Building on a sit-in staged by House Democrats in the nation's capitol last week, San Ramon's Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) and other members of the Bay Area congressional delegation gathered Wednesday in San Francisco to call for House Republicans to allow a vote on gun control bills.
The rally at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Wednesday afternoon also brought Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee, Mike Thompson and Mike Honda together with gun control advocates, gun violence survivors and local leaders as part of a national day of action on gun violence prevention.
The event was one of many held around the country Wednesday calling for a vote on federal bills that would expand background check requirements for gun purchases and prohibit those on the federal "no fly" list from buying guns, according to event organizers.
Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Wednesday said last week's sit-in was held after Democrats were told there would be a "moment of silence" for victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre in the House but no vote on gun control legislation.
"People said no longer shall we have on the floor of the house a moment of silence following a tragedy that is just that, a moment of silence and no action," she said. "Our message to our leadership is, give us a vote. No more silence."
Thompson (D-St. Helena) chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, has put forward bipartisan legislation that would require background checks when purchasing guns online or at a gunshow, closing what proponents call a loophole in current laws.
Thompson said Wednesday that background checks work to prevent gun violence, and called on Congress to "put partisan politics aside and do what it takes to help keep our communities safe."
"Because whether its in a movie theater, or on a college campus, or at an elementary school, in a church, in a nightclub, or on the streets of our cities -- we've lost too many innocent lives to gun violence and we can't sit back and do nothing while more lives are cut short," Thompson said.
Separately, Lee has also put forward legislation that would remove restrictions on sharing information among law enforcement agencies about gun theft and bad-actor gun dealers, and also remove current restrictions prohibiting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from studying gun violence as a public health threat.