House Democrats are planning additional protests in order to push for votes on new gun control measures, according to a memo from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
The memo, obtained over the weekend by Fox News, calls on members of the CBC to prepare for “floor activities” relating to gun violence when the House reconvenes.
“Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) would like CBC members to be present for Floor activities on gun violence when the House returns to session on Tuesday, July 5, 2016,” the memo stated. “The plan is to be as disruptive to (House) Speaker (Paul) Ryan (R-WI) as possible next week.”
In addition to tactics that disrupt House business, the CBC wants a large number of its members to deliver five-minute speeches relating to gun control when the House gavels into session at noon. A series of one-minute speeches will follow when the House gavels back in at 2 pm. Then, during unrelated evening votes, the CBC wants its members to hold “a printed piece of paper with an image of a constituent killed by a firearm.”
The memo also noted that “the focus of the day is not just mass shootings and terrorism, but the everyday killings that are occurring in many CBC Member districts.”
It should be noted that the overwhelming majority of municipalities with high incidents of gun violence already have some of the most restrictive gun control measures in the country.
Speaker Paul Ryan has indicated his intention to bring to the House floor a bill that would establish a process for federal officials allow law enforcement to delay the sale of a gun to a terrorism suspect for three days, in order to give the Justice Department time to make a case before a judge that the person should not be allowed to buy a gun due to terrorism concerns.
Democrats have called the plan “unworkable” and blocked a similar bill in the Senate. Rather, House Democrats want votes on two amendments, one to expand background checks to private gun sales and another to block gun sales to people on the terrorism watch lists.
Democrats, led by Representative John Lewis (D-GA), staged a “sit-in” on the floor of the House in late June calling for more gun control, asking, “where is the heart of this body. Where is our soul?”
Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) lambasted the Democrats’ actions on the House floor, noting their use of the term “sit-in” was an insult to the Civil Rights movement.
“Calling this a sit-in is a disgrace to Woolworth’s,” he said on Twitter.