Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor joins today's sit-in protest to demand a vote on gun safety

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Washington, June 22, 2016 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) has joined Civil Rights icon, U.S. Rep. John Lewis (GA5), and Democratic House members for a sit-in protest on the floor of the House of Representatives to demand a vote on keeping weapons away from terrorists and others with violent pasts.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) has joined Civil Rights icon, U.S. Rep. John Lewis (GA5), and Democratic House members for a sit-in protest on the floor of the House of Representatives to demand a vote on keeping weapons away from terrorists and others with violent pasts.

The sit-in started today after fiery remarks by U.S. Rep. Lewis:  “Newtown, Aurora, Charleston, San Bernardino, Orlando.  What is the tipping point, Mr. Speaker?”   

Democrats are demanding that Speaker Ryan keep the House in session -- indeed not leave town -- without voting on gun safety legislation, chanting “No bill no break.” Specifically, the group is pushing for a vote on commonsense issues that U.S. Rep. Castor has been championing -- expanded background checks and legislation preventing gun sales to suspected terrorists.

“My neighbors are still reeling from the Orlando massacre just over a week ago. There have been too many tragedies like the Orlando massacre. The House doesn’t need more moments of silence, it needs to speak up instead. We need commonsense solutions on gun safety aimed at protecting our country, communities, families and especially our children,” U.S. Rep. Castor said. “My home state of Florida has some of the weakest gun laws; we lack expanded background checks that would prevent individuals on the terrorist watch list, criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing guns – the so-called no fly/no buy law we are sitting in for would clearly help fill a big gap in my state.”

In addition, Florida does not have a ban on assault-type weapons or any limits on magazine capacity. High-capacity magazines have been used in 34 mass shootings between 1984 and 2015, according to the FBI. 

“Since Florida’s Republican legislature has refused to stand up to the powerful gun lobby, we must act to keep high-capacity, military-style weapons away from terrorists and others with violent pasts," U.S. Rep. Castor stated.

View U.S. Rep. Castor’s remarks individually recorded via Periscope. A note about the quality of this clip:  House Republican leadership turned off House cameras after the sit-in started, closed the public gallery and banned media access, so individual clips by Members are those recording the fight.

View letter to Speaker Ryan signed by U.S. Rep. Castor.

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