Queens House reps stage sit-in to demand gun vote

Dozens of Democratov members of Congress — Including Reps. Joe Crowley and Grace Meng (far left) and Gregory Meekls (far right) — staged an unprecedented sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives demanding a vote on proposed gun control legislation.
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The Queens congressional delegation hit the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday as more than 50 Democratic representatives from across the country staged a sit-in to demand a vote on gun legislation.

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) was positioned on the floor next to colleague John Lewis (D-Ga.), a veteran of the civil rights movement, who led the sit-in. U.S. Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), who spoke from a podium above the seated reps, Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing) were also part of the protest, which involved using social media to get their message out.

Several Democratic senators crossed over into the House to support the sit-in, where cries of “no bill, no break” were heard in the chamber.

Meeks said Democratic representatives had come up with the idea the day before to offer short speeches concluding with Lewis, at which point they would sit on the House floor. Meeks said the protest sprang from Lewis’ exasperation over Congress’ inaction on gun control.

“He said he was tired of just coming here after mass shootings and just having a moment of silence,” Meeks said. “Let’s take a vote on it. Let them know where you stand.”

Meeks said the group was pushing for expanded background checks and to prevent people on the federal “no-fly” list from being able to purchase a weapon. He said several senators, including Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), had joined the congressional representatives during the day.

Meeks was adamant that they would stay as long as was necessary to achieve their goal.

“We’re not leaving. The House is not going to be able to operate until we get a vote,” he said. “Members are going to stay on the floor of the House until we get a vote.”

Once the sit-in began, House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) let Texas Republican Ted Poe gavel a recess, which ended C-Span’s coverage of the official session. But the representatives immediately jumped onto their cell phones to express their frustration over Congress’s most recent failure to pass bills that would have denied suspected terrorists on the “no-fly” list the right to obtain firearms.

From the floor of the House, Maloney said, “It has been two days since the Senate failed to pass four pieces of legislation aimed at curbing gun violence prevention; two days since the Republican Party showed once again that they are willing to put the lives of millions of Americans at risk. And in the House, we cannot even get a vote. Time after time we have pushed for Congress to say ‘Enough is Enough!’ but our attempts have been blocked at every turn.”

The congresswoman went on to say she and her colleagues had been “pushed to the breaking point.”

She added, “I find it appalling that Speaker Ryan would allow the House to recess without bringing this to a vote. This inaction is an insult to those who have lost their lives to gun violence.”

In a telephone interview from the floor of the House, Crowley said: “Our message is simple: Let the House vote on commonsense gun violence prevention legislation and let us vote now.”

Determined to break the stalemate, he said: “We can’t keep holding moments of silence without taking action to prevent the next tragedy. We owe it to the victims in Orlando, and across the country, to take a stand and hold a vote. Speaker Ryan shouldn’t adjourn the House without addressing this crisis.”

(adding texas rep. ted poe gaveled the recess)

Updated 9:46 pm, June 22, 2016
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Reader feedback

Helton from Flushing says:
Sitting on the floor doing nothing. That's a position our reps are used to being in.
June 22, 2016, 5:37 pm
AD from College Point says:
Strange that our elected officials have little to no understanding of the law as written. The second amendment is a constitutional right that cannot be denied except by a court. So this comes down to due process. A court must declare someone unfit to deny their purchase of a firearm. The "no fly" list and the terrorism watch list are merely administrative tools, not vetted by courts. The gun laws being proposed by Democrats essentially make one guilty until proven innocent. Luckily in the USA, the presumption of innocence is widely supported the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments.

Down with political theater.
June 22, 2016, 6:02 pm
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Some of you actually need to read the 2nd amendment.

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Key words, "well regulated" and "being necessary to the security of a free state". REGULATED as in what type of gun or weapon a person can have . Our forefathers could not look into the future and predict that we would have assault weapons like the AK-15, which should only be used by law enforcement and military, not a regular citizen. And glad to see that AD from college point has no problem with a terrorist getting their hands on an AK-15.

It is called common sense. No one is taking your guns away, just that assault weapons, just like tanks, land to air missiles, bazookas and tanks cannot be purchased by citizens.
June 22, 2016, 6:49 pm
Lou from Bayside says:
Wanna be Antichrist Hussein Obama , the greatest gun salesman in the United States! Without guns these fiends would try anything. The only thing standing between us and being put in internment camps by these freaks is guns. Long live the gun owners in this country who due to the wise intelligence of the founding fathers are able to exercise their right to arm themselves. To me personally there is no more scary figure and no bigger need for an armed citizenry than the great stain on America, Hussein Obama!
June 22, 2016, 10:12 pm
Jon from Bayside says:
Dim-Dems doing what comes naturally: sitting on the floor. Too stupid to pull the sheet over their lifeless, incapable, and corrupt eyes.
June 23, 2016, 3:18 am
shirley from bayside says:
How many of you hot shots need assault weapons to go deer hunting??? This type of gun should be for military only.
June 24, 2016, 10:25 am

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