Newark, N.J. – On July 1, 2016, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) held a symbolic sit-in in his Newark office with constituents to discuss gun violence and call on House Republicans to hold a vote on bipartisan legislation to address the epidemic. The symbolic sit-in built on the momentum from last week’s historic sit-in by House Democrats, including Congressman Payne, Jr., to demand Republican leaders hold a vote on common-sense gun safety legislation.
“Today our community came together to demand action on gun violence prevention, to demand a vote on widely supported, bipartisan legislation,” said Congressman Payne, Jr.
“What we want—what communities across America want—is an end to the killing, an end to the inaction, an end to the excuses. We are resolved to win this fight.”
The symbolic sit-in came after House Democrats held a 26-hour sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis, to demand that Speaker Paul Ryan allow a vote on two pieces of bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation. One is bipartisan legislation to expand and strengthen the background check system. The other is a bipartisan “No Fly, No Buy” bill to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists. House Republicans have voted 14 times to block consideration of the bipartisan “No Fly, No Buy” legislation.
“Our laws should keep guns out of the wrong hands, not make it easier for dangerous individuals to get weapons,” added Congressman Payne, Jr. “Our constituents deserve a vote on background checks, they deserve a vote on banning individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns, and we’re not going to stop fighting until we get a meaningful vote.”
This week, House Democrats, community advocates, and families across the country are holding events to demand that Republicans in Congress act on bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation.
New Jersey leaders who participated in the symbolic sit-in included: Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss; Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca; Hillside Mayor Angela Garretson; New Jersey Assemblyman Jamel Holley; Essex Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake; Essex Freeholder Clerk Deborah Davis-Ford; East Orange City Council Chairman Ted Green; East Orange Councilman Casim Gomez; Newark Councilman at Large Luis Quintana; Newark Councilman at Large Eddie Osborne; Linden Councilwoman Rhashonna Cosby-Hurling; and Roselle Park Councilwoman at Large Charlene Storey.