INDIANOPOLIS (WANE) – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) spoke for about six minutes during a Democratic filibuster, which ran from 11:21 a.m. EDT on Wednesday to 2:11 a.m. on Thursday.
The filibuster was led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). Murphy proposed that he and his colleagues vote on two amendments. The first would stop people on the no-fly list and the FBI’s terror watch list from buying guns. The second would expand background checks to include sales on the internet and at gun shows.
Donnelly said there should be no controversy around the proposals.
“If a person is on a terrorist watch list they shouldn’t be able to buy a gun,” he said. “It is that simple and that uncomplicated.”
Donnelly believes the country can take steps to reduce gun violence while still protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.
“I am a supporter of the second amendment,” he said. “I’m also someone who believes it’s reasonable for all of us to consider smart and responsible ways to reduce gun violence. Those things are not in opposition to each other.”
He wrapped up saying the legislators owe it the victims of Orlando and other shootings to pass the proposals.
“I’m confident every member of this body agrees we should keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and people with mental illnesses,” he said.
The communications director for Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) sent NewsChannel 15 the following statement when asked about the filibuster and gun control:
“Senator Coats is working with his colleagues to craft legislation that would prevent known or suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms, while preserving due process to protect the fundamental Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
The two men fighting for Coats’ senate seat in the fall, U.S. Rep. Todd Young (R-9th) and former democratic U.S. Rep. Baron Hill also weighed in on gun control in light of the filibuster.
“He believes that the solution should block terrorists from buying guns, help authorities pursue terror suspects who try, and protect law abiding gun owners,” said a Young spokesperson.
Hill called the Orlando attack a terrible tragedy and said congress must prevent future attacks like it.
“The surest way to protect the second amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, criminals and the severely mentally ill,” he said.
Murphy ended the filibuster after some Republicans said they’d vote on the amendments.
That vote is expected next week.