Gun Control Debate Takes on New Momentum

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On June 15, 2016, Senate Democrats, responding in part to the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left at least 49 people dead and over 50 people wounded, filibustered for 14 hours and 50 minutes until Senate Republicans agreed to vote on new gun control laws.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) announced via Twitter, “I am proud to announce that after 14+ hours on the floor, we have a vote on closing the terror gap & universal background checks.” Murphy, who launched the filibuster around 11:21am, ended the filibuster by stating on the Senate floor, “I have been so furious since those days following Sandy Hook. I have been so angry that this Congress has mustered absolutely no response to mass shooting, in city after city that is plagued by gun violence.”

The NRA tweeted in response to the filibuster, stating “All gun owners ACT NOW to save their #2A rights!” and linked to an article stating that the organization “has just learned that Senators Schumer, Feinstein and other anti-gun elected officials are going to offer several anti-gun bills and amendments this week in the U.S. Congress, possibly as soon as today! These measures are wide-ranging and include an attempt to reinstate the failed federal ban on semi-automatic firearms, commonly referred to as the ‘assault weapons ban.’ …We must defeat every one of these anti-gun proposals. We can’t let them succeed in this depraved attempt to politicize a tragedy so they can destroy our freedoms.”

Of the 2016 presidential candidates, Gary Johnson believes that people on the no-fly list or terror watch list should be able to purchase guns. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump believe that people on those lists should not be able to purchase guns. Jill Stein has no found position on this issue.

In general, Clinton, Sanders, and Stein are pro more gun control laws, such as universal background checks, while Johnson and Trump are con more gun control laws.


Jonah Engel Bromwich, “Filibuster for Gun Limits Plays out on Social Media,”, June 16, 2016

Phil Helsel and Richie Duchon, “Filibuster Ends after GOP Agrees to Allow Gun Control Votes: Senator,”, June 16, 2016

Chris Murphy, Twitter post,, June 15, 2016

NRA, Twitter post,, June 15, 2016

NRA-ILA, “Your Action Is Needed NOW!,”, June 15, 2016