After nearly 15 hours of filibustering launched by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who was supported by fellow Democrats Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Senate Republicans finally agreed to allow votes on two gun measures.
Though senators had yet to formally strike a deal, the Senate was likely to vote on two Democratic-backed gun measures: a proposal from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) meant to bar those on federal terror watch lists from obtaining firearms, and a plan from Murphy and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) mandating background checks for sales at gun shows and over the internet. Republicans are expected to put forward two of their own proposals for votes.
I am proud to announce that after 14+ hours on the floor, we will have a vote on closing the terror gap & universal background checks— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 16, 2016
As Sen. Murphy and others pointed out over and over, these measures are supported by the VAST majority of Americans. One recent poll showed 90% of Democrats favor universal background checks, as well as 80% of Republicans.
Of course, the Senators themselves probably do, too. Their opposition most isn't to the measures themselves. The problem is an actual vote where they have to go on record, and in doing so possibly anger the all-powerful NRA.
As the filibuster came to a close, Senator Chris Murphy recalled the story of Sandy Hook student Dylan Hockley and his teacher Anne Marie Murphy, who died trying to protect him from gunfire.
“It doesn’t take courage to stand here on the floor of the U.S. Senate… It takes courage to look into the eye of a shooter and instead of running wrapping your arms around a 6-year-old boy and accepting death,” Murphy said. “If Ann-Marie Murphy could do that then ask yourself — what can you do to make sure that Orlando or Sandy Hook never, ever happens again.”