A mild drama has taken place at the U.S. Senate where democrats staged a sit-in on the floor of the lower house to demand tighter gun control.
This comes after a man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people at the pulse nightclub in Orlando, in the deadliest shooting in modern US history.
Although the 16-hour sit-in at the US House of Representatives failed to force a vote on tougher laws, members of the centre-left Democratic Party said they will keep fighting for gun control
Unlike the Senate, there is no formal mechanism for lawmakers in the House to hold the floor indefinitely.
One congressman, John Lewis, told his colleagues to never give up.
“How many more mothers, how many more fathers need to shed tears of grief before we do something? We were elected to lead, Mr Speaker,” Lewis said during the sit-in.
However, Republican speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, dismissed the protest as a publicity stunt.
“This bill was already defeated in the United States Senate,” the Speaker of the House said, justifying Republican opposition to the bill by adding: “We are not going to take away a citizen’s constitutional rights to due process.”
Ryan further denied that the issue was gun control, but rather terrorism.
“Let’s find out what we need to do to prevent future terrorist attacks. And if a person is on a terror watch list and they go try to buy a gun, we have procedures in place to deal with that,” he told CNN.
Senators are pushing for a compromise, with top Democratic senator Harry Reid, supporting a Republican proposal that would stop gun sales to a limited number of people on some terrorism watch lists.