Illinois Democrats Join House Sit-In for Gun Control

"The fact of the matter is all we’re asking for is a vote. Americans want this vote on gun violence," Duckworth said

Illinois Democrats joined a protest in the chamber of the House of Representatives Wednesday to demand a vote on gun control measures, NBC News reports.

Lawmakers shouted “no bill, no break” as Republican leaders pushed to adjourn the body until July 5.

Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly, who helped organize the sit-in and spoke on the House floor, called for immediate action on gun safety during the protest. Kelly’s district includes some of the most violent areas in Chicago.

In April, Kelly launched the Urban Progress Initiative that looks to reduce gun violence and create economic development in Chicago and across the country. Kelly initiative is supported by fellow Illinois Reps. Tammy Duckworth and Cheri Bustos.

In May, Kelly also introduced a joint resolution to the House and Senate alongside Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin to create National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Durbin was also present for the sit-in.

The first National Gun Violence Awareness Day was held on June 2. 

Rep. Tammy Duckworth was also present at the sit-in. She called American gun violence “absolutely horrific” Wednesday.

“We can work to end this violence with common sense gun legislation,” Duckworth said in a statement. "But to do that, the House needs to take action. The fact of the matter is all we’re asking for is a vote. Americans want this vote on gun violence."

"Do not silence my constituents - no bill, no break,” she added.

Illinois Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez, Cheri Bustos, Danny Davis, Mike Quigley and Bill Foster were also present during the protest.

"I’ve been on the House floor for over 24 [hours] fighting for action on gun safety,” Schakowsky wrote on twitter Thursday.

Democrats were forced to turn to social media to document the protest after Republican congressional leaders shut off C-SPAN cameras Wednesday.

The sit-in stretched into its second day Thursday after Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan finally adjourned the body during a contentious overnight session.

Ryan said that despite outcry from Democrats, measures that would ban terror suspects from buying guns and impose universal background checks would not be considered because they “already failed in committee.” He also called the sit-in "a publicity stunt."

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