress to tighten gun laws early Thursday morning.

"I know it accomplished something because when we got to the Senate this week. There was going to be no debate on Orlando," Murphy told Eyewitness News on Thursday.

The lengthy filibuster came in response to the Orlando night club shooting, one of the nation’s deadliest on its history.

"It is so damaging to this country to leave people exposed to this potential terror, but it also damaging to the reputation of this body, which is about as low as you can get already, if we don't act," Murphy said.  

Furious over inaction on the part of Congressional lawmakers to tackle gun-related violence in the wake of numerous mass shootings, Murphy and other Democrats held control of the chamber.

"I think it sends a dangerous message," Murphy said. "I think it's a message of complete inability of this body to deal with big, important questions of the day. There is no doubt we have disagreements."

To keep control of the largely empty senate chamber, Murphy said he had to stand at his desk which he did for more than 10 hours.

Democrats said they want stronger background checks and those on terror watch lists banned from buying guns or explosives.

Murphy called the Orlando shooting devastating and also cited tragedy in Connecticut. He referenced the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in which 26 students and staff members were killed.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal was among those who joined Murphy during the filibuster.

It has been nearly a decade since Congress passed significant gun reforms. 

In 2007, Congress passed a law that strengthened instant background checks after a gunman with a history of mental illness killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.

The filibuster did not end with a vote, but a commitment for one, which Murphy said is the Democrats’ ultimate goal.

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