Congressional Democrats went on the offensive Monday in pursuit of increased regulation on firearms as an answer to the recent terror attack in Florida.
Spurred to action following the death of 49 at Pulse, a gay club in Orlando, over the weekend, lawmakers chided Republican leadership on the issue of gun control.
Each chamber of Congress began the day with a moment of silence for the Orlando victims on Monday. In the House, Democrats led by South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn — who has a number of gun control proposals gathering dust in committee — yelled immediately afterward, “Where’s the bill?” and “No leadership” to which House Speaker Ryan called order.
As afternoon stretched into night, Democrats delivered the first new legislation in the Senate, with Minority Leader Harry Reid paving the way.
“Republicans need to find the backbone to stand up to groups like the NRA and Gun Owners of America. Instead of pushing for more guns, maybe it’s time we make it harder for terrorists and criminals to get guns,” Reid said in a statement.
It was an ally of Reid’s, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, who then called for a revisit of a federal assault weapons ban, expanded background checks and no-fly-list restrictions then introduced the inaugural Orlando-inspired legislation — a proposal banning those with misdemeanor hate crime convictions from possessing or purchasing firearms.
“If you have proven you will commit criminal acts based on hate, you absolutely should not have access to a gun. It’s common…