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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Rep. Courtney on the conclusion of house democrats sit-in to demand action on gun violence prevention legislation

June 23, 2016
Press Release
Democratic members of Congress are demanding simple yes or no votes on legislation to prevent gun violence, such as closing gun show and internet sale loopholes, and the so-called ‘no fly-no buy’ provision

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) issued the following statement after a 26 hour sit-in on the House floor to protest Republican inaction on gun violence prevention legislation concluded:

“The outpouring of support from the public over the past 26-hours, praising the actions of House Democrats, demonstrates that the American people support what we are doing and stand firmly behind us,” said Courtney. “We have known for years that more than ninety-percent of Americans support common sense measures like a mandatory background check on all gun purchases. If you buy a gun at a Walmart, you receive a background check, but go online or walk into a gun show and all bets are off. Moreover, I cannot fathom what the rationale is for allowing people who are banned from flying on airplanes because they are suspected terrorists to continue buying firearms just like any other person. Ultimately, all we are asking today is that Republicans simply take a vote. We are not saying that they have to vote yes on these bills, but we are asking that they do their job and take a vote so that their positions are on the record. They can vote no if that is what they believe is right, but not voting at all is unacceptable.

“As one of the first members to sit on the House floor Wednesday morning following Rep. John Lewis’s call to action, I was able to participate in nearly the entire 26-hour protest. I spoke out twice against continued Republican inaction and highlighted that one of the deadliest mass shootings in our nation’s history took place blocks away from the Capitol building at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013. There have been so many similar mass tragedies over the past decade that this one seems to never receive the attention and mourning it deserves. Twelve loyal and hardworking civilian employees of the Navy lost their lives after simply showing up for work one Monday morning.

“I want to thank Rep. John Larson for leading the sit-in along with the civil-rights icon Rep. John Lewis. The House of Representatives needed to be reminded of the gravity of this issue, and I credit Larson and Lewis with doing just that. For 26-hours, they focused the attention of the nation on congressional Republicans complete abdication of their role to protect the American people. While we have not yet received the votes we are asking for, I think it’s clear that the tide has turned in favor of those advocating for common sense solutions to the ongoing epidemic of gun violence gripping this nation.”