US Democratic Senator advocates for gun control

US Democratic Senator, Chris Murphy in 14-hour gun control filibuster.

A US Democratic Senator, Chris Murphy has led a 14-hour filibuster to demand a vote on gun control legislation following the massacre at a gay club in Florida.

Senator Murphy spoke from Wednesday morning into Thursday; the tactic enables senators to block proceedings.

He said he had secured commitments from Republicans to hold a vote but his recommendations are likely to pass.

Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando was the worst in recent US history, with 49 people dead.

Dozens of people remain in hospital, some in a critical condition.

President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden are due to visit Orlando later on Thursday.

Senator Murphy began the filibuster at 11:21 on Wednesday, vowing to stay on the Senate floor “until we get some signal… that we can come together.”

Much of his speech focused on the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his home State of Connecticut in 2012, where 26 people died.

Unconscionable
Senator Murphy said he wanted to force Republicans and Democrats to agree on legislation to deny suspected terrorists the right to buy guns and require universal background checks.

“For those of us that represent Connecticut, the failure of this body to do anything, anything at all in the face of that continued slaughter isn’t just painful to us, it’s unconscionable,” he said.

He later tweeted: “I am proud to announce that after 14+ hours on the floor, we will have a vote on closing the terror gap & universal background checks.”

Gun control is a divisive topic in the US, where the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution.

On Wednesday, Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump said anyone on a terror watch list should be prevented from buying guns.

He tweeted that he would meet powerful lobby group the National Rifle Association to discuss the gun control issue.

 

BBC/Sammie