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Sen. Murray joined Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) in filibuster on Senate floor with demands for common sense action on gun control 

Senate Democrats pushing specifically to close the terror gap and expand background checks

Murray: “Every time after there is a new mass shooting, I hear the same questions from my constituents back home in Washington state – what is Congress going to do to stop this?” 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and her Democratic colleagues on the Senate floor to demand action on gun violence, following the devastating mass shooting in Orlando at an LGBT nightclub on Sunday. To demonstrate the desperate need for congressional action on the widespread epidemic of gun violence, Senator Murray referred to the 2014 shootings at Seattle Pacific University, where three students were shot and one was killed, and at Marysville-Pilchuck High School where five students were shot and four were killed by their classmate.

Senator Murray believes that at the very least, Congress should be able to get behind Senate Democrats’ request to vote on legislation that would close the ‘terror gap’ and expand background checks for gun sales as part of the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science Appropriations bill currently being debated on the Senate floor. Democrats proposed this fix to close the terror gap in December, but it was blocked by Republicans. She is a cosponsor of an amendment filed today by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to again attempt to close the terror gap. According to a December 2015 Quinnipiac poll, 77 percent of American voters support legislation to prevent people on the government's terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s floor remarks:

“As we mourn for the victims and families impacted by the horrific violence and act of terror against LGBT and Latino Americans in Orlando this Sunday, we are once again reminded that nowhere is safe from the horrific epidemic of gun violence in our country. Not even our schools—which should be safe havens for our students. I know you know this all too well. And my home state of Washington is no stranger to it either.”

“In 2014, a man walked into an academic hall at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, shooting three students, and taking the life of a freshman. And later that year, a 15-year old boy shot five other students, killing four, at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville—with his father’s gun. These shootings were absolutely devastating—to parents, siblings, friends, teachers—entire communities in Washington state. And these were just two examples—and just in my home state.”

“It sickens me that in America today, parents have to wonder if their children will be safe when they go to the movie theater, the mall, or just to school for the day. Every time after there is a new mass shooting, I hear the same questions from my constituents back home in Washington state – what is Congress going to do to stop this?”

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“First of all, I want to thank the Senator for bringing attention to this critical issue—and for everything he does to fight for more than just thoughts and prayers—but for action. Few Senators have a better firsthand understanding of this issue. The impact it has on families and communities. And the urgent need to address it.

“As we mourn for the victims and families impacted by the horrific violence and act of terror against LGBT and Latino Americans in Orlando this Sunday, we are once again reminded that nowhere is safe from the horrific epidemic of gun violence in our country. Not even our schools—which should be safe havens for our students. I know you know this all too well. And my home state of Washington is no stranger to it either.

“In 2014, a man walked into an academic hall at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, shooting three students, and taking the life of a freshman. And later that year, a 15-year old boy shot five other students, killing four, at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville—with his father’s gun. These shootings were absolutely devastating—to parents, siblings, friends, teachers—entire communities in Washington state. And these were just two examples—and just in my home state.

“In Newtown—and across the country—there are just too many shootings in schools to name. According to a report from Everytown—from 2013 through 2016 we had 188 shootings at schools across the country. Not all mass murders. Some just a gun going off in the air. Others where students were wounded. Others attempts at self-harm. But all absolutely terrifying in our schools. And it is showing no signs of letting up.

“It sickens me that in America today, parents have to wonder if their children will be safe when they go to the movie theater, the mall, or just to school for the day. Every time after there is a new mass shooting, I hear the same questions from my constituents back home in Washington state – what is Congress going to do to stop this?

“And it frustrates me that, every time, I come back with the same answer–that we have been blocked from doing anything in response to my constituents, and the people across the country - people who are asking – begging – for us to do something—anything - to stop the scourge of gun violence that has once again been splashed across the front pages of our newspapers and on our TV screens.

“Senator Murphy, I know you are talking about a number of issues around gun violence—but my first question is—can you talk a little bit about how this impacts students in particular?”

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