Representative John Lewis and about two dozen other Democrats occupied the floor of the House in support of a no fly, no buy measure that would prevent those on no fly lists from buys guns.
In addition to the sit-in, the Democrats sent Speaker Ryan a letter to underscore the need to tackle this issue.
“Dear Mr. Speaker, As the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history has underscored, our country cannot afford to stand by while this Congress continues to be paralyzed by politics,” the letter reads. “We urge you to lead the House into action and work with both sides of the aisle to pass commonsense solutions to keep American children and families safe.”
The Congressmen taking part in the sit in are demanding legislation to expand background checks of those purchasing guns online and at gun shows.
“Over the last 12 years, gun-related crimes claimed more American lives than AIDS, war, and illegal drug overdoses combined. Since Newtown, tens of thousands of lives have been lost to this deadly crisis,” the letter continued. “The number of bills that have been debated and passed by this Congress to prevent such deaths is zero.”
Lewis announced the sit in early Wednesday morning as House Republicans broke for recess.
“How many more mothers, how many more fathers need to shed tears of grief before we do something? We were elected to lead. We must be headlights, and not taillights,” Lewis said. “We must not continue to stick our head in the sand and ignore the reality of mass gun violence in our nation. We want to do our job. We came here to work.”
Some members of the sit in tweeted images from the House floor on which they are literally sitting.
— Rep. John Yarmuth (@RepJohnYarmuth) 22 June 2016
See the full announcement of the no fly, no buy sit in below.