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Rep. Lewis vows to battle on after historic gun control sit-in ends

Rep. John Lewis on Democrats' gun control sit-in, Brexit
Rep. John Lewis on Democrats' gun control sit-in, Brexit 04:44

Georgia Congressman John Lewis vows to battle on after this week's historic Congressional sit-in demanding votes on gun control. The civil rights pioneer led fellow Democrats in a 25-hour protest to press GOP House leaders to hold votes on gun control measures. The Senate had held votes on four proposals Monday, and all of them failed. House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the sit-in as nothing more than a stunt.

"I believe we did what we had to do. We had to find a way to dramatize the issue, make it real, make it plain, make it simple," Rep. Lewis said Friday on "CBS This Morning." "The American people are demanding that we do something about the proliferation of guns. More than 85 to 90 percent of both Democrats and Republicans want us to act. We've been too silent, and we need to come together as members of Congress and do something."

Democratic sit-in over gun control ends 02:16

About 60 Democrats participated in the sit-in, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut -- who led a 15-hour senate filibuster last week on gun control -- and Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.

"It is very simple. If you [are] not supposed to be on a plane -- no fly, no buy. Why should people who on a no-fly list be able to buy a gun?" Lewis said. "It's a senseless and unbelievable murder of babies, little children, people in a supermarket, going to a theater, or to a club -- and the time for action is now. We cannot wait any longer for the Congress to act. So we took some action in keeping with the civil rights movement. We had a sit-in on the floor of the House."

Speaker Ryan said the Democrats can get the vote on the House floor if they have enough support.

"It just takes 218 signatures on a petition, and then they can have a vote. It is that simple. That's how the House works -- it's a well-known process," Ryan said Thursday in reaction to the sit-in.

But Lewis said since Democrats are the minorities in the House, they need "brothers and sisters on the Republican side" to speak up and help get the necessary votes.

"We will come back and we will continue to discuss some action, and if we fail to get something done, we will act," Lewis said.

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