Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, who helped plan last week's sit-in on the House floor, and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., who participated in the protest, are among the New Jersey lawmakers continuing their efforts to force a vote on gun safety legislation with events Wednesday while Congress is out of session.
When they ended their protest after almost 26 hours, Democrats said they would continue trying to force a vote on legislation to ban weapons sales to suspected terrorists and to require background checks for those buying guns at shows and online.
Their actions followed the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, the deaths of 49 patrons at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
"I saw one of my colleagues in Congress shot," said Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th Dist.), who plans a press conference in Saddle Brook with public safety officers and gun control advocates. "I saw 20 elementary school children killed in their classroom. I saw churchgoers killed while praying, and now the worst shooting in our nation's history. It's time that we listen to majority of the American people who support common sense gun violence prevention policies."
Watson Coleman (D-12th Dist.) is meeting with community leaders and gun control advocates in Trenton, part of what House Democrats are calling a "national day of action." Pallone (D-6th Dist.) is inviting constituents to visit him in his New Brunswick office to discuss gun safety legislation. He's calling it a "symbolic sit-in."
And Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1st Dist.) is to join the Camden County Board of Freeholders and others in a rally and march beginning at Jack Curtis Stadium on the Pennsauken side of Cooper River Park.
Those scheduled to attend Watson Coleman's forum include Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, Pastor Mark Broach of the Trenton Deliverance Center, Brett Sabo of Moms Demand Action New Jersey, Azra Baig of the Islamic Society of Central New Jersey and Carole Stiller, NJ Million Mom March Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Just as House Democrats used social media to televise their protest after the House cameras were shut off, Watson Coleman will broadcast her forum live atwww.facebook.com/RepBonnieWatsonColeman. purchases online and at gun shows.
All six House Democrats from New Jersey, as well as both U.S. senators, Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, participated in the protest.