Democrats’ Gun Control Sit-In Sparks Late-Night Clash on House Floor

Lawmakers pull out pillows, blankets and snacks as they prepare for a long night

Last Updated: June 22, 2016 @ 10:23 PM

There was no end in sight to the Democrats’ sit-in Wednesday night as lawmakers settled in for the long haul while campaigning for gun control.

Led by a civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis, the Democrats took control of the chamber demanding a vote on gun control legislation, leading Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to dub their actions a “publicity stunt.”

At 10 p.m. ET, Ryan gaveled the chamber into order in an attempt to hold on a procedural vote on an unrelated matter. Democrats — some holding signs with the names of victims of gun violence — chanted “no bill, no break” and “shame shame shame,” and sang “We Shall Overcome,” CNN reported.

Prepared to stay throughout the night, lawmakers pulled out pillows and blankets on the House floor, while others brought out snacks or battery packs to keep the livestream going on Periscope.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts reportedly brought Dunkin’ Donuts for her House colleagues as they tried to stay awake.

“I think we are going to work through the evening!” Rep. Jim Clyburn pledged, prompting an explosion of  cheers.

“We’re going to continue to sit in and sit down,” Lewis, 76, said earlier in the evening. “By sitting in and sitting down, we’re standing up.

“What is the tipping point? Are we blind? Can we see? How many more mothers, how many more fathers need to shed tears of grief before we do something?” the representative from Georgia asked.

Ryan earlier told CNN that he would not schedule a vote on gun bills that have already been defeated in the Senate. “This isn’t trying to come up with a solution to a problem. This is trying to get attention,” he said.

Over 40 Democrats walked into the chamber just before noon ET and pledged to “occupy” the House floor until GOP leadership allowed a vote.

On Monday, the U.S. Senate shot down four measures that would have bolstered gun control. The vote came just over a week after Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 others in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

See the New York Times‘ video of the sit-in below.