A group of Democrats in the US House of Representatives have staged a sit-in on the House floor to garner support for a bipartisan bill on gun-control in the wake of the country’s deadliest shooting in Orlando, Florida.
The so-called "no fly, no gun" bill would ban suspected terrorists on the government’s no-fly list from buying guns.
The two-dozen-strong group of lawmakers, led by Georgia Representative John Lewis, sat down on the floor and started chanting “No bill, no break.”
In a speech on Wednesday morning, Lewis said that he was pushing for a cause that was supported by the majority of American people.
“Give us a vote; let us vote; we came here to o our job, we came here to work!” he said. “The American people are demanding action. Do we have the courage; do we have the raw courage to make at least a down payment on ending gun violence in America?”
The sit-in sent the House into recess after the Democrats refused to get up from the floor. A live broadcast of the event was stopped when House Speaker Paul Ryan turned off the cameras.
The move came after four bipartisan gun-control measures failed to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome opposition from Republican lawmakers on Monday, days after the June 12 mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Club that killed 49 people, injuring 53 others.
The massacre had prompted a marathon 15-hour filibuster in the Senate in order to force a vote on the bills.
The House is comprised of 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats and Independents who vote with them.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of using the gun-control issue to gain political advantage.
He also defended two Republican measures that sought to increase funding for the national background check system and establish a judicial review process to keep a person on a terror watch list from buying a gun.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid described the Republican measures as "political stunts" and stated they are "meaningless in doing something to stop gun violence."