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Warren warns of ‘blood on our hands’ in filibuster on guns

Elizabeth Warren spoke on the Senate floor.

Elizabeth Warren warned Congress would have “blood on our hands” if nothing is done on assault weapons, joining a Democrat-led filibuster over guns in the Senate Wednesday.

The filibuster aimed to force a vote on gun control legislation in the wake of a shooting that killed 49 people in an Orlando gay nightclub.

It was “a terrorist with hate in his heart and a gun in his hand that killed all those people,” Warren said on the Senate floor, calling for a ban on “Rambo-style” assault weapons.

“And if we fail to act, the next time someone uses a gun to kill one of us, a gun that we could have kept out of the hands of a terrorist, then members of this Congress will have blood on our hands,” she said.


Warren called for a number of other proposals, including more restrictions for those on watch lists.

“The FBI should have the authority to block gun sales to anyone they believe is a terrorist,” Warren said.

But Warren began her remarks by making a plea for unity and urging the nation to turn away from hate in the wake of the deadly attack in Orlando.

“In Orlando, an act of terrorism was also an act of hate,” she said.

She said Boston’s pride parade was a symbol of what the US looks like “when we beat back hate and embrace each other.”

Massachusetts’ senior US Senator also told the stories of those with local ties who were killed or wounded in the nightclub shooting, including Leominster native Jeffrey Rodriguez, 37, who was shot three times and had undergone three surgeries as of Tuesday.

“All of us from Massachusetts and all across the nation are rooting for him,” Warren said.

Senator Ed Markey was also among those who joined the filibuster, denouncing Republicans over the lack of movement on gun control laws.


“The Republicans continue to willingly follow the NRA,” Markey said from the Senate floor. “Americans are tired of living in fear that their community will be the next Orlando.”

The Senate filibuster was staged by Conn. Senator Chris Murphy, who said he would remain on the Senate floor ‘‘until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together,’’ as he also evoked the Newtown school shooting in his state in 2012.

Murphy is seeking a vote on legislation from Senator Dianne Feinstein that would let the government bar sales of guns and explosives to people it suspects of being terrorists. Murphy also wants a vote to expand background checks.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas said Wednesday that he and Feinstein were talking about a potential compromise between her bill and a version he has offered that would let the government delay firearms sales to suspected terrorists for up to 72 hours. Prosecutors would have to persuade a judge to block the transaction permanently, a bar Democrats and gun control activists say is too high.

Watch Warren’s remarks:

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.