A group of Illinois House Democrats came out Friday in support of bipartisan legislation to reduce gun violence.
Republican Rep. Bob Dold introduced the legislation, which would deny the sale of firearms to known or suspected terror suspects.
“Stopping gun violence requires more than moments of silence - we need action,” Dold said in a statement. “The only way we’re going to actually make progress to keep families safe is through bipartisan action. This bipartisan, bicameral proposal to keep dangerous weapons away from those who wish to do our country harm, while protecting due process, is an important step forward and a bipartisan solution we should all be able to get behind."
The bill serves as a companion to bipartisan legislation created by Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine. Rep. Robin Kelly is among the co-sponsors of the bill.
“Common sense gun violence protection has been my top priority since being elected to Congress,” Kelly said in a statement. “I am pleased that a handful of brave and honorable Republican colleagues have taken a stand and reached out to work with Democrats on the simples of measures: keeping guns away from terrorists.”
Following a contentious protest on the House floor this week, Kelly urged lawmakers to address the nation’s gun violence problem.
“For 26 hours, I held the floor with my House Democratic colleagues to demand that Congress do its job and address our nation’s gun violence epidemic,” Kelly said in a statement. “This sit-in was a turning point in the movement to enact commonsense gun legislation. There is a renewed resolve to take meaningful action to save lives."
Kelly, who helped organize the sit-in to demand a vote on gun control measures, represents a district includes some of the most violent areas in Chicago and said "people are tired of being silent." During the sit-in, Lawmakers shouted “no bill, no break” as Republican leaders pushed to adjourn the body until July 5.
Dold broke with Republicans this week, opposing the adjournment and calling for a bipartisan plan to reduce gun violence.
"We're actually actively working with members of the other side of the aisle to come up with solutions with the problems that we face," he said. "That's what the people are looking for."
Illinois Reps. Tammy Duckworth, Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez, Cheri Bustos, Danny Davis, mike Quigley and Bill Foster were also present for the protest.
The newly proposed legislation would deny the sale of firearms to individuals on terror watch lists, like the no-fly list. Individuals will be able to challenge denial through a review of the Attorney General's decision in a U.S. District Court.
Additionally, the United States Attorney General could also allow gun sales to go forward to individuals who are covered by the Act, in order to protect counter terrorism investigations.
Under the plan, the Attorney General would also report the number of persons denied a firearm to the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees of the House and Senate. The Attorney General would also disclose the number of petitions filed and the number of instances in which the district court rejected the Attorney General’s position to those committees.
The bill would require that the Attorney General, as well as federal, state and local law enforcement, be notified of any request to transfer a firearm or explosive to people who have been identified in the Terrorist Screening Database over the previous five years.
The renewed push for gun control legislation comes in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando earlier this month.
A gunman opened fire early Sunday morning at Pulse Orlando, a popular gay dance club, killing 49 people and leaving 53 more wounded, police said. The shooting is being called the worst mass shooting in the country’s modern history.