After spending nearly 15 hours straight talking about gun control, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and other Senate Democrats relinquished the floor early Thursday morning [June 16], according to Politico. This comes after the tragedy in Orlando, FL, where 49 people lost their lives after a gunman shot up a gay club.
The chamber is likely to vote on two Democratic-backed gun measures including a proposal from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which is meant to bar those on federal terror watch lists from being able to obtain firearms of any kind. The second measure comes from Murphy and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), which includes mandating background checks for sales at gun shows and over the internet. Republicans are also expected to include their own proposals for voters.
At the beginning of the filibuster, Murphy stated, “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.”
According to reports:
The Connecticut senator, who had been a leading gun-control advocate in the Senate since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, took to the floor at 11:21 a.m. Wednesday to draw attention to the Democrats’ latest push to crack down on firearms laws. But it was a caucus-wide effort — 38 other Senate Democrats joined Murphy in the filibuster that lasted 14 hours and 50 minutes, with a handful of lawmakers, including Booker and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), standing with Murphy for hours on end. Murphy formally yielded at 2:11 a.m. Thursday after delivering an emotional tribute to two Sandy Hook victims: 6-year-old Dylan Hockley and a teacher’s aide, Anne Marie Murphy, who was fatally shot while trying to shield Hockley from bullets.
“It doesn’t take courage to stand here on the floor of the United States Senate for two hours or six hours or 14 hours,” Murphy said. “It takes courage to look into the eye of a shooter and instead of running, wrapping your arms around a six-year-old boy and accepting death. If Anne Marie Murphy could do that, then ask yourself: What can you do to make sure that Orlando or Sandy Hook never, ever happens again?”
At one point during the filibuster, Murphy looked up at his son and apologized to him for missing pizza night saying, “I hope that you’ll understand someday why we’re doing this.”