WASHINGTON --House Democrats staged a sit-down protest Wednesday, seeking a vote on gun control measures following the Orlando nightclub shooting.
A group of about 30 Democrats led by Georgia Rep. John Lewis demanded a vote on measures to expand background checks and block gun purchases by some suspected terrorists, before sitting down and "occupying" the House floor.
The group demanded that House Speaker Paul Ryan keep the House in session through its planned weeklong recess next week to debate and vote on gun legislation.
Rep. John Larson of Connecticut said lawmakers were "calling for the simple dignity of a vote."
"Our country cannot afford to stand by while this Congress continues to be paralyzed by politics," he added.
Larson and other Democrats cited polls showing broad public support for expanding background checks for firearms purchases and blocking suspected terrorists from buying guns.
"Rise up Democrats, rise up Americans," Larson said. "We will occupy this chamber."
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said, "We will not be shut up. We will not be shut down."
The House was not in session when the Democrats held the demonstration. Republican leaders ordered C-SPAN cameras turned off.