By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – Senate Democrats are mounting a filibuster to pressure their Republican counterparts to support legislation that would deny people on government watch lists access to firearms.
The bill would also require background checks for all gun purchases.
Led by Sen. Chris Murphy who vowed to speak as long as he physically can until the Senate takes action, Democrats are hoping to get support from Republicans to add the amendments to a pending spending bill.
“I am prepared to stand on the Senate floor and talk about the need to prevent gun violence for as long as I can. I've had #Enough,” the senator tweeted shortly before he started speaking at 11.20 a.m. (1520GMT).
Filibusters are protracted speeches used by lawmakers to stall progress on legislation.
Murphy represents the state of Connecticut where 20 children and six teachers were killed in 2012 at an elementary school.
Gun control has again gained traction following a mass shooting. This time after Omar Mateen allegedly opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 victims and wounding 53 others.
Democrats in particular have rallied around the shooting, hoping to toughen restrictions on individuals, particularly preventing individuals on government watch lists from being able to buy a gun and implementing universal background checks before the sale of a firearms.
Most states do not require background checks to purchase a firearm at a gun show or require the buyer to present identification when purchasing from a private seller.